Na Na pinches her pennies

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.

Dang I missed both

I was sick again and missed both food bank days.  Thank heavens I have food in storage and that I’m pretty good at making do because it will be three more weeks before the food bank days roll around again.  I may have to up my food budget a bit to compensate.  Today I want to show what a couple of typical grocery hauls are for me.  This is one $10 grocery haul.

The mesh bags are discounted produce.  $1 a bag.  There are eight red peppers and one green.  Three onions and five potatoes.  I gave $4.72 for the sale roast that was just a bit over two pounds.  The roast went into the toaster oven with half an onion, the green pepper, two potatoes, and a can of green beans from food storage.  It turned out delicious.  I had four dinner meals and two lunch sandwiches from it.  The last little piece is in the crockpot with a can of mixed vegetables for a beef stew.

The red peppers were washed, chopped, and flash frozen.

This is another $10 grocery haul.  I bought two packs of ground beef patties, half price.

These are not pictured but I also bought a 3 # bag of sweet potatoes on sale for one dollar, a package of hot dogs, a cabbage, a pack of mozzarella cheese, and a discounted loaf of bread.  I need some bread crumbs but I’m not ready to bake a loaf yet.

I cooked the beef patties.  One for dinner and three for the freezer.  Just look at all the flavorful dripping in the pan.

I don’t like wasting anything including the drippings from cooking meat.  I had the other half an onion in the fridge which I chopped and browned slightly.  Picking up all that dripping.

I added some flour and milk to make onion gravy to get all the last bits of flavor from the drippings.  I baked one of the sweet potatoes, added a bit of butter, and the last dregs (teaspoon) of maple syrup from the bottle.  Voila!  I had lunch.   Some gravy went into the fridge for another meal this week.

Can you see how I’m able to limit my food budget to just $10 a week?  If you notice there are no sweet or salty junk foods among what I buy.  Junk food is just that….. junk.  Its comparable to waking into a thrift store looking for a bargain but all you see is junk.  Junk food is addictive.  Its made to be that way.  Well, I refuse to be a junk food addict.

I believe Grandma Mama would be very proud that I remember so much of the frugality she taught me.   Pretty soon the cold weather will be upon us again here in Kentucky.  Even though the daytime temperatures have been hot I see a few tree leaves turning color and falling to the ground.  I’m not ready for cold weather.  But, it does mean I can bake again and have soups and stews more often.

26 comments on “Dang I missed both

  1. Margie in Toronto
    September 19, 2018

    Glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better and that you will be OK until the Food Bank days roll around again. I am starting to really look for these bargains now and hardly ever buy meat anymore unless it’s at 50% off or I know it’s a really good loss leader deal. I also buy whatever veggies are on sale for a particular week and stock up when I can. And yes, I use up all those bits & pieces like you do – it sometimes makes for some interesting meals but it all goes down the same way! 🙂
    I’ve been reading the “Darling Dahlias” book series by Susan Witting Albert – take place during the Depression in small town Alabama and there are a series of recipes at the back of each book that I’m thinking of trying. I recommend them if anyone can find them at their libraries.

    Like

    • Anita
      September 20, 2018

      I’ve been listening to a play on CD called Death of a salesman by Arthur Miller written in 1949. Its about a man’s lifelong obsession to achieve the American dream of wealth and social status. In the end the man comes unraveled when the reality of his life threatens his long cherished illusions. The lead character is played by Stacy Keach. I prefer recorded books because I can keep working while listening. It reminds me of my childhood when radio was our main form of entertainment. When I’m working on quilts I go through 8 to 10 hours of CD’s each day.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I checked our library and they have only one of the Darling Dahlia books on CD and its at another branch. It’s the Unlucky Clover. I put in a request for it.

      Like

      • Margie in Toronto
        September 21, 2018

        That’s too bad that they only have 1 on CD – I think that’s the latest one actually – I think I’m on book 4. They talk about listening to the radio and all the shows that were popular at the time.

        Like

  2. Marybeth
    September 18, 2018

    Everything looks delicious. I try not to waste any food either. Sorry you weren’t feeling well. Hope you are all better.

    Like

    • Anita
      September 20, 2018

      Thanks Marybeth. Yes, much better. I get sick so often that it has become a part of my routine.

      Like

  3. Bellen
    September 18, 2018

    So glad I’d eaten before I read your blog – looks delicious. I had sweet potato and salad. I purposely bought Florida sweet potatoes not only because they were cheaper but because of the flooding in NC that has ruined crops. Pretty sure we’ll see increased prices on peppers too and maybe chicken.

    After reading your blog about saving money on using and reusing water I’ve been diligent. Next bill will be on the 20th. Called to see what it would cost if no water was used (saying I would be gone for 2 months) it would be $55.17 for water and sewer. Lowest bill we’ve ever paid is $65 and change.

    Like

    • Anita
      September 20, 2018

      This week chicken and pork has been on sale .69 and .88 a pound. Record lows for this area. Sweet potatoes are .30 to .35 a pound. Obviously rush harvested very early because they are small and dirty. My daughter now has 60 pounds of chicken and 40 pounds of pork in the freezer. The animals were rushed to slaughter before the hurricane made land. I agree with you on the increased prices.

      I discovered my toilet was leaking water from the tank to the bowl. I used the shut off and only let the tank fill when I need to flush. I turn the water back off before the tank has a chance to refill. It will be awhile before I can get it repaired.

      Like

    • Linda in NE
      September 25, 2018

      In my town it doesn’t matter if you use lots of water or no water at all, the bill is still the same. Therefore I don’t make any effort to save water. Electricity is a whole other story.

      Like

  4. craftytadpole
    September 18, 2018

    I’m glad you are feeling better. Your meals looks delicious.

    Like

  5. Jackie
    September 17, 2018

    Anita, you ALWAYS inspire me! Thank you!

    Like

    • Anita
      September 18, 2018

      I’m glad.

      Like

  6. Linda in NE
    September 17, 2018

    The grocery bargains you show just never happen here. Red bell peppers are more like $2 each. Needless to say, I raise my own, and this year’s pepper plants have done very well. I have put many dollars worth of them in the freezer…all diced & ready to use. I noticed that you have the same plates that I do…how about that!

    Like

    • Anita
      September 18, 2018

      I wish I could have a garden but it won’t happen here. Too many issues to deal with. Groundhogs, mosquitoes, rocks, tree roots, shade, you name it and my yard has it. I only have two plates like that. Got them from thrift store. I like them but haven’t seen anymore yet. My regular dishes have gold on them and can’t be used in the microwave. It would explode.

      Like

  7. sarasinart
    September 17, 2018

    Wow you have a wonderful way of stretching things. And you find such good bargains at the store! I hope you feel all better really quick.

    Like

    • Anita
      September 18, 2018

      I’ve studied the way my favorite store operates and use it to find bargains. Its kind of like the day after a holiday when stuff is marked down for quick sale. Thats the same with the bargains I find. The day after the weekly sale is over stuff is marked down. That week the peppers were on sale 10 for 10. The day after the sale was over the peppers were bagged for quick sale. Meat is marked down the same way. The expiry date is usually a couple days after the sale ends.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sarasinart
        September 18, 2018

        Some of our stores here have a place for marked down veggies, but none that I know of for meat. You get good deals!

        Like

        • Anita
          September 19, 2018

          Maybe the employees grab the discounted meat before it can be offered to customers? That’s only a guess of course. Keep checking. Some stores will put the discounted meat on top of regular priced packages so it is taken first. The sale tactic is that its better to sell at a discount than to put into the trash. I hope I explained that right? (IE: better a little income than no income.) Most stores want to at least recover their costs.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol
    September 17, 2018

    Dearest Anita,

    You are the most intelligent woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
    Oh, I have been reading your log for a while and just returned something to the Home Depot and using the refund for energy saving light bulbs. Thank you so much for your input on saving energy and keeping the electrical cost down.
    Tons of love and hope you get better really fast,

    Carol i New Jersey

    Like

    • Anita
      September 18, 2018

      Thank you Carol. I’m feeling better for now. I’m sick so often it feels like normal these days. I’m glad you bought new energy saver bulbs. You didn’t say but I hope you got the LEDs. I was so surprised by just how much I saved after I bought mine. Please let me know if you feel that way too after you use them a couple of months.

      Like

  9. Jasna
    September 17, 2018

    I`m sorry to hear you were sick. I hope you are feeling much better now.
    Thank you for the awesome tips. I plan to try the onion sauce.

    Hugs,
    Jasna from Patagonia

    Like

    • Anita
      September 18, 2018

      Yes, much better thank you. Its like a roller coaster, sick a few days, well a few days, over and over. I’m used to it. Thankfully I have more well days than sick ones.

      Like

  10. Mia
    September 17, 2018

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and never commented. I love your blog. I shop all the mark downs at what is ralphs near me in California. It’s the only way I can put meat on the table every night and my husband loves his meat. I have learned a lot from you. Thank you.

    Like

    • Anita
      September 18, 2018

      Mia, a lot of us seem to be searching for bargains these days. I’m only guessing right now but I believe there might be some really great meat sales coming up soon. Fall is usually the time to find them.

      Like

  11. isitaneedorawant
    September 17, 2018

    Na Na you make gold from straw, not really:) but Grandma Mama would be so proud.
    I am ,when my kids make frugal choices that expand their resources.
    Sigh, it’s the time to find the bargains and make them. I can make them, but markdowns occur where I am ,early in the morning .I am unable to get to the store at that time but have a knowledge base like you to cook from scratch. Not every child has been brought up to think like this, it really is a life skill.
    Your meals look so yummy. I’ve been under the weather this weekend , put a chicken into roast yesterday and found left over stew for tonight.
    I always enjoy your posts.

    Like

    • Anita
      September 18, 2018

      I agree, the young today are not being taught the skills of frugal living. I don’t always get to the store in time for bargains either. I have learned the store where I find the most bargains has the most right after a big advertised sale. For example the red peppers had been advertised as 10 for 10 that week. Not all of them sold so on the day after the sale is over red peppers are in the discount bin. The day after a holiday is also a good time to find bargains.

      Like

Comments are closed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 329 other followers

Follow Na Na pinches her pennies on WordPress.com

Down memory lane

Visitors since 7-1-2013

  • 692,724 Hits
%d bloggers like this: