Thursday, November 30, 2017

What Heather's making on $200 a week

If you're anything like me and trying to save money on groceries but don't have a clue how to do it, join me in learning how to be frugal when your heart wants to be anything but.

Day 2 of living on a budget. p.s. it sucks.

My new rule about protein is it cannot cost more than $3 a pound. Otherwise it'll eat up my entire budget. This will probably mean a lot of roast chickens going forward. Whole chickens are cheap.

So, as I'm considering what to make for dinner tonight, here's what I know: yes, roast chicken is the main using this tried and true recipe, sadly missing the potatoes.. But I need a side. It's always the sides that get me. 

There will be the last of my carrots and celery cooking with the chicken, and I have a giant pack of unopened Costco broccoli florets just giving me the eye. Sigh. Broccoli is fine, but just fine. I also have a batch of already cooked rice that I didn't use yesterday as I didn't make the dal I was thinking about.

After an exhaustive search I've landed on this rice casserole recipe. With the intent to swap out the spinach for broccoli. I've run out of onions, so will swap out some ancient dried onion flakes from goodness only knows when. Reminder for next week: 5 onions, at least.

3:00 Prepare chicken by salting it all over, including under the skin. Put in fridge.
4:15 Turn oven to 425 and start prepping carrots and celery
4:30 Put chicken in oven without carrots and celery. Set timer for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
4:35 Prepare casserole and put in oven until the chicken comes out at 6:00
5:15 Scatter carrots and celery around cast iron skillet
6:00 Remove chicken from oven and let rest. Put rice casserole in oven and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

As I have no picture of this meal, I'll tease myself with that which I don't have: an onion from Thanksgiving. Also, don't have the fresh herbs. I'm sure dried or just salt and pepper will do. Besides, basil seems weird, here, so that's not a loss.

I'll get back to you with how it all turns out.

Random observations:

I've bloody burned myself on the oven twice now, resulting in blisters and scaring my dogs because of the amount of cursing. Take care, will you?

Need staples on hand at all times. This includes flour, sugar, even yeast. Add to that long-lasting veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, celery, and carrots. Legumes like dried beans and lentils. Dairy: butter, cheese, milk, cottage cheese, and sour cream.

And finally, time. Luckily I am a writer and have the time to make things from scratch. I just need to plan better. But, gosh, I sure am a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-kind-of-gal when it comes to cooking.

Wish me luck, I'm going to need it, and happy frugal-ing.

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