Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Working with what I've got

Here's a photo of what's for dinner tonight. Even though last night was penne pasta with a somewhat meat based sauce on top, tonight finds me again serving Italian style pasta. I started with the remaining 1/2 lb bag of fzn onion-pepper "stir fry" and 2 fzn Italian sausage links (quickly defrosted in microwave before frying off in crumbles. Added: 1 stalk celery that I diced, the remaining sauce from last night, a can of mushrooms, a huge bag of chopped fzn garden zuke that had to go, black pepper, Italian seasonings, a 29 oz can of tomato puree, a 15 oz can of Italian seasoned, diced tomatoes, a good splash of red wine, several slices of meatloaf that I smashed into meat crumbles. This is a thick, chuny sauce which will be served over spaghetti.

Side: tossed salad with choice of dressing.

DS #1 who is on his own, continues to struggle, financially. I told him that until things improve, he is to have dinner here, especially as it's the most expensive meal of the day. I can readily add 2 plates to our table (for DS and GF) at no real hardship vs supplying him with grocery money. This is do-able.


Florence said...

I hope that your son and his girlfriend will learn from you how to budget and cook. It is hard when you are first starting out and if they learn how to budget and cook, it will serve them well for a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

19810I understand your point of view re: oldest son. My DGD is, I think, eating most of her major meals as take out or in restaurants, despite my constant admonitions to COOK. Of course, her mother rarely cooked at home, but her step-Dad did, and I did and still do. In fact, when she wants "home cooking" she calls grandma, not Mom. (DD does some cooking and knows how but her husband does the majority of it, as he enjoys it more than she does.) DGD did ask me to come "to grocery shop and cook." Meaning, I think, that if I put it in her freezer, she'll eat it. That's only a SHORT term solution, in my book. She only eats chicken and turkey and it certainly isn't hard to cook those.
As for us, I found a sirloin tip roast nearly 4 lbs in the freezer, and as it never got above 65 degrees today, slow roasted it and made mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. It was good tonight and looks like roughly two more meals to come!
Handy if it gets hot again.

Lili said...

I think that's a really good idea to have your son and his girlfriend for dinner every night. You can prepare meals much more inexpensively than he and GF could for themselves, as you know all the ins and outs of bargain shopping, using what you have on hand, and working with frugal grocery choices.

It's really hard out there for young adults these days. Wages have not kept pace with inflation, especially at the lower end. (Corporate CEOs maybe seeing huge salary increases, but most of us are not.)

I tell all three of my kids that I'm here to help, for as long as they need. And in return, they help me quite a bit, too.

CTMOM said...

Florence, to be clear: this is a situation where both DS and GF work lower paying jobs. Combined, I doubt they make $20 hour. Rent is $$$ in Fairfield county. While their tiny appartment includes utilities and heat, they are on their own for other daily living expenses: auto ins, auto costs/gas/maintenance, clothing (DS buys none, we gifted him alot of replacements at Xmas and for his April birthday). I continue to cover his $15 added line to my cell bill. I plan on dropping that once he hits 21-as I did with DD. I continue to cover his medical insurance, but he is responsible for out of pocket. I did offer to pay for his replacement eye glasses, which he desperately needs to do. Their tiny incomes simply don't also cover adequate groceries. He is seriously considering applying for food stamps. Meanwhile, I tend to gift him weekly with homemade bread, baked goods and he is to eat here when he can. I've even hired him for some handyman services-it's a win-win for the 2 of us. Much cheaper for me, he gets some much needed cash to make his rent. Both DS and GF know how to budget and cook. Both my X and I have given them pantry items, X gave DS a grocery store gift card. According to DS, it's all gone, there isn't much in their appartment. So I offer what I can (much easier on my budget to set an extra plate or 2) vs giving a direct hand out.

CTMOM said...

See my response to Florence. DS isn't too picky (prefers meat off the bone)and will eat anything. He budgets and cooks, but there are limited funds.

CTMOM said...

Agree, the young adults of today have a difficult situation. I do what I can, hoping that this will ease the strain. I always have DS's back, as he would say.

Mary Lou said...

A food pantry might also help out your ds and his gf. There is the term nowadays "working class poor" that is thrown around quite a bit. From the sounds of it, it seems your ds and his gf fall into that category since they both work and don't earn huge salaries Just a thought.

He might not want to do that, but there is no shame in asking for help when you need it and they can pay it forward in other ways.

Anonymous said...

Carol - you're doing a good thing having them eat with you. $ is something most couples argue about, especially when they're young and not making a lot of it. Hopefully they can pick up a part time job when summer is in full swing (and bank some of it away) for a rainy day fund.

Theresa F said...

How great that you would do that for your son. Hopefully things get easier for him soon.