Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Use it up canned chili

I found a bargain on my last shopping trip.  The price of ground beef has skyrocketed as you probably know.  I had already decided this would be my last time buying ground beef until the price comes down again.  It has just gotten way too expensive for my budget.  I do have some in the freezer though.  Anyway, that day I happened upon a store employee placing several marked down packages in the discount bin.  I grabbed three before the swarm of people started snatching.

Food and kitchen 2015 092I had thought about simply putting them into the freezer but then I had a better idea.  I also had these that needed to be used.  I know that the “best by does not mean poison after” so it really would be safe to leave these for another date if I wanted to.

Food and kitchen 2015 098I have them in my storage for cooking meals like chili or spaghetti so I reasoned with myself and asked why wait?  Make it then can it or freeze it to become heat and eat meals. Cooking once saves both time and money because I’m cooking once instead of several times.

I had chopped up peppers in the freezer that needed using.  I had onions from last weeks food bank box.  Some of those were starting to sprout and really should be used right away.

Food and kitchen 2015 101I had dry beans from a previous discount bin find.  I cook the beans before adding to the chili mix.  I can’t put them into chili dry because the tomatoes would prevent them from getting soft.

Food and kitchen 2015 103I had  just barely enough chili powder and 3/4 container of Cajun spice to give it a bit of kick.

Food and kitchen 2015 099Yup, I had everything I needed to make a big pot of chili.  A really BIG pot of chili.  I ended up using my small canning pot to hold everything because I made a LOT of chili using up the ingredients.

Food and kitchen 2015 104Anything containing meat must be pressure canned.  It is simply not safe to can meat by any other method.  In my area we use ten pounds pressure and meat takes 90 minutes.  I could have put the chile into individual meal containers and into the freezer but it’s packed full right now.  I ended up with two canner loads which is twenty jars.

Food and kitchen 2015 107

You are right, there are only 19 jars shown.  Ladybug and I ate one for lunch.  We added a package of pre-cooked macaroni from the freezer so there was enough for two.  She liked it so much she asked to take a jar and some macaroni home with her.  Of course I obliged her.  She’s my bestes Ladybug and I’m her bestes Na Na. Now I need to do something with the other two packages.

2 comments on “Use it up canned chili

  1. Sarca
    January 20, 2015

    “Meat is expensive”…No kidding! $20 for 4 chicken breasts? Meat has skyrocketed!

    • Na Na
      January 20, 2015

      Twenty dollars? Yikes! Looks like I won’t be buying chicken for awhile either.

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