Monday, June 28, 2010

adventures in frugality (alternate title: maybe sweetened condensed milk isn't so expensive after all...)

So it's Menu Plan Monday, and I don't have much of a menu plan OR shopping plan yet. We did do a run to Food City last night. We were out of cheese (an emergency around here, to be sure!), and Natalie had no rice milk.

We, um, ended up buying a bit more than cheese and rice milk. We actually spent $31.22. We bought eggs, and butter, and napkins, and sandwich meat, and bananas.

Oh, and ice cream. Because that is such a necessity of life, isn't it?

So...I thought I'd see how much of a menu plan I could come up with what I have on hand at the moment. And then I'll plan a shopping trip for the rest of the week. It probably won't be pretty, because I'm going to have to buy diapers, and wipes, and sugar. Sigh.

I am making French bread at the moment (using up the last of my sugar supply, which means I can't make sweet tea, which is another crisis around here). But I figure the bread can do double duty. Tonight we will have panini press sandwiches for supper (along with applesauce and maybe yogurt). Tomorrow we can have French toast for breakfast.

Tomorrow evening we will have chicken enchiladas. I can't wait to try this recipe. It's the "no cream soup" that sold me on it! (I will be using homemade chicken stock in place of the can of broth.) Green beans can be our side dish.

Wednesday's breakfast will either be leftover French toast or cereal. I don't have time to make breakfast on Wednesdays because of our morning Bible study class. For supper, I may do breakfast-for-supper. Nelson makes killer omelets, we have bacon, and I can easily make muffins or pancakes or something with fruit.

Thursday morning I will either do smoothies for breakfast--Sarah and Natalie both love these, and we have bananas! :) Supper will either be curried lentils or sweet and sour lentils with rice. I would do lentil tacos, but I'm out of chili powder...and garlic.

I can do Amish baked oatmeal for breakfast Friday, but now I'm fresh out of ideas for Friday's supper and for the weekend. So I'll report back once I've done that diaper-wipes-sugar-chili powder-whatever else shopping trip.

Oh, and if you've made it this far and are still wondering about the title...well, a couple of weeks ago I came across a recipe for iced coffee. You simply combined 6-8 cups coffee with one can of sweetened condensed milk in a pitcher. Cool, refreshing, and delicious.

I was craving some this morning, but I had no sweetened condensed milk. I have a wee bit of powdered milk though, and I remembered that my beloved Tightwad Gazette had a recipe for making sweetened condensed milk out of powdered milk.

I only had half the powdered milk called for, so I halved the recipe. I also didn't have enough sugar, so I used Splenda. And, well...I'm less than thrilled with the results. The coffee tastes okay, but it keeps separating and it looks weird. I think I'll hold off on making the beverage again until I actually have sweetened condensed milk on hand (although Sarah assures me the drink is delicious! I think she just wants to make sure she gets some).

So, a bit hit and miss in the frugality department this week...more miss than hit, honestly. :( Surely I can improve from here, right???


Jess said...

well, you are light years ahead of me! i love reading your menu plans...i am LOVING how much more your blogging...i feel like i get so much more a glimpse of your everydayness...woo hoo!


Tara said...

Those enchiladas look yummy! Let us know how they turn out. :)

I ought to blog about my menu plans inspire me and it does seem like good accountability.

I think you're doing great! You have quite a few yummy meals planned already.

karen said...

The enchiladas were good! :) This actually kind of dovetails into our Facebook conversation about it being too hot for soup. I had some leftover chicken, some homemade stock, a can of green chilies, and some frozen Great Northern beans--all ingredients that make white chicken chili, one of my very favorite soups. But *I* think it is waaaay too hot for soup! Still if I'm trying to be frugal and "plan menus around what I already have", I couldn't ignore the fact that I had all the ingredients for soup! I kept putting off making it, but I felt guilty because I knew it would be a perfect use of all those items. Then I stumbled across the enchiladas--which used all the same ingredients except for the beans! All I had to do was add tortillas (which we pretty much ALWAYS have) and sour cream! Score--ingredients used up without having to suffer through soup in hot, humid weather! :)