Monday, August 31, 2009

$7.00 Dinner

A day before payday and $7.00 left for dinner. Went to the grocery store and wandered up and down the aisles for inspiration. $7.00 is just not enough. Nothing was inspiring me. I went to my favorite section of the store (the discounted meat they put out in a small area) and the only thing they had that looked okay was a package of ground pork for $1.99. After wandering around some more, I hurried back for that package with a plan to incorporate it with items already in the pantry. I also picked up a loaf of garlic bread which was $2.99. I could have gotten a loaf for $2.50 but got the one my family prefers. Had $2.00 left and wanted to get some kind of cookies for the boys for dessert. Nothing for that amount in the cookie/cracker aisle. I checked out the slice and bake varieties and got one of those although it was $2.50. I actually had to dig on the bottom of my purse to come up with the change for the tax!

So, what did I end up making? A great homemade spaghetti sauce with two cans of Italian style tomatoes to which I added onion, garlic, pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and salt. Simmered for 30 minutes and served with some Italian green beans and the garlic toast. Now I'll make the chocolate chip cookies. Warm from the oven and with glasses of milk that will be a nice finish to the meal.

The boys were very approving of my sauce and went back for seconds. Although we had meals out on Thur. and Sun., the rest of the weekend we made do with turkey hot dogs and chicken patties. It feels good to be thrifty, resourceful, creative and a decent cook when I do cook.

Today I am grateful:

1. For the sound of crickets at night this time of year.
2. For the Recession-busting lower prices at the stores. The manager at the Chicago-area chain I was at today made an announcement over the intercom and said that they are trying to help with the lower prices because of the tougher times we're ALL facing. I liked that all-inclusive acknowledgment.
3. For being able to feed the boys another month.
4. For cool sheets and pillow cases but a warm comforter on top.
5. For kids who tell you they've finished their homework.


  1. You make me want to write a list of things I'm grateful for... and yes, it feels good to be thrifty and come out with something great at the same time. Your meal sounded so good you had my mouth watering :-)

  2. I never would have thought of that kind of meal. I remember, back in the day, when my daughter and I ate peanut butter sandwiches and popcorn and milk for supper towards the end of the month. Life can be so darn hard at times, but have a grateful spirit--I love that about you.

  3. Jude -

    I fed the boys but needed something for myself and your mention of a peanut butter sandwich sounded pretty good so I am having a toasted one(with some strawberry jam) and a glass of milk. Despite the hard times over the past year, I've always managed to feel the boys a pretty decent meal - although I have been the one to resort to peanut butter when necessary. Toasted wheat bread and some jam seems to make them a bit more "gourmet" for me.

    I may have some popcorn later if I'm still hungry!