About Me

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Indiana, United States
I'm a mother of five of my own children, very blessed adoptive mommy to one, step mother to three! Married to a wonderful man who forgives ALOT! Grammy to 6!I also have the best "kids in law" that I could have! I am blessed to be able to baby sit for our grandchildren a few days a week. I am blessed to be able to NOW stay home full time to take care of our home, children, and grandchildren!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Little is Much When God is in it!

I know that I am taking the classic song out of context when I borrow the phrase, "Little is much when God is in it..." and I apply it to our supper a few nights ago. I've been trying very hard to be frugal as we are living on one income in our home. I don't know if it's just me, but I really actually enjoy "frugal living." It seems like everyone is having to do it...or they feel like they have to live frugally in these economic times...but it is more of a way of life for me! I mean, that's the way we were raised.
Many many times my mother would tell us just how much she spent on our supper at night...certainly not to try to make us feel guilty...or even grateful, necessarily, but to show us how we can do much with little money. We lived on a small farm so we gardened and had our own chickens. Sometimes we had a beef calf that we raised as well. Mom would tell us just where all the food had come from, "The green beans were canned from our garden last summer, the apples in our pie came from the ones I peeled and froze,..." and it went on and on. I was impressed and I continue to be impressed by frugality!
I'm doing the same thing for our kids. Very often I will announce how much our supper cost. Usually it is under $5.00 to feed 5 to 6 adult sized appetites. I do this to get the children to understand that in eating out...even for fast food (if it qualifies as food)... it is hard to feed just one person on less than $5.00. We don't eat out as a family very often but when we do, wow!! I cringe at how much it costs! I could feed us for almost a week for what it costs for one meal at a restaurant!

That takes me back to our frugal meal we had recently. I'm a very thrifty shopper and EVERY TIME I go to the store...to run in and pick up a few gallons of milk or whatever...I take a quick trip to the meat section. My eyes have become very good at picking out the stickers that indicate that it is the last day they can sell certain packages of meat! Those are incredible bargains and there is nothing wrong with that package of meat! I buy what I KNOW my family will use and either freeze it or cook it immediately and freeze it in the prepared state for a future meal. I recently bought 10 pounds of sausage for 99 cents a pound that is usually about $4.00 a pound. THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF, not off brands or unreliable brands. I do try to be careful about how much sausage I give my family since it is high in fat. I brown in on the stove, run very hot water through it to rid it of excess fat and even squeeze as much out as possible.
I am also a "saver"...of everything! (gets me in trouble sometimes...) I save the ends of loaves of bread, the last hot dog bun, homemade bread that we didn't completely finish, bread sticks, WHATEVER, and I freeze them until I have enough to make a "breakfast casserole." That's what I made for supper the other night! I fed six people...and had leftovers...for $3.50! Here's my recipe and how I did it....

Beth's Breakfast Casserole

Spray the bottom and sides of a casserole or cake pan with non stick spray. Break leftover bread, biscuits, rolls, or whatever you have into pieces...slightly larger than bite size...and lay in the bottom of the pan. This should be well covered. (This can be a thinner layer if you're trying to cut back on the bread consumption.) (Since I used various breads I've collected in my freezer which normally would be thrown away or left to get stale or moldy I considered it "free" and didn't include it in the cost of the meal...)
Next, brown approx. one pound of sausage and drain and rinse. Sprinkle it on top of the bread.
(This was the 99 cent sausage so...thus far I've spent 99 cents!)
I buy our shredded cheese in bulk at Sam's or Costco. I used approx. 1 1/2 cup, more or less depending on what I have on hand. (I used about $1.00 worth....so far I've used $1.99. ) Sprinkle on top of the sausage and bread.
Since I was planning to feed six people, I used a dozen eggs. Often I buy the cheaper "repackaged" eggs from the store...anyway, I figured I used about $1.00 (sometimes a little more depending on sales, or if I purchased the eggs in bulk etc...) (Now I've spent about $3.00 or so...)I crack the eggs into a large bowl, add a little bit of milk...maybe 1/2 cup? I then add whatever spices I want...onions, salt, pepper, red or green peppers into the mix and beat with a fork or whisk. (estimating maybe 50 cents worth??) Then simply pour over the layer in the pan making sure the bread has absorbed as much of the egg mixture as possible.
I've been thinking of adding vegetables to this mixture just before I pour in the eggs. Possibly a bag of frozen carrots and peas to make it a more well rounded dish and get the kids to eat more veggies! This will probably add $1.50 to the cost.
I then bake at 400degrees until the top is nicely browned. I use a knife to make sure all the egg mixture is thoroughly cooked...if not, just put it back into the oven for a few more minutes and then test again. This usually takes a total of about 25 minutes depending on how many eggs were used.

Along with the egg casserole, I served homemade chunky apple sauce. This was another freebie...but you can buy a jar of applesauce for around a dollar if you shop carefully...family dollar stores, etc....

THIS IS NOT A MEAL I PREPARE FOR MY FAMILY OFTEN BECAUSE OF THE FAT CONTENT IN THE CHEESE, EGGS AND SAUSAGE. This is just an example of an inexpensive meal. I usually made MUCH healthier meals using low fat chicken breasts and veggies!

I'll post more frugal meal ideas later!
Because of God's Grace,

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