Thrifty, Nifty Meals!

I woke up the day after returning from Miami and was immediately aware that we needed food!!

Something came over me and I embarked upon the fun challenge of trying to eat ourselves out of house and home…maybe you have tried this before?

Our friends Marion and Jason hate clutter, so she would often challenge herself to see how many meals she could create out of what was in their cupboards…thus my inspiration.

Want to skimp a little on the food budget? (a.k.a. Not feeling like going to the grocery store after a 10+ hour drive home from Florida?)

Step 1: Empty your shelves (of if you are super type-A keep a running list of what’s in your pantry taped to your pantry door.)


Step 2: Log on to and type in all the ingredients you have.

Step 3: Click search! You will soon have multiple recipes that you have most or all the ingredients for or tons of recipes with a small shopping list of things you might need to add.

Step 4: Narrow down your choices and get to cooking.

We ended up having “Cowboy Chili” for dinner. (It’s a combo of ground turkey meat **shhh Joel thinks it was beef** plus leftover frozen spinach, black beans, kidney beans, tomato paste, tomato soup, cumin, chili pepper, and a can of corn. I think the meal cost about $4.50.) We topped it off with some Frito chips, sour cream and Mexican cheese.


Plus! I had the ingredients to make these Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Bars which were gobbled up by Joel and his basketball-watching friends. Joel thought he was king for the day.


Today we are on Day 3 of not shopping for meals! One key to our success is that for the past few weeks if I made a casserole I would make half to eat and half to freeze. This has been awesome. (Again, thank you Marian and Teressa for teaching all our staff girls this!) Add some fresh veggies for a side and again, Joel thinks he’s a king. But really, his wife is just feeling competitive in the kitchen.

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