Author: NicoleCarpenter

Frugal food and eating on a $25 weekly budget.

Frugal food and eating on a $25 weekly budget.

This is a series of post on eating on a $25 weekly budget.  Click here for the beginning post. It is somewhat hard to give an example of a “normal” week or month of frugal food around here. It can change on what is most […]

Easy way to plant Pepper Plants

Easy way to plant Pepper Plants

As I wrote about previously, I like to individually plant my seeds in egg shells.  This is how I usually plant pepper plants.  While I did plant some pepper plants in egg shells this year, I also planted some in flat trays.  The Banana Pepper […]

A healthy grocery list on a $25 weekly budget

A healthy grocery list on a $25 weekly budget

healthy grocery list on a budget

This is post # 3 of a series of post on eating on a $25 weekly budget.  Click here for the beginning post.

What does a fairly healthy grocery list look like on a $25 weekly budget?  (I won’t claim that everything on our grocery list is healthy.  That is why I say, a “fairly healthy grocery list.”  If you want to eat completely organic, check out how this family does it on $188 a month.)

We purchase a few ready-made foods, dried pasta (the regular macaroni or spaghetti noodles because they are the cheapest. I like the shell or bow noodles as much as any girl, but it’s just paying for the shape.), tortilla chips (cheaper and healthier than most any other kind of chip or crunchy food along that line), and tortilla shells (Homemade ones break easier so they do not work as well in Paul’s lunch.), and occasionally crackers.

The sort of stuff we do not buy is box cereal, ready-made sauces (spaghetti sauce, etc.), “instant” products (oatmeal, rice, etc.), gravy or seasoning packets, boxed foods (macaroni, rice mixes, cake mixes, etc.), precut or made salads, fruits, or vegetables, bread (with the occasional exception of hot dog buns, since hot dogs are un-healthy anyway, I sometimes go ahead and buy a cheap package of hot dog buns for .80 cents or less at Aldi.), pre-made canned foods (soup, etc.) and frozen dinners.

While many of those items are expensive, some of them might be cheaper store bought. Such as, a cheap loaf of store bought bread might very well be less expensive than making it. However, we are not only considering a frugal grocery list, but a healthy grocery list. Homemade whole wheat bread is far healthier than cheap store bought white bread.  And simple homemade granola cereal has no food coloring or high fructose corn syrup.

So what kind of foods goes on a healthy grocery list while trying to maintain a low weekly budget? The grocery cart might vary, so let’s just look at what our freezers and pantry generally has in them. The freezers hold frozen juice concentrate (we drink mostly water, but when we want orange juice for a big breakfast, it is most convenient to have the non-sugar-filled concentrate in the freezer), butter, frozen garden vegetables, frozen wild berries we picked in the summer, meat (just plain pounds of raw pork, beef, and chicken with the exception of corn beef, sausage, and sometimes hotdogs), maybe a homemade pre-made meal (left over spaghetti, slices of homemade bread, stuffed bell peppers etc.), and ice-cream (sigh, yes I have to admit it! That is one reason this is only speaking of a “fairly” healthy grocery list!).

Refrigerator foods would be garden vegetables such as lettuce, carrots and beets, also purchased milk, eggs, butter, condiments, maple syrup, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and maybe some few store-bought fruits and vegetable we do not grow such as celery and oranges.

Other usual items we have around are all the garden vegetable in the summer, and in the winter the garden storable vegetables of onions, butternut squash, and potatoes. Store bought items would be the common ingredients needed for cooking – seasonings and spices, yeast, baking powder, soy sauce, oil, vinegar, etc. Then – honey, wheat berries, popcorn kernels (no microwave stuff. We also grind our own cornmeal from the kernels), bananas (or apples in the fall), raisins, brown rice, dried beans, some nuts, peanut butter, cocoa, chocolate chips, tortilla shells, tortilla chips, oats, pasta, and maybe grits. Because we grow and freeze vegetables like tomatoes and green beans, we buy very little canned goods. Olives is about the only regular canned foods we keep, though sometimes we might have canned tuna or something like canned tart cherries. You may sometimes find other foods in the house, but those are the usual ones.

Click here for the 4th post in this series.


Other Ideas


Gift Ideas for the Homemakers and Homesteaders

Gift Ideas for the Homemakers and Homesteaders

Here are some gift ideas for the practical person.  I love pretty things.  I’m also very practical.  The older I get, the less I like “stuff.”  I wouldn’t quite fit into the minimalist camp, but headed in that direction!  While horse, goat, or flower figurines […]

How we meet the $25 weekly grocery budget and eat healthy food

How we meet the $25 weekly grocery budget and eat healthy food

This is post # 2 of an eating fairly healthy food on a $25 weekly grocery budget series.  Click here for the beginning article. An important key to us being able save money and eat healthy food while on a tight grocery budget is having […]

Avocado egg salad

Avocado egg salad

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado egg salad is healthier than regular egg salad. It works particularly well for someone who cannot eat mayonnaise due to food allergies. Plus, I like avocado egg salad better than regular egg salad. There was a time I would have never thought I’d say that because I did not care of avocados at all. But marriage changes some things. Marrying someone who likes avocados was a good thing.

Avocado egg salad is as simple as replacing the mayonnaise with mashed up avocados. I use four boiled eggs for each avocado, ¼ tsp. of salt and pepper and a bit of pickle juice. I do not measure the pickle juice. I just add a bit till it has the moister content that is desirable. The pickle juice is from homemade pickles. If I am out of cucumber pickle juice, I use the juice from pickled okra, or even pickled beans.

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado Egg Salad

2 avacodes
8 boiled eggs
½ tsp. salt & pepper
Pickle juice

Mash up the eggs and avocado. Then mix in the salt, pepper, and pickle juice. We eat this on homemade refrigerator rising bread. It is also good on crackers.

Avocado Egg Salad

Have you noticed my cute goat kid glass cutting board? I am very fond of it. It has cheered many a chopping hours in the last five years. I was hoping if something ever happened to this one that it could be replaced. Recently, I looked to see if it was still being sold and could not find it. I did find this goat glass cutting board though, and it is nearly just as cute.

Avocado stuffed eggs can be made similar to avocado egg salad. Of course you would only mash up the egg yolks with the avocado and stuff it into the whites. I really like avocado stuffed eggs as well. However, I think they are best eaten right away while the eggs are still warm. They do not taste as good once they are cold. Plus, avocados turn dark after a while. So avocado stuffed eggs do not make the best make a head and refrigerate dish.

Avocado Egg Salad

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 avacodos
  • 8 boiled eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt & pepper
  • Pickle juice

Instructions

  1. Mash up the eggs and avocado. Then mix in the salt, pepper, and pickle juice.

Other Ideas:


Saving money, our $25 weekly grocery budget goal

Saving money, our $25 weekly grocery budget goal

Last year, our weekly average grocery bill was $25 for two adults. Saving money is my way of contributing to the household. Ever since we got married, Paul has budgeted $50 a week for our groceries. I tried saving money from this each week to […]

Homemade Biscuits Heart Shaped

Homemade Biscuits Heart Shaped

We eat homemade biscuits often enough that I don’t have to pull out a recipe for it because it is memorized.  Often when Paul asks how long some food preparation will take me, I’m never quite sure.  This is one thing I at least have […]

Simple, easy Granola Cereal

Simple, easy Granola Cereal

simple easy granola cereal

Simple, easy Granola Cereal – and that I like it that way.  I enjoy cooking.  Often, I enjoy creative cooking, and making all sorts of foods from scratch, including other very time consuming cold cereal recipes.  Usually titles such as “quick dinners” and “easy desserts” do not attract my attention.

But this simple, easy granola cereal is different.  It is simple and that is the way I like it.  We have been using the basics of this recipe since I was a child.  Occasionally, my mother would try a different granola cereal recipe, but I wasn’t all that happy to try another one.  This was THE recipe.  It just wasn’t to be embellished.  If anything, I made a couple of changes that made it even simpler.  My husband will eat overnight refrigerator oatmeal, which is quick and simple too, but he likes this granola cereal better.

If you are looking for something to replace the un-healthy store bought cereals, but don’t have a lot of time to cook, give this recipe a try!

Honey or sugar may be used.  If you are using honey, the cereal will not bake quite as dry as it does with sugar.  It gets a little crunchier with sugar.

I personally love pecans and coconut in mine.  However, due to the expense of both of those foods and due to our tight food budget, I seldom put nuts or coconut in ours and have them listed as optional.  I also have raisins listed as optional, but my husband does not think raisins are optional in granola cereal!  So, ours always has raisins.  Raisins are already dried and I do not like them dried out even more, so I always add them to the granola after it is baked.

Cooking time will vary on your pans.  I use a glass 9×13 and it takes almost an hour.  If you had a larger pan so that it could spread out more, it would probably not take as long.

granola cereal

Simple, easy Granola Cereal

1 cup butter, melted

1 cup honey or sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

8 cups oats

1 cup nuts (optional)

1 cup coconut (optional)

1 cup raisins (optional)

Mix the honey or sugar and the vanilla into the melted butter.  Stir the butter/honey mixture into the oats.  If you are using nuts or coconut, stir them in as well.

Spread into at least a 9×13 inch pan and bake at 3:50 for about 45-60 minutes.  Stir at least every 20 minutes so that the oat mixture cooks and browns evenly.  If you are using raisins, stir them in after the cereal comes out of the oven.


simple easy granola cereal

Simple, easy Granola Cereal

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup honey or sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 8 cups oats
  • 1 cup nuts optional
  • 1 cup coconut optional
  • 1 cup raisins optional

Instructions

  1. Mix the honey or sugar and the vanilla into the melted butter. Stir the butter/honey mixture into the oats. If you are using nuts or coconut, stir them in as well.
  2. Spread into at least a 9x13 inch pan and bake at 3:50 for about 45-60 minutes. Stir at least every 20 minutes so that the oat mixture cooks and browns evenly. If you are using raisins, stir them in after the cereal comes out of the oven.

Other Ideas


Heart Shaped Food for Breakfast – Hearts in our Grits

Heart Shaped Food for Breakfast – Hearts in our Grits

Paul eats breakfast at 6:00 during the week.  And while I am very thankful that is later than it used to be, it is still early.  Early enough that I don’t want to be up an hour before making a big breakfast.  We love grits, […]