Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Using it all up, not wasting a bit!

Sunday supper this past weekend, was a Crock Pot roasted, turkey breast based dinner. With guests, we were a table of 6. Later that night, the meat was deboned, and the stock simmered overnight, in the same Crock Pot, then containing the skin, bones from the carcass, along with any residual pan juices not used to make gravy. The next morning, I strained it, and gleaned 2 quarts of homemade stock for free. It is intended for a soup this upcoming Saturday.

What about the remaining, cooked turkey meat?
-Monday's supper was again for 6, this time we had turkey-cooked dried pintos (from the freezer, planned ahead)tacos on flour tortillas. Options of homemade taco sauce, homemade salsa, baby organic salad greens, chopped tomato, reheated leftover brown rice,  home shredded Monteray Jack cheese, lite sour cream. Side of canned corn.
-Tuesday's supper (tonight) is already in the Crock Pot: turkey-canned kidney bean chilli, including chopped onion, 1 quart home canned organic tomatoes, chilli powder. I will make some corn bread from scratch later this afternoon. Option of cheese on top of chilli, if desired. Perhaps a green salad on the side as well.

Meat has become more and more difficult to afford, so I stick to my price limits/lb, and have eliminated more and more cuts, as they are cost prohibitive. More and more, I find vegetarian based dishes being served, or when meat is served, I stretch it 50-50 with beans and other legumes.  Avoiding food waste is one of my goals, due to the time, energy as well as money invested in ingredients. Highest on the list, naturally, is avoiding meat waste and getting every scrap off of every carcass used. I am quite pleased with my $7/7 lb turkey breast: 2 meals for 6, another meal for at least 4, with the possibility of some lunch leftovers for 1-2 people tomorrow. Factor in the upcoming soup and there will be at least 6 more servings, if not more. Pretty economical.

The usual has been happening around here: laundry done in cold, hung up to dry in front of the large radiator. Home cooked meals, eating down the stockpile/freezer. Another bonus is that once again, I am contemplating moving out of this expensive to heat home, come Summer. Less on hand=less to move. Ideally, a 3 bedroom, 1 1/2-2 bath, 1400-2000 sq foot, at least one covered parking space, would do nicely.



I have to weigh my options, however, noting that any increase in rent charges (there would be a definite increase in rent) has to offset the increased oil charges for remaining in an energy inefficient home + the lower rent for this place, by comparison. The types of rentals I have been eyeballing, are approx. $400-$500 more than what I am currently paying, and I estimate that moving to an efficient home would save me $300/month. I also factor in that my current luxury of a monthly cleaning service could be reduced (I would hope) if the square footage of a different rental situation was smaller, therefor offering some additional offset.  Can't hurt to seek options, knowing that a move would be a major hassle and an expense-something we are certainly not looking for at the moment. I need to stay in this town for 2 more years, once the youngest are out of school, then I am free to move to another town/city that I know would be much cheaper for me, and would offer many more options. Finding a rental is difficult in this town. Just some musings.

8 comments:

Belinda said...

I make spaghetti for dinner sometimes with lentils in place of the meat. It is definitely a money saver and very "meaty". My daughter didn't even realize there was no meat in it. :)

Bargain Mom said...

Although moving is a major PIA, so is paying tons for utilities! You are smart to begin the thinking & looking now.

I love turkey breasts for all the meat that comes from them. I do pay a bit more for the boneless skinless thighs since I know every morsel is eaten of those and they do great in the CP.

I'm making a drFt dodger today - stuffing it with odd/worn socks - free to me.....one question for you - do you stuff them as is or chop them up first?

CTMOM said...

Bargain
IME, slicing them up first helps them to fill better, w/o bumps/lumps in the dodger.
HTH

CTMOM said...

Bargain
IME, slicing them up first helps them to fill better, w/o bumps/lumps in the dodger.
HTH

Marcia in rural WNY said...

MY sister mentioned that plastic grocery bags make good filler for draft dodgers. I haven't tried it yet, but maybe I will get to it one of these days.

I am trying to cut down on serving size on meat too--especially for me. My doctor says I need an angiogram as I haven't had one in 3 years, and I don't have enough blood getting to my big toe. Nothing like advancing heart disease to make you pay more attention to your diet! We don't eat a lot of meat, as I am always stretching it, but unfortunately I don't like nearly as many kinds of beans as your family does. I need to get away from red meat even more. The prices lately are conducive to that plan!
Another setback last week was the demise of our at least 15 year old dishwasher. Husband installed the new one today but I didn't have a full load, so I didn't use it yet. Tomorrow.

Bargain Mom said...

How do you get it to be so golden in the crockpot? When I tried to do a chicken it didn't have that yummy color...

CTMOM said...

Bargain
See my Crock Pot rotisserie style chicken recipe, it has a ton of spices, but also Paprika

For the turkey breast, I usually use salt, pepper, some Bell's seasoning, and a bit of paprika as well.

We don't eat the skin, but for presentation, it does get a nice color. Not as crispy as you'd get if roasting traditionally in an oven.
HTH

HappyGrama said...

Is it possible, because you are a single mom, you could get some special financing to buy a house? Just wondering, 'cause many years ago, my sister (who lives in CT) was left alone with her children and she eventually was able to get special financing because she was the sole support of her kids. She still owns the house. Wishing you the best!