Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fiscal fast, day 21: Avoiding food waste, home cooking, laundry, staying warm

Today's food is keeping with my goals to use what we have, eat healthfully (relatively speaking), keep costs down.  Breakfast was oatmeal, OJ and coffee/cocoa.  Lunch was a leftover theme, per usual. Kids and I are on 1/2 day schedules, due to exams (although all schools closed early today, regardless)

 Twins split the rest of the take n bake pizza

I had the second of the two, turkey lunches made with Sunday's supper leftovers. Dd had a sandwich, using the rest of the egg salad from the other day. Perfect.

Although afternoon appointments were cancelled as of mid morning, due to the Nor'easter, we've kept with the dinner plan, which was actually started last night:

 An using it up scene that will certainly repeat itself over the next few months: I used the rest of the dried black beans, then added some dried pintos, to equal 2 cups of dried beans. These were soaked overnight. Dried beans are 50% less in cost than their canned counterparts, and have no sodium-something I am sensitive to. I only had one exam today, so with my boss's permission, I left afterwards, beating the storm. It was already lightly snowing when I left. I simmered the beans in some fresh water, when I returned home this morning.
 Additional ingredients: 2 pints home canned, organic CSA tomatoes, chilli powder, 1 onion, the container of meat pulled off of the turkey carcass that I simmered overnight on Sunday into Monday. Although I pick a carcass clean, I am always amazed at the amount of meat that remains on the bones.
The container holds mostly the meat from the 2 wings, as well as the turkey neck that I roasted along with the turkey breast. Many would have tossed those parts out. I chopped this finely, before adding it, along with the other ingredients, to my smaller Crock Pot.

It'll cook some more, and will be served with crackers tonight, and a tossed salad.

Even have a sheet cake (box mix w/ homemade frosting) decorated with Valentine's Day sprinkles. Easy to be festive on a budget. : )

 I was able to run a load of colored clothes. Since temps dropped from a high of 38 as of 6:30 a.m. to now 12 degrees as of 5:45 p.m., the heat has been coming on. I take advantage of that by placing my laundry near the huge radiator in the living room. Socks, underthings placed on top of the perforated cover tend to dry within 15 minutes. A large load, done in cold of course, is almost completely dried and put away. 2 pairs of jeans, 3 tops, pj's and a flannel nightie remain. I am pretty certain that they will be done soon. This saves my electric usage, as well as adds moisture to the dry air.
Once home earlier, I asked DD to dump the compost while there was little snow falling, and I gathered enough sticks for starting fires for 2 days, anticipating being home again tomorrow. Even if school is delayed, since I have no scheduled exams, I can work from home, saving gas and 1 1/2 of drive time.The wood stove is going, keeping the uninsulated living room nice and toasty. Ceiling fans help to drive the heated air back down from the cathedral ceiling. DD brought in wood the other day-again, enough for 2 days of snow, with the expectation to top off tomorrow afternoon with additional firewood.

Another way to keep warm and toasty, is to put on layers, wear warm slippers. We also like to do this:

 One kidlet is on his laptop, beneath the 2 afghans
Another is on Xbox, also covered in blankets. The room is toasty on it's own, but snuggling under a blanket is quite welcomed.

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