I purchased two boneless pork roasts, on sale for $1.99 lb. (If I can find meat for under $2 a pound these days, I'm REAL happy!). I kept one roast whole to have in the freezer for a "company" meal. Pork roasts are definitely my "go to" company dinner.
The second roast I had the butcher (in this case, just the guy who happens to work in the meat department - I doubt he's a true butcher) slice it in 3/4 inch slices. The end result is 14 beautiful boneless pork chops at $1.99 a pound instead of $4.19. I used my FoodSaver vacuum sealer to seal up two chops per bag - that's 7 meals in the freezer at a $2.19 lb. savings.
Bone-in ham was also on sale for $1.49 a pound. Again, I had the butcher slice it in 1 inch slices for me. This gave me 7 very large ham "steaks" - each ham steak is two meals for us. I had him leave the end 5-6 inches in one piece, and I'll use this to make ham and bean or ham and lentil soup this winter. I'll add carrots, diced potatoes, onions beans or lentils and hope to get about 16 quarts of soup. Ham steaks currently go for $3.99 lb. and a simple ham hock goes for even more! Those are huge savings for me.
This week I made two loaves of honey wheat bread, and a chocolate sourdough cake - both from scratch, of course. Mr. B took home one loaf of the bread (oh my, he does love my homemade bread!), with a jar of my strawberry jam to go with it. The chocolate sourdough cake - ehhh... I didn't care for it too much, though Jeff loved it. I used a peanut butter frosting with it - thinking chocolate and peanut butter go well -- but the frosting over-powered the cake. The cake on it's own has a rather "flat" taste - perhaps if I make it again I might add a little coffee to it to give it a jolt of flavor.
I went to the grocery store once this week. I bought butter. TWENTY POUNDS of butter! It was on sale for $2.59 a pound, down from $4.19. I've been patiently waiting for butter to go on sale for several weeks. I simply toss the boxes of butter into the freezer - no wrapping, no vac seal bags. They stay just fine. Hopefully this much butter will last until the next sale. Boxes of pasta were also on sale for .49 a box. I picked up 5 boxes of elbow macaroni, 5 boxes of spaghetti, and 5 boxes of miscellaneous other pasta. I had a coupon for $1.00 off, so two of those boxes were free!
Potatoes are always on sale in November and December, so I bought two 8 pound bags of russet potatoes, and canned one bag, resulting in 8 jars of potatoes I can pull out a jar to make mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, or use in soup. I left the other bag as-is and stored them in the dark part of the basement so they will be available for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
We had sausage and lentil soup for dinner last night. I canned it in December of 2013, so it needed to get eaten (I try and keep to a one year shelf life on all my canned items). Oh my - it was so good! Made with kielbasa sausage, lentils, carrots, potatoes and green beans. I made corn bread to go with it - from my Make Your Own Jiffy Cornbread mix - and they went with the soup perfectly. That was the last of my mix, so today I had to make up more. I haven't found a recipe to make this in "bulk", so came up with my own.
Make Your Own Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp salt
Mix these well and store in an air tight container or jar.
To make cornbread or corn muffins:
1 1/2 cup mix
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
(I also add: 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp sugar, plus I use 2 eggs instead of 1. We like ours a little "cakier" than standard cornbread.)
Mix ingredients, put in greased muffin tin or square or round cake pan. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes. (I take them out, brush with butter, and put back in the oven for another 2 mins.) Let cool a few minutes before serving.
So now I have plenty of pork chops, ham, chicken and ground beef in my freezer, along with bacon and pork sausage. I even have about 10 lbs of cod fish frozen from a sale a few weeks ago. I believe I have everything I need to make Thanksgiving dinner except for the turkey, which I'll order fresh. My freezer is quite literally full, and my canning and dehydrating shelves are full as well.
I think it's time for a new grocery challenge - with the exception of coffee, milk, eggs and cheese, I'm challenging myself to NO grocery shopping for the months of November AND December! Oh my! Can I do it!?
|Dehydrated vegetables and fruits|