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Cheap, Easy, and Yummy Vegetable Soup

Thanks to my ongoing pain, I’ve started seeing a chiropractor again and am losing weight to take pressure off of my lower back. That means I keep my eyes out for low calorie meals that still taste awesome. Most recently, I successfully made some amazing vegetable soup. To make a big pot, here’s what you’ll need. Ingredients Olive oil (1 tablespoon) – $Neglible Celery (3 stalks) – $1.50 Garlic (1-4 cloves…I love garlic, so I go big) – 50 cents Onion (1) – 50 cents Carrots (to taste…I used a third of a bag of baby carrots) – 50 cents Broth of your choice (44 ounces) – $2.50 Diced tomatoes (1 can…14 ounces) – 50 cents Tomato sauce (8 ounces) – 50 cents Potatoes (1 large or 2 small) – $1 Cabbage (to taste…I did half a head) – 50 cents 3 bags of frozen vegetables (I used peas, carrots, and a mixed bag) – $3 Garlic powder (1 tablespoon) – $Neglible Onion powder (1 tablespoon) – $Neglible Pepper (2 teaspoons) – $Neglible Thyme (2 teaspoons) – $Neglible Creole seasoning (1+ tablespoons if you like the flavor…I love it) – $Neglible TOTAL = $11 for 12+ servings! Recipe Chop up the … Read more…

A Personal Review of One Harvest Food Ministries – Cheaper But Maybe Not a Bargain

I had never heard of One Harvest Food Ministries before. It might be an excellent way to save on groceries and it's available in many areas of the US. This would be very helpful for my relatives who are struggling with medical issues right now and can't afford their bills.

SherryH is a long-time reader and commenter at BFS who blogs at Blind. Not Invisible.  SherryH lives near the coast of North Carolina with her husband, their two adult sons, and the requisite writer’s cats.  She just recently lost her sight in the last few years and has been fighting her way back to independence with a fury. One Harvest Food Ministries is a non-profit organization that allows individuals to buy prepacked, prepaid boxes of food at a savings from regular store prices.  The organization buys food in bulk or receives donations from manufacturers, packages the individual boxes in their warehouses, and delivers them to distribution points once a month. Customers can order the boxes online, over the phone, or at a local partner site and pick them up on the appointed day. Their website proudly proclaims that there are “[n]o restrictions or limitations. Anyone can order!”  One Harvest does not deliver directly to buyers-you’re responsible for picking up your own order. When MrH and I pick up our order, we don’t even have to get out of the car. We pull through, confirm our name, and volunteers load our boxes right into the back seat or trunk. So, One Harvest is … Read more…

Food Waste – Leaving Money on the Table

The following is from my friend / huge blog supporter / staff writer, SherryH.  Sherry lives near the coast of North Carolina. Her family consists of her husband, their two adult sons, and the requisite writer’s cats. In 2013, Sherry survived a brain tumor that destroyed her eyesight. She’s determined not to let that slow her down. She recently started blogging at http://www.blindnotinvisible.wordpress.com/. My husband and I cleaned out the fridge the other day. I was getting tired of not having space to put anything because of all the random mystery containers, and I knew some of the stuff had to be getting kind of old. I was right. Some of the leftovers were fairly recent, and we ate those for lunch. But there were several small containers of veggies that had to go. That bugged me, because I would have eaten them or frozen them for soup if I’d known they were there. Later that day, we had to throw out an orange that had gone bad in the fruit bowl on the counter. Grr. A few days later, a pair of English muffins took on a decidedly green and fuzzy appearance and had those to go as well. … Read more…

Two Frugal Food Appliances I Couldn’t Live Without

SherryH, a staff writer and friend here at BFS, lives near the coast of North Carolina. Her family consists of her husband, their two adult sons, and the requisite writer’s cats. In 2013, Sherry survived a brain tumor that destroyed her eyesight. She’s determined not to let that slow her down. She recently started blogging at Blind, Not Invisible. I’ll be honest. I love to eat out. Our area has a lot of great restaurants, and I love a fast food burger or chicken sandwich now and again. And when I’m tired, or we’ve had a busy day and there’s nothing planned for dinner, it’s really, really tempting to let someone else cook–and do the dishes! But it isn’t good for our budget, and eating out is much less of a treat when you do it all the time. I’d rather go out to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy time together as a family (or as a couple!) than because I was caught short and didn’t have anything planned. So I do a lot of cooking at home, and there are two appliances I absolutely rely on to help keep it cheap and easy. Because I like cheap and easy. … Read more…

Local Restaurants May Surprise You

I’m spending the next 2+ weeks away from home thanks to overnight pet sitting.  I buy groceries and junk food when I stay at other people’s homes for a week or more, but I also meet my husband for a meal each day and steal leftovers from home.  When we meet for meals instead of me driving all the way home, we tend to stick to our favorites. What I Want Out of a Restaurant If I’m paying more than I would spend to make something myself, I expect the restaurant to earn its keep with me in a few ways: Tasty food Good perceived value…so if the food costs even more than normal, the atmosphere and flavor should be better than normal too. Welcoming wait staff. Clean When a restaurant hits every one of those points, it becomes a favorite and I give it business way more often than anywhere else. My Favorite Experiences Out of my top 10 local restaurants, two places stick out the most. The Euro Bakery is a delicious Mediterranean spot.  Their food is great.  The value is great (about $8-12 per person for large, yummy portions).  It’s clean.  And by far, its staff is the … Read more…

Food for Thought Friday – The BLOAT Sandwich – High Flavor, Low Cost

You know what a BLT is…deliciousness.  Pure deliciousness.  Bacon, lettuce, and tomato on your bread of choice.  Sometimes with a condiment like mayonnaise.  Now, add some grilled onions and avocado.  You’ve got a BLOAT (yep, I know how it sounds, it’s why it makes me smile).  YUMMY!  😀 Cost of the BLOAT Here’s what the BLOAT cost us to make: Honey Oat bread loaf – $2.00 1 pound of bacon – $4.00 1 head of iceberg lettuce – $1 3 tomatoes – $2.00 3 avocados – $2.50 1 red onion – $0.50 Total = $12 and it made 7 sandwiches in total, YUMMY! It’s a great sandwich for $1.75 each.  The best part for me is that the avocado can be spread onto the bread to take the place of the mayonnaise.  So, it’s actually a slightly healthier version of a BLT in an odd way, hahaha. Have you had a BLOAT yet?  Your mouth is watering, right?  🙂

Food for Thought Friday – Less Unhealthy Best Sweet Potatoes Ever!!!

In July 2010, I posted my recipe for “The Best Sweet Potatoes Ever“.  I’ve made them around every Thanksgiving and Christmas since then, but now everybody’s trying to be healthier than when I was in my late 20’s.  Here is the revised recipe for those who are trying to avoid heart attacks and whatnot in the near future… Revised Best Sweet Potatoes Ever! 3-4 medium sweet potatoes ($0.69 at Aldi’s) 1/3 stick of butter ($0.25 at Aldi’s) – Down from a full stick of butter in 2010 1/4 cup of brown sugar (about $0.30) – down from a cup of brown sugar in 2010 1/3 cup of orange juice (I’m rounding up to $0.20) – down from 1/2 cup of orange juice in 2010 Total cost was about $2 or about $0.50 per serving depending on your personal serving size. 1. Place sweet potatoes in a large pot of water and boil for about 20 minutes until mostly done. 2. Cool, peel potatoes, slice them into sections, and place them in an 8″ x 8″ pan. 3. Cube the 1/3 stick of butter and place evenly on top of the potatoes, sprinkle on the 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and pour the 1/3 cup of … Read more…