Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Making Onion Bhajis

I needed a side dish.

 I was in the RV.

I had few vegetable options.

 So I googled.

And, I decided to do a version of Onion Bhajis:  basically onion rings without rings and with extra seasoning.

I need to say that traditional Bhajis contain coriander.  I didn't have any so I left it out.

My Onion Bhajis:

1  onion cut in half and then sliced thinly
2 eggs, beaten with a fork
1 cup flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp cumin

Mix all together.  Fry in small rounds in oil until each side is quite brown.

Great taste for a person who loves onion rings but struggles to make them successfully.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Use Up Those Vegetables Deliciously

Vegetable/Potato Pancakes

I love potato pancakes.  But I think about nutrition.  So, I mix other vegetables in with the potatoes most of the time.  But, if you want to, you can make them the traditional way with all potatoes.


Shred potatoes and one or more of the other vegetables.  Use what you have.

Wrap in a towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  Use an old, stained towel.  Doing this will make the stains worse.

Return to a bowl.  Add an egg or two and some flour depending on the amount of vegetables you have.  This will help hold them together.

Fry in oil or bacon grease.  Salt and pepper.

Serve with sour cream and apple sauce.

This recipe is a good way to use up leftover vegetables or the items in the bottom of your crisper drawer.  Anything goes.

Pasta Primavera:

Look in your fridge and freezer for bits and pieces of vegetables.

I like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, and spinach or kale.

 I also add some cooked dried beans or green soy beans for protein.

Steam, microwave or roast the vegetables.

Cook some pasta of your choice.  Mix the vegetables with the pasta.

Make a white sauce with cheese or use pesto to dress the pasta and vegetable mixture.

Serve with more cheese.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Middlefield, Ohio Bargains

Mike and I took the RV and headed to Amish country just south and east of Cleveland.  While there we did a little ( a lot) of shopping.

Salvage Groceries:  Couldn't resist.

Vanilla wafers for lake (2), 4 count storage containers (2) under household, minced sun dried tomatoes for lake,  46 oz. tomato juice, Pam (4), marshmallows for lake, gallon of white vinegar, sugar cone ice cream bowls, sauerkraut, 3 bean salad, corn, beignet mix, coconut (2) for lake, jerky, roasted red peppers (2) for lake, barley, macaroni and cheese (6), cookies (3), crispy onions, mandarin oranges for the lake, pie crust mix (6), cream soup (3), Pepperidge Farm sourdough bread, hello (3) for the lake, canning lids (4) under household, cereal (4), crackers (2) for the lake, salad dressings (4), oatmeal, crackers (6), pasta salad (4) for the lake, beef bouillon, coffee (6), liquid plumber under household, low carb tortillas (4), breakfast bars (6), gallon of corn oil, 11 lbs, cat food under household, broth (2), shelf stable soy milk (2), candy bars (5), chocolate mint morsels (2), tuna (3), crunchy peanut butter (2), canned white beans (4), lasagna noodles, diced tomatoes (2)   115 items for $102.07
I call that a bargain.

Cheese Co-Op:  The Original Middlefield Cheese

I buy the cheese on special.  I know you're surprised to hear that.  :)

Today it was Swiss and sharp cheddar.

The cost per pound was $2.59.  We bought about  8 pounds for $20.57

I also look for the deli cheese ends.  These are only $2.00 / pound.  Today we were lucky to get  a mixed bag of cheese types of just over 4 pounds for $8.06.

So, for $28.63 we are now stocked up with about 12 pounds of cheese at an average cost of  $2.39/ pound.  And this is really good cheese.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Huge Salvage Shop

I haven't been salvage shopping in awhile.
 My cupboards showed it.
The length of my receipt showed it.
And my bill showed it.

 I didn't get everything I was looking for (no baking powder, Pam, olives, cocoa, beets, raisins, cumin, cayenne, chilli powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, soy sauce) but I did stock up on quite a few things, as you can see below.

Kellogg's pastry thins for the RV     4@$0.89
Black sesame seeds to make sesame oil.    8 oz @$0.99
Salad croutons     2 @ $0.79
Boxed potato mix for the RV.    3@$0.49 box
Cereal     $0.99
Barilla spaghetti  2@ $0.79/lb
Chicken broth  48 0 ounces.    $1.50
Maggie seasoning.     $1.50
Organic Cereal   4@ $1.50/box
Creme.    2@0.49
Barilla rigatoni .     2@$0.99/lbs
Crackers      7@$0.79/box.     Two are for the lake later this summer
Townhouse crackers, large box. $1.00
Dried cranberries.     2@.99/bag
Ginger Snaps for the RV.    $0.79
Gluten free crackers.     2@$0.99/box
Natural peanut butter .   5@$1.99/jar
Small bags of Snyder's sourdough pretzels.     4@$0.35 /bag
5 grain hot cereal.    $0.99
Candy bars for the  RV  5@ .25/bar
Dry ranch salad dressing mix.     4@$0.50/envelope.   2 for the lake
Corn meal     $0.50/5lbs
BBQ sauce .    $0.65/bottle
Organic no salt green beans.     2@$0.49/can
Crushed pineapple.     $0.69/ plastic container .    For the lake.
Steel cut oatmeal.     $0.99/bag
Mayo.     4@$0.25/quart
Cheeze Its, small bags for the RV .    4@$0.25/bag
Salad dressing.     2@$0.25/bottle
Tea bags.     2@$1.99/box of forty
Coconut cookies for the RV .    2@$0.99/tray
Italian salad dressing to use as a marinade      7@$0.10/bottle.    For the lake.
Pizza crust      2 for $0.10
Coffee      7@2.99/bag
Coffee .    1@$1.99/bag
Crushed pineapple .    $0.99/can .   For the lake.
Velveeta family size macaroni the cheese for the RV.   2 for a total of $0.99
Stovetop for the RV     2@$0.79each
Lime juice.      $0.99
Mandarins.  $0.69/ plastic container.     For the lake.:/
Cashews.     $1.25/bag
Wet cat food.     4@$0.29/can

Grand total:    105 items for $93.68

As my husband just said, I need to go more often so the list isn't as long and the bill isn't as big.  But I don't think I did so bad.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Buying and Eating: May 1-15

We began May with a monthly allotment of $381.30 according to the government's thrifty plan for food.  We are carrying over a cushion of $849.06 in total, with $465.47 being from this year.

What We Ate:  BBQ pork ribs, grilled Italian zucchini, leftover sweet potatoes from the freezer, garlic sourdough toast;  vegetable fried rice, onion bhajis,  melon; Italian marinated ribs, fresh green beans, melon, muffins; spaghetti from the freezer, sauteed zucchini, melon, scones from the freezer;  homemade hummus, pita bread, grilled peppers and on, leftover zucchini, melon; grilled ham steak, grilled corn on the cob, fried cabbage, macaroni and cheese, garlic toast; fried rice from the freezer, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, fresh strawberries, cheese bread;  Asian spicy peanut noodles, leftover sauteed cabbage, green beans, strawberries; leftover smorgasbord;  homemade sausage, onion and pepper pizza with pretzels; turkey and gravy from the freezer, stovetop, mashed potatoes, lima beans; homemade vegetation chili with onion and cheese; pizza from the freezer

What We Bought:

Aldi:  bacon, pork ribs, zucchini, Parmesan cheese, fresh green beans, ice cream, pretzels, sourdough bread, avocados (3), French roast coffee (2), peanut butter cups, cookies. $27.40

Aldi:  strawberries (2)  $3.98

Price Rite: cheese (5 lbs), special K (4), canned beans (3), Atkins bars, expensive but Mike likes them (3)  $40.22

Salvage: Kellogg's pastry thins (4), black sesame seeds ( for homemade sesame oil), croutons (2), boxed potato mixes for the RV (4), cereal (5), Barilla pasta (4), chicken broth (48 oz), Maggie seasoning, creme (2), crackers (6), dry ranch dressing (2), dried cranberries (2), ginger snaps, natural peanut butter (5), Snyder's pretzels, small (4), regular oatmeal, steel cut oatmeal, mayo (4), cheeze its, small (4), salad dressing (2), tea bags (2), coconut cookies (2), pizza crust (2), ground coffee (8), candy bars (6), macaroni and cheese, family size, for the RV (2), stovetop, for the RV (2), lime juice, cashews , corn meal (5 lbs), BBQ sauce, green beans (2),    $88.48

Bread Store:  Thomas's English Muffins (3), Thomas's Onion Bagels, Monk's whole wheat bread, Thomas's cinnamon swirl bread, soft rye bread.   $5.56

Total for groceries:  $165.64

Eating Out:

Breakfast with the kids. $ 19.19
Lunch With Joyce. $18.72
Lunch at Sara's, an Erie landmark  $ 9.04

Total for eating out:  $46.95

Grand Total:  $212.59

That leaves us with $168.71 for the second half of the month.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Two"Exotic" Meatless Dishes That Are Husband Approved

We have spent a great deal of time in England and these two recipes come from there.

Glamorgan Sausages:

6 ounces bread crumbs,  I estimate and add more if needed
4 ounces grated sharp cheddar,  the sharper the better
2 eggs
1 onion, finely chopped
Large pinch of dry mustard
4 Tbs milk

Mix together and form into patties.

Roll in flour to coat patties.

Heat oil to fry, using bacon grease is wonderful.

English Monkey:

1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 eggs
3/4 c grated cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
Chopped onion to taste

Scramble the above mixture.
Serve on toast.
Serves 4

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

RVing: Final Stock Up

We could have got by without them, but we decided not to.

So, we did a final shop.

Mike wanted to grill so we got some ribs.  Part will be BBQ and part will be Italian.

Zucchini and fresh green beans, on special, made it into the cart.

Some more bacon for breakfast, Parmesan, sourdough bread and coffee rounded out our needs.

But, the gremlins added ice cream, peanut butter cups, cookies and pretzels.

Can't say we won't enjoy them.  It's vacation after all.

 Total $26.20

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Five Ways I Saved Money in April

1.  I found 24 skeins of yarn for $.99 each.  I can make quite a few Linus Project afghans with those.

2.  Eating our meals mainly in the RV has saved us a bundle, even when you subtract the approximately $50 we spent on groceries.

3.  I'm framing and hanging pictures of the grandchildren.  I found several nice frames for $.99-1.99.  I even found a Jim Thompson silk frame for $.99.

4.  When we did eat out with our friend, we ate out at lunch instead of dinner.  Lunches are generally less expensive to begin with and going simpler is usually fine with everyone.

5.  When we needed laundry detergent for the RV, we checked local sales, downloaded a coupon to our phone and headed off to CVS.  We saved 75%!
Yes, I have lots of laundry detergent at home, but that didn't get the laundry done now.

An Extra:  While we were playing tourist, a heavy rain stopped us from touring part of an historic site (too muddy for the horse drawn wagon.)  We asked for and got a raincheck that allowed us to return a few days later for free.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

RVING It: A Second Restock

We were still doing well with the main courses for meals, but some of the peripheral items were running low.

So, off we went to the local Aldi to pick up just a few strategic items. 

And, some totally unnecessary goodies snuck into the cart when my back was turned.  :)

What we bought:

Coffee, because there is no morning without coffee
a melon for fresh fruit, it was on sale
Some pitas to serve with hummus
Pretzels to have with lunches
Mustard for sandwiches since we are almost out
Frosted mini wheats to snack on

Chips and dip, cookies and peanut M&M,  for no good reason at all except we are on vacation.  :)

The cost:  $ 16.38