What’s Cooking?

In an effort to take back part of our dining room and our freezer, this month’s menu is largely based on using what we already have in our ‘pantry’ and in our freezer. I’ve also come up with several New Year’s Resolutions. I’ll go through those in another post, but part of our financial goals will involve being good stewards of our money and our finances. I put this aspect of that resolution into action in the last couple months as to not bombard myself at the beginning of this year, so I’m well on my way. The first part of this goal involves couponing and shopping for what’s on sale. That’s what I have been up to for the last month or two. The second part is creating a rotating food storage (no spinning necessary) to prevent waste and spoilage by using what’s oldest first and putting the new stuff in the back. The last part involves building monthly menus around what I have on hand in the freezer, fridge, and in our makeshift pantry. (Weekly or bi-monthly shopping will revolve around what fresh produce is on sale and in season.)

I don’t plan on updating what’s for dinner every day, but when I have good examples of how I’m stretching a buck to feed my family and use what we already have I’ll share with you.

Why did I pick this particular meal? Well, for two reasons. One, Chris wanted spaghetti which was on the monthly menu, just not for last night. He’s sick so I thought I’d be nice and switch last nights’ meal with spaghetti. However, Chris announced at two in the afternoon he wanted French bread with his spaghetti dinner. I wasn’t inclined to get in the car, trudge through the snow, and deal with the entirety of Wal-Mart just for a simple loaf of French bread. I could have gone to Albertson’s but the bread would have likely cost even more and it’s further to drive which means more gas. On the other hand, I wanted to give my husband the meal that he wanted, one that would comfort him when he was sick, and I have wanted to try making my own bread for quite some time now. Secondly, and the reason why spaghetti was on the menu in the first place was because last week we stopped at Winco for something and while we were there I took the opportunity to get cheap, bulk whole wheat spaghetti noodles. I also made spaghetti a couple of weeks ago but used a large jar of sauce and had leftovers. They have been sitting in my freezer taking up precious space ever since and now is as good of time as any to make way for new food like the chicken breasts I need to pick up tomorrow. As for the salad, well, my grandma brought stuff to make salad on Christmas and sent some of the leftover spinach home with me. I love spinach, it’s really healthy, and I need to finish it up before it goes bad. Chris on the other hand will be eating frozen veggies because he despises spinach. Often times I’ll make him suck it up and eat a veggie he doesn’t like but spinach is non-negotiable territory. And last, but certainly not least, at least if you ask Chris, we have dessert. I’m not a big leftovers kind of person but we currently have peanut butter truffle brownies, soda cracker candy, pie, ice cream, and loads of Oreos taking up precious, limited shelf space throughout our teeny, tiny 700 square foot apartment and I WANT IT GONE! I don’t really care for sweets and Chris is only one person (no matter what his stomach tells him) so it takes a while for things to disappears, but I want that junk food out of my house. I would much rather store chicken broth in place of the Oreos and move the frozen veggies that have been stored on the porch for three weeks in a cooler back into the freezer.

Now you may be asking, ‘If he wanted this last night why are you eating it tonight?’ Well, because French bread is not a quick thing to make. It was 9:30 before I took those golden loaves out of the oven. (By the way, they were beautiful and delicious! Maybe yeast isn’t so intimidating after all.)  Around 7:30 we gave in and decided on one more menu shuffle and used our ‘eat out once a week’ night to prevent starvation (haha, yeah right!) and Chris made me suffer through McDonald’s. (Let’s not talk about it.) So tonight, finally, it is homemade French bread with Spaghetti.

Hope you all have a wonderful dinner that’s cheap but good!

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