Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Update on my "No shopping Challange"

  We are still plugging away at trying to use what we have and make yummy meals by working creatively with the foods that we do have.  Last week I did mention that I would be visiting the grocery store that evening to go to a meeting which would include eating supper from the deli and then I also had a few things I would buy. They had large pieces of pizza in the deli for $1 each so I got two and then drank water for a meal of just $2. I was happy about that!

Ken's gift which he very much enjoyed.
I did also buy some groceries- mostly special things for Valentine's day and fruit because we were hungry for it. What I bought was: A bunch of bananas, 5 lbs of grapefruit (Aaron had regularly been reminding me that I had said that we would get grapefruit this winter), a tomato and lettuce (Ken had been bemoaning that all we had lately was cabbage salad and he missed his lettuce so I thought that would be a treat for our valentine's day supper), 5 lbs of onions (I was missing these and knew that I was going to need them for a church event where I had been assigned to make potato salad- Mara thought it was rather unnecessary for me to buy these.), strawberries (to make Ken's valentine present- I had been planning to do this for months) cottage cheese (to make lasagna for Valentines day) and cream cheese (It was on sale and I used one along with some frozen goat cheese to make cheesecake and froze the other one for another treat later.). The total cost was $18.90. Also during the last week Ken did stop to buy 4 gallons of milk ($13). So far we have bought 8 gallons total this month. We have definitely reduced our consumption.

  Even thought we have bought some things obviously the majority of our food has come from what we already had one hand. We are still eating pretty good too!

 The other morning we were eating oatmeal with blueberries and Mara said "Take a picture!, it is so pretty!" So I did.  A good wholesome breakfast like this is indeed pretty.
 Though the boy eating it is even more fun to look at in my opinion!

  We have had some adjusting to do in our cooking habits as I ran out of oil a while back. I do have butter (which I did stock up on this month) but I have been trying to use it pretty frugally- mainly just on bread and potatoes and then small amounts in things like cookies. I do also still have some coconut oil but have been using that very minimally as well.

  In some things I make I have just been leaving the oil out (and generally it works fine) or substituting something like applesauce or shredded zucchini instead and then I did also render down some beef tallow (I hope to go into more detail on this next week). Beef tallow which is from our grass fed, hormone free natural beef is actually quite good for you- also we get it free along with our beef so learning to use it is a good idea. I do think it stinks but I can deal with a little stink while I am working with it as long as things still taste good.

  So far my baking with it has been very successful. Last night I made biscuits using tallow which although they look kind of hard were actually pretty fluffy inside and everybody here thought they were yummy.
  The bread I made with tallow turned out very nicely!
I also used tallow to make tortillas which worked well. That was my first try and I was pretty sceptical because not only was I using tallow instead of oil but also since I had run out of white flour they were going to have to be completely whole wheat (which tortillas have been one of our hold-outs with using 100% WW). They worked out fine. Even Ken, when I mentioned that I had been concerned, verified that they were just fine. Success!

 We are also starting to run out of a few other things- The other day I set the last jar of purchased salsa which was 3/4 of the way full (Ken's preference) on the counter and then knocked it off with my elbow when I turned around. It broke and all was wasted. I was thinking "Why did it have to be that!" but decided it was certainly no use crying over spilt Salsa. I'll either barter for more, make meals that don't need it or break down and buy it after all. I also discovered that I ran out of oatmeal. That came as a bit of a shock as I had thought I still had buckets full of it. Oh well! Jonathan was sad about this one too but I reminded him that he loves rice as a hot cereal too as well as cream of wheat (which we make from our ground wheat) and cornmeal mush. I don't think we will be able to make granola or granola bars but we will survive and maybe I will get really creative!

  During this last week I did also order my garden seeds (a very necessary purchase even though I did save quite a few seeds last year) and my business bought flowers for the bridal show that I had a booth at. This was also a necessary purchase but we have been enjoying them since the show.

  I have had no desire to do other shopping. My mom mentioned that some sweaters that I liked were on sale for $3 at JC Penney's and maybe for a second I was tempted to go shopping but not for long. Mostly during this time of little shopping I have spent much more time thinking about How MUCH we have rather than any thoughts of not having what I want or wanting more. We are exceedingly blessed!

  I hope that if you are trying to live frugally or get by on what you have that you will find our challenge encouraging.  It is possible and can be very fun to try to live on less!


JoannaTopazT said...

Just curious if you have a timeframe in mind for an official "end" to this no-shopping season? Also, more details on replacing oil with shredded zucchini, please! I have a bunch of shredded zucchini in the freezer from last summer!

Ang said...

hey there I have been reading your blog and not posting so i thought i would let you know I have been making more homemade soup and tomorrow am going to try and not shop for a week. Thanks for the ideas.


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