Yesterday’s lunch was a feast, as is the Easter tradition in my family. My family is part Eastern European and Easter is the big holiday, bigger than Christmas or anything else. We dined on a huge platter of ham and assorted sausages (part of the tradition) and cabbage rolls as the main course. The sides were pretty simple—baked apples, green bean casserole, boiled eggs, assorted relishes, and lime congealed salad. We had homemade chess pie for dessert. We completely forgot to put the rolls in the oven and will save them for another occasion. Needless to say, after such a big meal, we have tons of leftovers.
Remember that the meal plan is for 2 adults and a child. I’m hosting a jewelry party this week, and we’ll most likely have at least one friend or relative over to dine with us at some point. I calculate the cost of the meal when initially making it, and because of that, leftovers are marked at $0. When we go to restaurants, that money comes from our entertainment budget and will also be marked at $0.
Leftovers. Did you really have to ask after reading the first paragraph??? ;)
Ways I saved on this meal—I really enjoy cooking, but this time of the year when it is hotter outside I like to cook once and eat multiple times so that I don’t heat up the house too much. I do what I can to prepare larger portions and either freeze them or eat them later in the week. I’ll most likely freeze the sausage to save for jambalaya at another time. I’ll chop and freeze the ham and use it in quiches, omelets, or pasta dishes.
Leftovers. Yes, again. We will have a lot of food to eat!
Ways I saved on this meal—Have you noticed that I haven’t cooked anything from scratch yet this week because of leftovers?? Love that! I’ll probably throw some veggies from the garden on the plates to change things up a little.
A friend and I prepare the meal for the children’s program at church on Wednesday nights. These meals are sometimes subject to change if I find another good deal or if I find a good deal on veggies and/or fruit.
Tonight we have planned roasted chicken, corn on the cob, cucumber slices with ranch, and fruit.
Ways I saved on this meal—Out of the church budget. The foods on this list are on sale at Kroger this week. I’ll bake the chicken at home and pull it from the bone to make it easier for the kids to eat. We’ll have corn on the cob cut in half to make it go a little farther. The cucumbers were a good enough price to buy them and we’ll use the Ranch dressing that was leftover from a recent church function. The fruit will depend on what looks good at the store.
I’m having a jewelry party at the house tonight. The rep asked me to keep things simple, though that is hard for me to do when hosting people around supper time. Here’s the plan at this point:
Carrots and Celery Sticks with dip, maybe some radishes from the garden if any are big enough
Dessert platter of macaroons, brownies, and some sort of other cookie
Sweetened and unsweetened tea
Approximate cost--$10, for a party, that isn’t too shabby!
Ways I saved on this meal—The pepperoni are from packages I bought when on sale at Kroger and I had a coupon. Each pack was only 50cts. The crackers were some Ritz that I caught a deal with coupon and Mega Event sale. The herbs from the cream cheese spread will come from the garden and the cream cheese was some I bought on sale. The organic carrots and celery was some I caught on sale, and the dip will be some Annie’s dressing that I picked up for free after coupons and Mega Event at Kroger. Relishes were canned last year by me, mostly from foods found in our garden. We buy the macaroons at Three Rivers Market and I happen to get them on sale while they were celebrating their 30th birthday and giving an additional 10% discount. The brownies are some Duncan Hines that I had a coupon for, making them less than $1 a box.
Simple meal of pasta with veggies from the garden.
You’ll see this meal repeated relatively often this time of the year, as it is a great way to make a meal out of the veggies that are just starting to be ready for harvest.
Ways I saved on this meal—Since the pasta was free after coupon and the veggies are free from the garden (cost of seeds and such comes from a different part of the family budget), this is a very inexpensive meal. I’ll add some capers, olive oil, and lemon juice to the dish as a free form sauce. So simple and yum!
Lamb on the grill with a bit of rosemary and olive oil
Grits, cheesy if I still have enough cheese in the fridge
Dressed salad greens from the garden
Ways I saved on this meal—We haven’t eaten lamb in a while, mainly because we were so excited about the beef that we’ve been dining on it more often. We purchased 1/2 of a lamb with friends from a farmer friend late last year. By doing it this way, the cost per pound is around $6. The herbs were from the garden and the olive oil was some that I picked up at Sam’s. The grits were absolutely delicious ones that I bought at the farmers market—really out of this world good. Since the recipe only calls for a small amount of grits and makes a large pot full, it is an economical dish as well as a yummy one. The salad greens will be a mixture of broccoli leaves, bok choy, spinach, Romaine, radish leaves, and pea sprouts. The dressing will most likely be some of the Annie’s that I bought on sale with coupon and scored for free. However, sometimes I prefer to serve the lamb on top of the greens and the marinade and drippings from it serve as the dressing for the salad. Yum!
I know it is a little hot for soup, but I so enjoy it year round.
Beef soup with cabbage
Ways I saved on this meal—My dad gave me a head of cabbage that he didn’t use on the cabbage rolls. I’ll use some of the beef soup bones from the 1/8 of a locally grown, pastured steer we recently purchased with friends. I’ll use whatever other veggies I have available in the pantry, freezer and fridge, as soups tend to be one of those everything but the kitchen sink kind of foods for me.