Saturday, February 20, 2016
The Bare Essentials Challenge: Weekly Recap
Anyway, here's how the stores held up this week.
For breakfast lately the kids have been pretty set on eating toast for breakfast (their choice, honestly as I'd love it if they ate like oatmeal or something to mix things up) and with the home made bread that has been pretty cost effective to do. I've been using margarine for baking period and saving the butter for the toast as my son won't do margarine on his toast. So far I still have four pounds of butter left. I managed to find one pound of butter I still had in the fridge, which lasted us a while, so I'm going to be pulling the last four pounds out of the freezer here soon.
With lunches the kids have been taking a lot of pasta to school (in the case of my daughter it's definitely her choice there), so that has helped to stretch the grocery budget too. I mean one pound of pasta goes a long way for lunches with the kids, so that's been really nice. My husband has been taking lunches on and off, which has helped to cut costs somewhat and he's been working local sometimes so he has been able to come home for lunch too, which has also helped to reduce spending.
Now onto the dinners for the week.
The menu plan went kind of awry a couple of times this last week. My husband wasn't feeling good one night and wanted to just eat pasta and the kids will eat pasta for dinner as well so I just did a noodle bowl night instead of corn beef hash (hash will be moved to next week's menu).
1. Shrimp Cocktail Night
I was going through the freezer to do my menu plan for the week and ran across a bag of shrimp I'd gotten on 5.00 Fridays at Carrs about a month ago and was kind of shocked to find it was pretty badly freezer burned. I turned the bag around to find that a box from a mini-pizza had managed to punch the bottom in such a way that it separated the bag's seam, so it'd just been open to the freezer for goodness knows how long.
I tried to think of something I could do with the shrimp to use it up quickly and decided to do shrimp cocktail.
I make shrimp cocktail KIND OF like Alton Brown, but with some tweaks. I take a pan of water and add 1/2 cup of salt (about) and 1/2 cup of sugar (about) and a couple tablespoons of some acid (in this case some white wine vinegar), mix it up well and then put the shrimp in. I then boil the shrimp till just done in this mixture. The shrimp come out perfectly seasoned every time when I do it this way. It seems like a lot of salt and sugar, but trust me, only a small portion actually absorbs into the shrimp, but it's enough to help make them good!
I then took some Emeril's Baby Bam Seasoning and mixed it up well with the shrimp once I had drained them well, making sure to rub the seasoning into the shrimp with my fingers so that it got into the meat.
I served the shrimp with cocktail sauce (from the fridge) and used that up and then I used up all the little amounts of leftover fries from the freezer so those were taken care of too.
It turned out well. I only had a couple of shrimp that tasted mildly of freezer funk, so I was grateful for that.
Final verdict? The chicken came out tasting a-okay! No freezer funk to be had and nice and heavily seasoned for tacos. I call it a victory!
I now have a huge bowl of taco meat, but I'm thinking I'm going to take some of the leftovers and make taco soup out of it for next week. Sounds good to me!
Irish soda bread. My oven has been having temperature issues (I'm REALLY hoping it just needs to be cleaned as I don't want to have to replace a thermostat right now), so the bread didn't rise very well and we ended up with a kind of doughy tasting small loaf, but we ate it for breakfast toast and it turned out alright for that. The loaf was so small that once we all had toast that pretty much wiped the loaf out *laugh*.
So there you are folks. My frugal adventures for the week. You do anything interesting on the food front this week?