Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday soup: clearing out another pantry lurker

Image: http://feasteveryday.blogspot.com/2010/11/16-bean-soup-with-smoked-ham.html

Getting a lurker from Angel Food out of the pantry-this MUST be the last remaining item from AF that I have! A bag of 16 mixed soup beans is soaking and will soon go into a Crock Pot, along with a meaty ham bone out of the freezer, to be turned into a ham and bean soup. Additional ingredients: onion, celery, carrot, black pepper, Bay leaf, 15 oz can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, a bag of fzn chopped organic Kale. Glad to use both the ham bone as well as the beans up!

More and more items are getting used up here, it's one of our goals, it's a good thing. (http://ctonabudget.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-bin-is-already-12-full.html) In addition to what was added to the recently emptied, recycling bin in the kitchen within 24 hours of being emptied, over the past 2 days, the following has been added:
-20 oz plastic  jar of mayonnaise + cap
-8.4 oz can of shave gel + cap
-"pam" spray can + cap
-12 oz bottle of shower gel
-12.6 oz bottle of shampoo
-4 cans tuna
-balled up, spent aluminum foil (used at least 4 times)
-can of black olives + lid
-newspaper flyers, colored sections of newspaper
-assorted mail, junk mail, MD appointment reminder card, receipts
-plastic, pint sized container of grape tomatoes
-16 oz glass bottle of Balsamic vinegar
-12 oz glass bottle of champagne Balsamic vinegar
-18 oz plastic p butter jar + cap
-paperboard tube from t paper roll
-15 oz plastic bottle of hair conditioner
-15 oz can diced Italian style tomatoes + lid
-8 oz plastic body lotion bottle + cap
-26 oz plastic bottle of spray cleaner
-1.2 oz plastic bottle of all purpose spray cleaner concentrate  + cap

Recycling bin needs to be emptied now. I am making concerted efforts to use "the good stuff" as well. Why take advantage of a sale plus coupon deal for a nice, but pricey body wash, only to save it? Gotta use that stuff up, too. I'd much rather move a few bars of soap over much heavier, bottles of shower gel, if we do end up moving. The boys have 2 bars of "men's soap" left, then they are being moved to using up their shower gel, which they prefer in warmer months. Spring IS coming, even though the yard remains covered by snow mounds, with no sign of grass. Even with foodstuffs, the "good stuff" is being used, instead of saved. Crabmeat quiche is on my March menus. I used up a bottle of Balsamic yesterday, then turned to a gifted (someone* paid $11/bottle for this stuff! then Mom passed 2 bottles on to me)bottle of Champagne Balsamic vinegar off of the pantry shelves. The cork broke off, so I decanted it into an awaiting Mason jar. Our salads will be blessed with this fancy, schmantzy (sp?) vinegar this month. When I run out of "non essentials" such as "pam" spray, I will turn to buttering baking dishes with solid shortening, butter/margarine. I already use reserved fat for pan frying. I have alternatives and will use them in an effort to continue to reduce our expenditures, to use what is on hand, to make do. I don't want me or the kids to feel deprived, so I am trying to keep some treats on hand, select some nice tea for our after supper cup, etc. It can be the small things that make a difference.

Expenditures this week:
-medical: several medical appointments-all covered in full, no cost out of pocket
-food: some groceries
-trash disposal
-post office $1.61
-Verizon bill
-Feb snow plowing bill

Next week: rent is due, the CC is due, gas to purchase, small groceries to buy, $ cat food will be picked up at the Vet's, oil bill needs to be paid. I will get my car washed, but since I use pre-paid, discounted certificates, no additional cash will be required.

I received an unexpected $32.12 last night, from a refund I didn't know about. Nice. Into the bank that goes.

My "mini" paycheck for the 15th will be deposited electronically on the 14th, giving me a better idea of how much of a hit we are taking this month. The second check of the month, due to be deposited electronically on the 28th will be a teeny, tiny one, assuming that I do return to work that week. I continue to see strides, and improvements and feel that I am on track to do so. My surgeon will make that determination, however, on the 24th.

Update on actual garbage produced: kitchen garbage is about 1/3 full. It's all good.

Looking ahead to the upcoming week, here are my dinner menus, which will cull even more out of storage:

9-broiled, marinated pork tenderloins (fzn), roast potatoes, canned green beans
10-salmon patties (use canned), coleslaw, honey carrots
11-Crock pot beef pot roast with potato, carrots
12-l/o
13-Lidia's warm lentil salad (new recipe for me)*add diced, leftover pork if available, green salad
14-l/o
15-beef-barley soup

I've done quite a bit of baking ahead, so we should be set for the week: monkey bars, chocolate mint-choc chip cookies, ginger bread for dessert seekers as well as banana bread, white sandwich bread, a bit of dill-caraway-wheat bread remain for sandwiches. I'll probably make sandwich bread  by mid week. Last night, DS #1 joined us for homemade pizza and salad, and I gifted him some baked goods to take home with him, as well as a supper for his GF, who stayed home with a headache.

I hope to stay clear of the grocer's this week, with the exception of perhaps milk, we shouldn't need* anything to get us through to the week. I have run out of some things that are needed for week 3 (flour tortillas, block cheese) but that can wait until Thurs, if at all possible. I know that I'll be in the city both Tues and Thurs, so I try to bundle my errands to conserve fuel. I last filled my car just prior to my surgery at the end of Jan, and still have fuel for the week. Since I never let it get under 1/4 tank, this should be fine. I'd like to top up the car on Tues the 18th, again, when in the city, combining trips but also to take advantage of 40 cents/gallon cheaper gas vs what is sold in town.

Project of the day: some laundry, but then I'd like to turn my attention to my closet and stored bins of clothes. Boys are with Dad this weekend, DD will be working all day, so it's nice and quiet here.

5 comments:

Marcia in rural WNY said...

Don't knock that fancy-schmanzy balsamic!! When entertaining friends this summer at Niagara on the Lake in Canada, I waa moved to spend $20 Canadian on a bottle of mango balsamic which we tasted in a fancy olive oil and vinegar shop! It's been one of my best purchases lately. Have used it for guests, and also as take along dressing for a salad I contributed to a big family meal--and it's getting rave reviews from the entire family, as well as ME. It's a delicious treat and I'd spend that much again when I'm in Niagara On the Lake again. I know you're not buying such things right now, but as long as it was gifted--ENJOY!

CTMOM said...

Marcia
Not knocking it, just offering it as an example of "special" items that I've been saving for ? reasons/days/occassions unknown. Why not enjoy it NOW, in the month of extreme austerity?
: )

Someone (I suspect my sister in law) spent $22 on these 2 bottles, and they ended up gifted to me, out of Mom's pantry. Nice.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

Forwarding a message from Adrienne, who can't seem to post on your "comments'. She says to try Gorilla GLue or GOrilla Tape on the measuring cup.

And for Lenten meals, any kind of veggies soup can be worked into Friday meals, but don't forget eggplant moussaka or eggplant Parm, I think it was she said. I will see if I can help her with the posting on the comments part.

You are right about saving some special treats to enjoy this month when austerity is the word. I have my luxury ingredients which I could certainly get along with, but which add a lot of pleasure to food preparation when I can afford them...starting with the super-expensive vanilla. My son in law didn't believe the difference in whipped cream--my daughter and I were telling him it was the kind of vanilla I used vs. the supermarket vanilla they were using. Now I have gifted him some expensive vanilla, so they can enjoy it too.

CTMOM said...

Marcia
Thank Adrienne for me, but no Gorilla Glue on hand, so the metal 1/3 cup measuring cup is getting recycled. I think I paid $ for the 4 cup set, can't rationalize spending $2-$3 (if not more?) to buy something to fix it with. I do have a second, complete set of measuring cups.

Thanks for the suggestions for Lenten meals, we aren't eggplant fans, and I don't have any on hand anyway. : )

I buy Penzey's double strength vanilla, it's something like $35/bottle and lasts me, even with all the baking I do, about a year. Quality ingredients do make a difference. Nice MIL, gifting some vanilla to your DD and SIL.

Modest meals here today: homemade pancakes but with VT maple syrup (gifted to me from a friend), hazelnut "sunday only" coffee, pineapple juice. Lunch was choice of leftovers, I had 16 mixed bean and ham soup with crackers. Pork tenderloin (only 4 thin slices each as it was under 1 lb total and we were 4 for supper), oven roast potatoes, Fr green beans, tossed salad, choice of dessert. Hot tea for those interested. Tonight's selection was a white and green tea blend. It's the small stuff.

CTMOM said...

Marcia
Thank Adrienne for me, but no Gorilla Glue on hand, so the metal 1/3 cup measuring cup is getting recycled. I think I paid $ for the 4 cup set, can't rationalize spending $2-$3 (if not more?) to buy something to fix it with. I do have a second, complete set of measuring cups.

Thanks for the suggestions for Lenten meals, we aren't eggplant fans, and I don't have any on hand anyway. : )

I buy Penzey's double strength vanilla, it's something like $35/bottle and lasts me, even with all the baking I do, about a year. Quality ingredients do make a difference. Nice MIL, gifting some vanilla to your DD and SIL.

Modest meals here today: homemade pancakes but with VT maple syrup (gifted to me from a friend), hazelnut "sunday only" coffee, pineapple juice. Lunch was choice of leftovers, I had 16 mixed bean and ham soup with crackers. Pork tenderloin (only 4 thin slices each as it was under 1 lb total and we were 4 for supper), oven roast potatoes, Fr green beans, tossed salad, choice of dessert. Hot tea for those interested. Tonight's selection was a white and green tea blend. It's the small stuff.