Skip to comments.Is Recession Preparing a New Breed of Survivalist? [Survival Today - an On going Thread #2]
Posted on 02/09/2009 12:36:11 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny
Yahoo ran an interesting article this morning indicating a rise in the number of survivalist communities cropping up around the country. I have been wondering myself how much of the recent energy crisis is causing people to do things like stockpile food and water, grow their own vegetables, etc. Could it be that there are many people out there stockpiling and their increased buying has caused food prices to increase? Its an interesting theory, but I believe increased food prices have more to do with rising fuel prices as cost-to-market costs have increased and grocers are simply passing those increases along to the consumer. A recent stroll through the camping section of Wal-Mart did give me pause - what kinds of things are prudent to have on hand in the event of a worldwide shortage of food and/or fuel? Survivalist in Training
Ive been interested in survival stories since I was a kid, which is funny considering I grew up in a city. Maybe thats why the idea of living off the land appealed to me. My grandfather and I frequently took camping trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway and around the Smoky Mountains. Looking back, some of the best times we had were when we stayed at campgrounds without electricity hookups, because it forced us to use what we had to get by. My grandfather was well-prepared with a camp stove and lanterns (which ran off propane), and when the sun went to bed we usually did along with it. We played cards for entertainment, and in the absence of televisions, games, etc. we shared many great conversations. Survivalist in the Neighborhood
I’m HUNGRY! :)
Don’t forget a bottle of Kentucky bourbon
This group uses the same books you do for canning and they are very fussy about being safe.
[Sister group is members only of the canning group]
Join our sister group for access to all the recipes and files for Home canning, this is a file access only group:
To change mail setting visit the website: [or to join]
In a minute check your Freeper mail...LOL
Holy cow! You’re sending me cake??
Big old BUMP!!
Hello and welcome to the thread, I am glad you found us and hope you will join in.
LOL, Bourbon is listed under medicine and trading stock, on the survival list of needed items.
Knowing freepers are smart this post may be redundant.. <<<
Not at all, many have never used one.
Safety lessons often bear repeating.
Night, sleep well, pleasant dreams.
The Simple Dollar.com
Nine Tactics for Making Healthy, Incredibly Simple, and Cheap Meals for You and Your Family
Posted: 06 Mar 2009 12:00 PM PST
I enjoy preparing complex dishes, but many evenings, the focus around our house is getting a tasty and healthy (and inexpensive) meal on the table quickly. We have a three year old and a one year old at our house, so our goal is to established a fixed meal time, put something on the table that will meet all their nutritional needs and still be pleasing to their (and our) palate, do it quickly, and do it inexpensively. This fills all of our bellies with some good fuel, keeps money in our pocket, and also gives us plenty of family time in the evenings.
So, how do we pull this off night after night without regularly resorting to prepackaged food bought with coupons? Over the years, weve developed several tactics for making this work - and it works so well that we often prepare the same things for guests when they come to visit.
Here are nine tactics we turn to time and time again.
1. Make your main dish as simple as possible.
A chicken breast. A fish fillet. A basic hamburger. Eggs. A very simple stir fry. A pot roast. Pasta with tomato sauce. These are the things that make up our main course most nights. Nothing complicated at all - just a very basic food.
There are some big advantages here, though:
There are a wide variety of such basic items. Our meals are far more varied than you might think. We rarely repeat out foods for weeks at a time.
These items are stunningly simple in their basic preparation. Once youve grilled a chicken breast a few times, it becomes incredibly routine. You dont have to focus on it any more. Instead, you can focus on the little details (below) that transform it from boring to amazing.
These items are inexpensive when bought in bulk and frozen. We look for versions of these items that meet our quality standards on sale, and when we find them, we stock up big time. Then we just unthaw them by setting the items in the refrigerator the night before - theyre ready to go at meal time the next day.
2. Use simple tactics to add variety and flavor to the main dish.
In other words, be creative and liberal in your seasoning of the food and do it well in advance so it can soak into the food. Most of the time, well actually season the food in the morning (see the next tip) so that its ready to go when we walk in the door in the evening.
Even better, because the main entrees are often such a blank slate, we can create a huge variety of very different flavored dishes starting with the same simple main course.
Here are a few ideas for the most common items.
Chicken breasts We just put chicken breasts in a Rubbermaid container in the morning along with whatever seasonings sound interesting. Want lemon chicken? Dump in some lemon juice, some pepper, and a few lemon slices. Italian? Put in half a cup of red wine vinegar, a third of a cup of olive oil, and a lot of seasoning (a bit of lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper, black pepper, parsley flakes, and anything else you like). There are infinite possibilities here - just play around.
Hamburger Just mash up hamburger meat with whatever flavorings you like: barbecue sauce, blue cheese salad dressing, ranch salad dressing, Italian salad dressing, black pepper, red pepper, paprika, salt, celery seed, brown sugar, ketchup, onion, dill, caraway, turmeric, scallions, ginger, dill, cumin, coriander, bay leaves - just try different things and find out what you like. I like to let the hamburger soak in this for several hours in the refrigerator before making the patties, though.
Fish fillets Much like the chicken breasts, just toss the fillets in a Rubbermaid container along with some seasonings. Italian dressing is one place to start, as are citrus fruits and pepper. I like using Parmesan cheese and olive oil, for one, with a healthy dose of pepper. The key is to just try different things and let these things sit together for a long time to meld their flavors.
3. Do as much as you can in the morning before you leave.
One big advantage of preparing the entrees in the above fashion is that much of the work can be done in the morning before you leave. For similar reasons, we also enjoy using our slow cooker - we can just toss things together in the morning and be ready to go when we get home.
I find that doing as much of the meal preparation as I can in the mornings while the kids are eating breakfast at the kitchen counter is a great way for me to get going with something productive in the morning while carrying on conversation with them and making sure theyre eating their breakfast.
Here are a few tactics for getting things done in advance in the morning (and the night before):
Main entrees Marinate and/or spice them and put them in a Rubbermaid container in the refrigerator for the day.
Homemade pizza This is one of our familys favorite foods. One great way to make it easier at night is to make the dough the night before, let it rise in the refrigerator overnight, then spread it out on the pan the next morning. Preheat the oven to 425 in the morning, then bake the crust for seven minutes or so. After that, you can go ahead and put any toppings on you want (like the sauce) or you can just stick the crust in the oven. Doing this pre-bake makes for a superb crust actually, a homemade pizza guide might make for a great post.
Crock pot meals If you can possibly make a meal in the crock pot, do so - its such a huge time saver on busy evenings and the meals turn out quite well if you use quality ingredients to begin with. For us, its very simple - we have a lot of great five ingredient crock pot meals that we love making.
4. Use flash frozen vegetables (but not fruit) as a side dish.
For a long time, I was very insistent on eating fresh vegetables as a side dish. This is a good tactic to use during the summer months when you can get ultra-fresh produce from the farmers market or from your own garden, but during the winter, fresh produce often isnt very fresh.
The solution Ive discovered - for vegetables at least - is frozen vegetables. While not quite as good as truly fresh vegetables, theyre quite often tastier than the vegetables you find in the fresh food aisle during the winter months.
Frozen vegetables are easy to prepare - they can very easily be steamed and this can be done in the microwave if you want (some even come with the capacity to steam in the bag). Flash frozen vegetables are also pretty inexpensive, especially if you wait for a sale and stock up - we often get bags for $0.75 or less, which provide a large portion of vegetables for all four of us. Even better, theyre easy to spice up a bit - just add a bit of pepper (or a bit of another appropriate spice or two) as soon as theyre done steaming (or even during steaming) and youll wind up with a tasty result.
A big tip: check the ingredients before you buy. If you see any ingredients besides just the vegetables in the bag (or perhaps a few basic spices), dont buy it. Avoid any that have high fructose corn syrup - theres no reason to have that in your vegetables. In fact, this is why I avoid most frozen fruits - they seem to often have sugar or corn syrup added for no real reason other than to add a cloying sweetness.
5. Utilize the simple main dish in a second dish later in the week.
Lets say were making chicken breasts for the family. We unthaw twice as many as we would eat and season half of them as we desire. Then, we bake all of them in the oven (not adding any cooking time at all), then put aside the cooked breast for a couple of days to use in another dish, like chicken stir fry or a chicken pot pie.
Lets say were having hamburgers. We cook up a batch thats seasoned and an unseasoned batch, then we crumble up the unseasoned burgers and use the meat as pizza topping a few days later, allowing us to have homemade pizza with a hamburger topping without using a skillet to brown the meat.
Using these kinds of techniques adds virtually no time to the meal preparation at hand, but it certainly saves time with a meal later in the week.
6. Drink water, but make it lively!
Water is the default beverage at our dinner table. Its essentially free and provides necessary hydration. Yet, for many, its boring - it doesnt provide the flavor of other beverages you might consume with dinner.
There are several subtle things you can do to make water more interesting, though. The biggest one is citrus - a slice of a citrus fruit (lemon, lime, orange, etc.) and/or a dash of a citrus juice into your water can make a big difference. This pairs very well with white meats of all kinds.
A simple herbal tea is another great beverage to accompany a meal. Simply heat up the water, steep it with the tea, and youve transformed the water into something compelling.
Even the simple touch of adding ice to water can make it seem a lot more refreshing and enjoyable as a partner drink to your dinner.
7. Use a simple formula for casseroles of all kinds.
Complete!We picked up this useful tactic from Amy Dacyczyns excellent Complete Tightwad Gazette. She offers a framework recipe for a basic casserole:
1 cup main ingredient
1 cup second ingredient
1-2 cups starchy ingredient
1 1/2 cups binder
1/4 cup goodie
Main ingredient: tuna, cubed chicken, turkey, ham, seafood, etc.
Second ingredient: thinly sliced celery, mushrooms, peas, chopped hard-boiled eggs, etc.
Starchy ingredient: thinly sliced potatoes, cooked noodles, cooked rice, etc.
Binder: cream sauce, sour cream, can of soup, etc.
Goodie: pimiento, olives, almonds, water chestnuts, etc.
Topping: cheese, bread crumbs, etc.
This formula works really easy for turning almost anything you have on hand into a very tasty casserole. You simply just mix together these items in a casserole dish, toss it in the oven, and bake it until its done. One tip - one good binder is leftover chicken stock with a bit of corn starch in it.
8. Clean out your cupboards and/or pantry.
Another great way to line up some inexpensive and simple meal ideas is to simply clean out your cupboards and pantry. This is a great weekend project, actually - it helps you discover lots of items that you have on hand that you may have forgotten about and also helps you organize things in a way that makes it easier to find the things you need.
When youre discovering these useful items that have disappeared in the back of the cupboard, plan around them, right then. Jot down ideas for meals that revolve around these items, then when you put things back, keep those items near the front so you can find them quickly.
The end result? Youll be making interesting meals without the need for a grocery store run and the items will be easy to grab quickly as theyll be at the front of the cupboard.
9. Do a dinner exchange with your neighbors.
Even after all this, there are some nights where youd just like a home-cooked meal on your table with no fuss at all. One very creative way to do this is to do a dinner exchange with a neighbor.
Its pretty easy. Find a neighbor that has a similar-sized family to you. Then arrange it so that once a week or once a month, you make a double portion of your evening meal, place half of it into containers, then take it to that neighbors house. All they have to do is meet you at the door, take the containers, and serve - its like free delivery.
Then, that family does the same for you, perhaps even with the same containers. They make a double batch of their dinner meal, then bring you containers with enough of that meal to feed your family. Easy as pie.
While this doesnt particularly save you any money, it does save you quite a bit of time.
Good luck preparing a tasty, healthy, and inexpensive meal tonight for you and your family!
Whats amazing is how easy it is to create a truly tasty meal with minimal ingredients. Even if you dont choose to pick up a spice packet at the grocery store, you can still create a wide array of great recipes with just a few ingredients in the crock pot.
In fact, my wife and I often strive to come up with great crock pot meals that require only five ingredients. With such a small list of ingredients, it takes only a minute or so to pull the crock pot out of the cupboard, toss in the ingredients, turn it on low, and leave for the day, only to come home to a deliciously prepared home-cooked meal.
Heres one such recipe from The Art of the Slow Cooker:
heres the simplest really tasty recipe I know of for a slow cooker.
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (chicken & herbs if you can find it)
1 small can mushroom pieces (a 4 ounce can, drain off the water first)
1/2 chopped red onion
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut into strips if youd like)
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
Put them all in the crock pot. Turn it on low. Walk away for four hours. For every additional two hours it will cook, add a quarter cup of water.
This makes for a delicious little chicken dish that I like to call creamy chicken casserole. It takes about two minutes to prepare in the morning and fills your belly right at night.
Like that one? Here are five more recipes, all of which weve eaten in the last few months. The directions for each are easy:
Combine all of this into a crock pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn it on low and walk away for eight hours. Add a quarter of a cup of water for every additional two hours you intend to cook it.
Got that? Thats all you have to do for each one. Here are the ingredients.
Crock Pot Chili
1 large can tomato sauce
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cans beans (kidney beans are fine, but you can use whatever you like)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 cup diced onion (or onion salt)
Simple Pot Roast
1 2 to 2.5 lb. roast
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups beef broth or beef stock
Ham and Potato Casserole
4 red potatoes, sliced
2 red onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds cubed ham
1 can condensed cream of celery soup, diluted according to can directions
2 tablespoons flour
(This one is very good with cheese on top just before you serve it.)
Shredded Beef Sandwiches
2 pounds beef brisket
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups beef broth or beef stock
2 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped red onion
(Serve this on buns - magnificent!)
Breakfast Apple Cobbler
4 medium-sized apples, peeled and sliced (try Honey Crisps)
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups granola cereal
(Start this one at 10 or 11 PM - ready for breakfast!)
It takes only five ingredients and a few minutes to come home to (or wake up to) a delicious home-cooked meal that doesnt cost you very much money at all.
BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (we like the dark meat, but you could use breasts too)
1 can of cola (coke, pepsi, whatever, just no diet due to the artificial sweeteners breaking down)
1 large onion, sliced thin
1.5 cups ketchup
1/2 cup mustard (any kind you like)
Great on buns!
My personal favorite needs a 5qt (large) slow cooker, but is absolutely outstanding:
2 cups brown sugar, along the bottom
1 Picnic ham (picnic specifically - others can be too dry)
Start with 1.5 cups brown sugar at the bottom of the slow cooker, ham on top. Score the ham across the top, then pat in another 1/2 cup brown sugar into the top. Cook 8 hrs on low, the sauce works best if you siphon the fat off the top, then stick it in the fridge ~15 minutes to congeal it rather than leaving it as just a liquid.
Super Tender BBQ Chicken Wings:
Toss wings in Crock
Add 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce
Add 1/2 cup Water
Cook on high 4 hours
Drain wings, add more BBQ sauce and microwave till sauce is hot enjoy, fall off the bone wings!
This works great for party prep too, just cook them in the crock then refrigerate until party time, add fresh BBQ and microwave or return to the crock for warming
2 ingredient chicken:
1 whole young chicken
1 bottle beer
fill with water or chicken broth to cover chicken
Come home, slide the meat off the bones and done. Serve with salad and bread or mac & cheese.
I have used my crockpot for pulled pork and also for meatballs. The pork comes out amazing!
I put pork butt in the crockpot with some water, cover, put on low and go to work. Come home from work, the house smells incredible and the meat is done! Just make the sauce (coke & ketchup works for starters), pull the pork off and shred it with a fork, and serve on buns!
@Little Miss Moneybags I have never ever had a problem leaving my crockpot on while I was at work (9 hours). I think the low setting is about 100-200F. I pull it away from the wall and make sure that nothing is near it. I also dont have any pets to worry about getting into it. Instead of putting water in every two hours, I just put a bunch in to start.
My easy fave: Beef in red wine gravy
1 1/2 lbs stew meat
3 cups red wine
4 tbsps corn starch
2 beef boullion cubes
1 chopped onion
dash of salt
dash of pepper
Low: 8 hours, or
High: 4 hours
Serve over favorite pasta.
We like making thai curries with ours - throw in some meat, random veggies, a spoonful of curry paste, can of coconut cream and enough water to cover. Or, double the coconut cream, add some cooked noodles at the end, and youve got laksa.
I have a slow cooker, rather than a crock pot. I think the main difference is that the slow cooker will cook at a higher temperature (it has a 1-5 setting) and, therefore, is somewhat faster and will even cook at a slow simmer. I cook dried beans and/or rice at least once a week. I also cook different one-dish meals, such as chili or soups. Ive never left mine all day, but it is easy to be home with it several hours on a Saturday or Sunday. My favorite recipe is
2 pounds or so of a cheap cut of beef
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can water
1 can milk
Cook for 4-5 hours. Sometimes I add red wine or sour cream to the leftovers to make an entirely different dish.
If you are looking for more crock pot recipes, a fabulous place is http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
She uses more than 5 ingredients, but makes everything under the sun (Gluten Free)
I am lobbying for a small crock pot from DH for Valentines Day.
I love my crockpot so much that I have three! My son has one up at college. They are made to be left cooking without supervision, so dont worry about using it when you arent home. Also, you can buy them very inexpensively ($4-$5) around here at any Goodwill store. Just plug it in and set it on high and wait to be sure it warms up before you leave the store with it. One more note about making stockput in 1/2 to a cup of white vinegar when cooking the meat, bones, etc. The vinegar leaches the calcium out of the bones and makes the broth an excellent source of calcium and you cant taste the vinegar at all!
For some really good recipes, check out another one of my favorite blogs: A Year of CrockPotting (crockpot365.blogspot.com/). Stephanie used her crockpot daily in 2008, got invited onto the Rachael Ray show, and is planning a book based on her year-long experiment. All the recipes Ive tried from her site have been great. Her year of crockpotting is over but she still adds recipes occasionally.
[The year of crockpots is an excellent site....granny]
My easiest crockpot recipe ever.
1 Chuck Roast
1 jar pepperochini peppers in vinegar.
Put the meat in the CP and pour jar over it. Cook all day on low. Serve over noodles-Spicy beef noodles! I like it with salt :-) This literally takes 30 seconds to prepare!
Beans come out really great in the crockpot, but heres our favorite simple recipe:
Meat of choice (we usually use a cheap cut of beef)
Jar of Salsa (we like the frontera chipotle)
Pour salsa over meat. Cook until done.
Serve with mashed potatoes or shred meat and serve on buns or over toast.
If you have a fatty cut of meat, put it in the fridge and the next day the fat will have floated to the top and hardened and you can just pick it up out of the sauce. Reheat and its even better than serving it the day its made. Freezes well, too.
I love my ancient crock pot and use it 1-2 times per week. It does not have a digital timer, but an inexpensive lamp timer works just as well. My all-time favorite easy recipe is the following:
1.5 to 2 lbs. London broil
1 can tomato soup, undiluted
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 to 1 packet powdered onion soup mix.
Put London broil in the bottom of the crock pot. Dump cans of soup over the top and stir in the onion soup mix. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Delicious and so easy!
I use my crockpot pretty well weekly because, as an Orthodox Jew, I dont cook on the Sabbath, yet must serve hot food. I make cholent (kind of a meat stew with beans and barley) or a regular meat stew or a meat and potatoes based soup. Pretty well everybody I know uses one and we all keep ours on for the full 25 or so hours of Shabbat (on low, of course) and theres never any problem. We sleep while its on and we leave the house to go to services, so I certainly wouldnt worry about leaving it on while youre at work or whatever.
In fact, I know that some working mothers like to start dinner before they leave the house and come home and just be able to dish up.
Our food is prepared Friday afternoon and served for lunch on Saturday. You take the liner out to serve the food and then just leave it out at that point, but the crockpot doesnt get turned off until after dark.
I have heard that some of the newest ones are problematic though (i.e. the digital ones and some others dont allow you to leave them on indefinitely) so read the operating manual beforehand if thats important to you.
As an aside, this is also whats happened with electric stoves since their clocks all became digital. The oven starts an annoying beeping to be turned off at the 12 hour mark. So appliance manufacturers now sell stoves with Sabbath Mode ovens that will stay on for up to 72 hours continuously without any noise or other problem.
I love crock pot recipes! They are so versatile - you can throw in the pot anything you have on hand. Heres my beef stew recipe:
1 pound stew meat, cubed
1 diced parsnip
2 diced carrots
1 medium onion
5 small red potatoes, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2-1 cup water
1 tablespoon thyme
2 teaspoons steak seasoning
1/2 tablespoon rosemary
2 tablespoons dried gravy mix (I use El Bisto)
Put potatoes, parsnip and carrots at the bottom of the crockpot. Season stew meat with salt and pepper. Brown quickly in a skillet. Add to top of vegetables. Put onions over the meat. In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes with water and seasoning. Pour over top of meat. Heat on medium-low 8-10 hours. Yum!
try one 2-3 lb boneless pork roast and a bottle of barbecue sauce. Set it and forget it. It makes a great pulled pork sandwich. My kids love it.
This is a great party recipe.
1 Can Cranberry Sauce
1 12 oz bottle of Chili Sauce
1 2 lb bag of frozen, pre-cooked meatballs
Combine Cranberry Sauce and Chili. Mix till smooth. Pour over meatballs. Cook on High for 4 hours.
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
canned or homemade chicken broth/stock/boullion (your budget, your choice)
taco seasoning mix (we make our own, but you can use store-bought, too)
cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. Fork-shred. Load onto tortillas with slotted spoon. Enjoy!
Either of Paula Deens pot roast recipes work perfectly in the crock pot, assuming that you add enough liquid to cover the beef. I get my roasts at Costco, and they draw raves every time.
season and brown the roast in a skillet, then put in the slow cooker
Then add two crushed garlic cloves, one sliced onion, two crushed bullion cubes, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a bay leaf, a tablespoon of worchestershire sauce, a couple of cups of red wine, and enough water (or more wine) to cover the brown roast. Cook it for six to eight hours on low, and youve got pot roast with gravy, ready to go.
Crockpot uses same wattage as average lightbulb.
Our favorite crockpot recipe for Sauerbrauten:
2 lbs. beef pot roast, 3-4 inches thick
1 c. vinegar
1 c. onions, sliced
8 whole cloves
1 T. sugar
1 c. water
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 t. salt
Dash of pepper
Cover meat with above ingredients. Let stand in refrigerator 24 hours or more. Remove from liquid; wipe dry. Brown meat in skillet. Add to crockpot with 1-1/2 cups of strained marinade liquid. Let cook 8-10 hours on low. Remove meat. We thicken the drippings with crumbled gingersnaps for a delicious gravy.
This recipe was originally made in a pressure cooker, but the lazy daughter that I am converted it to a crockpot with great results.
My biggest complaint with most crock pot/slow cooker recipes is the use of condensed cream of whatever soups and other convenience products. Having said that, I do use them every 3-4 months or so.
Above someone recommended Robin Robertsons Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I second that recommendation. Id also recommend Beth Hensbergers Not Your Mothers Slow Cooker and Not Your Mothers Slow Cooker Recipes for Two. Also, the Fix It and Forget It series, but they rely a lot on the convenience products.
I do nearly all my soups in the slow cooker, cook all dried beans in it, and quite a few other dishes. Just about anything you would simmer on the stovetop or requires a long baking or braising time can be done in a slow cooker.
These two are helpful:
My basic bean recipe:
Heres one of our favorites:
CHICKEN CROCKPOT RECIPE
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 cans (14 ounces each) black beans, drained
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar (12 to 16 ounces) of your favorite salsa
1. Place all ingredients in a crock pot, layering beans, corn, chicken and salsa on top. Cook in crock pot on low for 8 to 10 hours (or high for 3-4).
Optional: Can be served over rice, in tortillas or by itself. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, or guacamole, if desired.
Sally @ 9:59 am February 2nd, 2009 (comment #98)
Theres this, too:
Your ham and potato dish reminded me of another one I like to do:
a chopped onion
Ham (or ham bone)
I put the potatoes, onion and green beans in the crock pot with water (2-4 cups depends on how soupy you want it) and let them cook. If using a ham bone, put it in at the start of cooking. If using ham, I put it in after the vegetables have cooked for a few hours.
Preparing Your Own Skillet Meals In Advance 66comments
January 17, 2008 @ 2:00 pm - Written by Trent
Categories: Food, Frugality
Bookmarks: del.icio.us, reddit
Many busy familes (even on occasion, our own busy family) often resort to prepackaged skillet meals in order to get a hot, prepared meal on the table quickly at dinnertime. With both parents getting home at five or later and a desire to get a meal on the table early enough so that there is some semblance of a family evening, its not surprising that the ease of preparation, the speed, and the relative healthiness of prepackaged skillet meals have become popular.
There are a few problems here, though:
Prepackaged skillet meals are often very expensive for what you get. Skillet meals are almost always at least $6 and often cost significantly more than that. Pick up five of them at once and youre talking a bill of $35 or so. The food in the bag often adds up to less than a pound in total weight.
Such meals are often laden with preservatives and industrial ingredients. As a rule of thumb, if I dont know what that ingredient is, I dont like to eat it. Using that rule, pick up pretty much any prepackaged meal you can find and read that ingredient list. My stomach is flopping.
Such meals are often not very healthy in terms of fat, sodium, etc. These meals are designed to be tasty, not to be healthy. Based on the nutrition facts on these items, Id have to say that most of them dont worry about healthy too much at all.
I generally like most of the prepackaged skillet meal offerings, I just wish they were healthier - and preferably cheaper. As a frugal parent, Id like to find a better solution to this situation. Id like to have a healthy and tasty meal that I could prepare quickly.
My solution? Make a whole bunch of them in advance.
All you have to do is find a good skillet meal recipe, quadruple the recipe, prepare all of the ingredients, then fill four freezer bags with the meal. Then, when youre ready to eat them, get that bag out of the freezer, thaw it, and then cook it in the skillet until its nice and warm. Done!
You can find countless skillet recipes online. My usual technique is to cook the meat in advance, then add all of the needed ingredients to the ziploc bags. Heres an example:
Trents Beef and Vegetable Skillet Meal
The normal recipe involves the following:
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
3 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup peas (frozen ones are okay)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 cups water
I add everything but the ground beef to each bag. Then, I cook up three pounds of ground beef and drain it, then add a quarter of that beef to each ziploc bag. On the outside I write beef and vegetable skillet - simmer 40 minutes on masking tape (so I can reuse the bag for another meal later) and I toss the bags in the freezer.
When I come home, I get out a bag, run it under hot water for a bit so that I can easily get the contents out, then I put it in a skillet on high until its just barely boiling, then I drop the heat until it stays just barely boiling. I cook it for about forty minutes or so, then its ready to serve.
A similar philosophy applies for pretty much any skillet meal you might prepare. They all work pretty well.
Making skillet meals in advance actually makes for a great weekend afternoon project that saves money and helps you to eat healthier. The meal above is really healthy - its loaded with vegetables and, if you cook lean ground beef and properly drain it, its very low fat, too.
Plus, the ingredients all together cost only a bit more than one ordinary skillet meal. Compared to the cost of four typical skillet meals, the needed ingredients save about $15, and you can have the bags ready to go into the freezer in less than an hour. Thats $15 saved (compared to prepackaged skillet meals) even without considering the positive health effects - quite a bargain in my eyes.
Heres our standard skillet meal
1 onion cut thin and long.
2 carrots cut thin and long
2 sticks celery cut thin across the diagonal
Saute in 1 tbsp olive oil
Add 4 ounces thinly sliced chicken breast or turkey or shrimp or pork or beef.
Saute until cooked.
Add the contents of 1 pack of ramen noodles and ONE cup of water. break up and stir and put a lid on it until the noodles are soft. Serves 4 for lunch or two for dinner. We sometmes add leftover other veggies (peas, broccoli, spinach etc.)
My favorite quick meal:
2 cups rice
4 cups water
1 can of beans
Cook rice according to directions; add beans. Eat.
If you want to make it in advance (and get a little more fancy) saute a bit of garlic and onion along with some cumin, and then mix in the beans. You could then warm that up while the rice is cooking.
Ill add whatever vegs I have around, as well. Its a pretty flexible recipe.
Ten Financial Reasons To Turn Off Your Television - And Ten Things To Replace It With
April 9, 2007 @ 10:00 am - Written by Trent
Categories: Frugality, Television
Big George is watching youMy wife and I have reduced our television viewing to roughly four hours a week: two hourly dramas and maybe two more hours combined throughout the week. I believe that it wont be too long before we turn the television off for good. Why? Its too expensive. Here are ten reasons why.
Cable / satellite bills Our cable bill used to cost us roughly $60 a month. That adds up to $720 a year spent just to get more programming. Three years worth of that and were looking at a very nice vacation. Five or six years of that, put into a savings account, potentially replaces a car.
Electricity We had two televisions, and they would each be on an average of four hours a day. Given a cost of $0.10 per kilowatt hour, and the fact that the smaller television used about 100 watts and the larger one used about 160 watts, that meant we were using a bit over a kilowatt hour each day. Theres another $40 a year that vanished.
Guilt Television programs often create a glamorous image of a life that is far outside the financial capabilities of most people watching. When viewers watch such programs then reflect on their lives, it creates a set of negative feelings. For me, the most prevalent feeling was guilt - I cant give my family this stuff, I would think. Thus, my sense of self-worth would go down. This would put me in a mindset to be more susceptible to the .
Commercials Those wonderful short little programs that are designed to sell you stuff, period. Even better: they often work in concert with the programs to create a sense of guilt - and they offer a psychological way out. One commercial isnt powerful, but when youre inundated with them very powerful.
Less time for other opportunities If the television is on for four hours a day, thats four hours where I could be doing something more constructive with my time, like starting a successful blog (*ahem*) or starting a business or working on a novel or getting household chores done and so forth.
Stress When we spend a lot of time watching television, we put off other things that we should be doing, like paying bills, playing with the kids, and so on. After a while, these things build up and we begin to feel stress in our lives that wouldnt be there if we didnt spend so much time watching television. Over time, elevated stress leads to health issues.
Poorer dining habits Instead of spending time preparing a healthy, inexpensive meal from scratch, we would hurry up and eat an more expensive prepackaged meal (or takeout) so that we could catch certain television programs. These costs added up, not only on our wallets, but also around our waists.
Poor health / obesity Television is almost always a sedentary activity. Over time, it begins to show. Television is the big reason for the obesity epidemic, because Americans simply dont get the natural exercise from doing non-sedentary activities that they once got. The health costs from this can be tremendous.
Less communication When the television is on for hours each day, its much more difficult to have real conversations with the people in your life. Over time, less communication means weaker relationships with the people you love, and this means that quite often you have to supplement the relationship with additional spending.
Less sex For a married couple, not only is it good exercise (and thus healthy), its free and it can help heal a lot of costly relationship issues. With heavy television usage, particularly in the bedroom, couples can fall asleep watching television instead of in each others arms. I know its true from experience.
Ten Things To Replace Television With
If you take a one week challenge to turn off the television, several things will happen, chief among them boredom and a sense of having a ton of empty time. Here are ten things to do to fill that time.
Start an exercise plan. If you didnt watch Mad Money every night at six oclock, you might be able to spend that hour walking around the block, doing leg lifts, or doing an aerobic workout. Most exercise routines cost nothing, though it can be more fun if you do something like a DDR exercise regimen (something Id love to write about, but I cant really conceive of how it fits on The Simple Dollar).
Prepare meals. Learn how to cook at home. Prepare some interesting meals. Get a good cookbook and dig in.
Read a book youve always wanted to read. Something like Anna Karenina or The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (both were the book I always wanted to read for me at various times). Read something to educate your mind and your spirit.
Start a second business. I keep this blog running on less time than I used to spend watching television each night and it is earning some money. I also started a computer consulting business, where I fix peoples computers locally. This has opened up two solid revenue streams for me that, added together, approximate what I made from my job before. This has made me feel much less stressed about work - I do my job, but it no longer has the paralyzing Oh my God what if they downsize? fear that it used to have.
Be social. Have healthy, focused conversations with your immediate family. Patch up bruised relationships and friendships. Go out to community events and meet people. Find a group connected to the things youre interested in and get involved (like a book club).
Take an evening class. Most universities offer degree programs towards a masters degree (or higher) in the evenings. See whats available and get into such a program. It will fill your evenings with food for thought and put you on a much stronger career path.
Learn a new skill or a new hobby. When my great grandfather died, my great grandmother spent her evenings learning how to paint, something shed always wanted to learn how to do. She had a ton of natural skill, and as she learned the craft, it began to show. It was something that her married life and television watching had never left time for before.
Take on a major project. Do something huge that youve always wanted to do. Ive done things like made a homemade bullwhip, learned how to speak Mandarin, and so on, just in my newfound spare time.
Get things done. When I finally turned off the television and looked around, I saw literally hundreds of little things that needed to be done that I simply hadnt done. So I started getting them done; I literally spent three days making a giant checklist of every task that would take longer than five minutes, then I just started going through them. I felt so productive while doing this that it was a huge endorphin rush just by itself.
Take care of whatever bothers you. For me, it was taking a little bit of time each day to meditate and get in touch with my spiritual side, and it made a huge difference in my life.
In short, by cutting out television, you can not only directly save money, but live a much more rich and fulfilling life.
My kids love fast food, but it is expensive and not very healthy. So, on the rare occasions when we do get fast food, I save the empty bags,clean napkins, and condiment packets. Then, when my 4 year old is begging me to stop at McDonalds, we go home and play McDonalds. I make his lunch (sometimes frozen chicken nuggets), wrap it up and put it in the bag along with the napkins, condiments, etc. I also save those little plastic stadium cups with lids for his drink. I include a “prize”, such as a small candy or a prize that came in a cereal box. We role play ordering lunch and paying for it. This is fun, cheap, and healthier than going out for fast-food.
Submitted by: Elissa
These tips have been saving us both money and time:
We use a combined shampoo/conditioner. We save money because only one bottle needs to be purchased instead of two separate bottles. The conditioning step is eliminated, thus saving time. Wholesale clubs (i.e., CostCo, BJ’s) often sell economy size bottles of a selection of combined shampoo/conditioner brands.
I use a combined powder/foundation makeup instead of seperate liquid or creme foundation plus powder. I save money by buying only one cosmetic item instead of two. Time is saved because the liquid or creme foundation application step is eliminated. I have found that the combined powder/foundation goes on thick enough to cover what the liquid or creme would have.
My husband uses 100% aloe vera gel in place of men’s aftershave. We purchase a large container of aloe vera gel towards the end of the summer when the sun care products are on clearance. A large enough container could last through the following year. Additional benefits of aloe gel are the mild scent, it doesn’t burn, it’s soothing to sensitive skin. Women can also use it after shaving legs.
Many different brands of makeup are manufactured by the same limited number of subcontractors. Keep this in mind when selecting cosmetics. A considerable amount of money can be saved without sacrificing quality when selecting cosmetics from brands offered in the supermarket or WalMart versus the brands sold at expensive department store counters. Time is saved picking up cosmetic items at the supermarket when grocery shopping (look for those coupons!).
Submitted by: Anne
I love quality products, especially for my hair, but got tired of spending up to $20 for brand name salon hair products. I then discovered the “Generic” line of hair products at “Sally’s” stores (specifically for cosmetologists but open to the public). The products come in black & white generic bottles and sell for about $2.79-3.99 but often go on sale for even less! I swear they are as good as the Paul Mitchel, Nexus,KMS,etc. If your hair is damaged from highlighing, perms, etc.,like mine, please give them a try-you’ll be amazed!!!
Submitted by: Lori
I am a new SAHM with one child. One of the things I am doing to save money is buying a gallon of whole milk each week (instead of the two I used to buy). When the gallon is half empty (or half full :) I mix a half gallon of non-fat powdered milk with it and have instant 2% milk! No one in my family has ever noticed the difference!
Submitted by: Tonya
I am a Stay at Home Mom now for nine years. I have found a great way to cut the cost of cleaning supplies in our home. To clean my house I use only three things.
I use a spray bottled of diluted rubbing alcohol (one part alcohol to five parts water) to pretty much clean my entire house. I clean windows, mirrors, bathroom fixtures - disinfect doorknobs, counters etc. I stock up on this alcohol when it goes on sale four or five bottles for a dollar. A very cheap disinfectant.
I also have a spray bottle of diluted white vinegar (one part vinegar to 4 parts water). I use this to clean my linoleum floors. I spray it on and wipe it off and leaves it with a great shine. Believe me I tried everything on the market and this is absolutely the best. A big gallon of vinegar at the store costs less than a buck. Yes there is an initial vinegar smell but it dissipates rather quickly. Amazing.
My most expensive item is a good scouring solution with bleach to clean the tubs, toilet and sinks. This has truly helped our budget!
Submitted by: Lisa
I purchase a gallon jug of bubble bath at the local discount store (K-Mart, Wal-Mart, etc.) for about a dollar and change. I use the bubble bath in many ways:
1. I re-fill soft-soap dispensers by each sink at our house.
2. I use it as a replacement for those expensive, “gotta-have” body washes. (No one has noticed a difference - especiallly if you buy a lightly-scented bubble bath that works for both sexes).
3. I use it to wash our two huge Black Labrador Retrievers...no skin problems to date.
4. In a pinch, we use it for shampoo...just use a little and rinse extra well.
5. It can be used as dish soap. (Read the labels...it’s all the same ingredients, but the bubble bath is a lot milder).
6. AND...TA-DA...we use it as Bubble Bath!
Hope this secret gets out to lots of folks!
Submitted by: D.
I find that it is very hard to control impulse buying. I give myself an allowance every week that covers lunches, dinners out, and ALL impulse buying. For anything else I want (not need), I must wait three days. It is amazing what you don’t need after three days.
Submitted by: Diane
My favorite way to save money is by using vinegar. I know it’s an old trick but it really works. I fill a small bottle with 1 part vinegar to 4-5 parts water and place it beside my shampoo. After shampooing and rinsing, add a little of the vinegar mixture to your hair. Rinse. You will smell the vinegar but the rinsing removes the odor and your hair
does NOT retain the vinegar smell. This is a great cost saver in place of conditioner. Vinegar can be used for your automatic dishwasher. Use the cheapest brand of dishwashing detergent and add 2 tsp. of vinegar to the load for sparkling, odor free dishes.
One final tip is for the laundry. I buy the cheapest gallon of store brand fabric softener I can find, pour some into a large butter tub, and add a few small sponges. I squeeze out a sponge and toss it into the dryer with the wet clothes and it takes the place of those expensive dryer sheets.
Submitted by: Robin
I left my part-time job several months ago when I found out I was pregnant with our first child. Now that my due date is quickly approaching, and the purchase of our first home, I need to learn more ways to save! Some of the best tricks I’ve discovered so far:
1. We had our long-distance disconnected and switched to using prepaid calling cards instead. I’ve found a local grocery store that carries 250 minutes for $10 (yup, that’s $.04 per minute) with no surcharge for connecting the call. Also, it announces each time you make a call how much time you have left, and it’s made me much more aware of how much I’m spending. I still pay for local calling (about $25/month) but I can usually get by with one to two $10 cards a month, so I cut my monthly phone total from $75-$100 down to less than $50.
2. I recycled an empty soft-soap bottle and filled it with laundry detergent, and set it next to the clothes hamper. Now when I need to pre-treat a stain I can just squirt a little detergent on it, throw it in with the dirty clothes, and it can wait till laundry day. It works well and saves on those expensive stain-treatment sticks and gels.
3. I save empty 20-oz or liter size soft-drink bottles and refill them for car trips. They work great for bottled water or juice, and you can freeze them ahead of time (don’t fill all the way, or they’ll burst!) so it’s good and cold.
Submitted by: Jennifer
[Too many cans, but planned leftovers would really make a difference....granny]
Turkey Pot Pie
I’m not very good at making pie shells, but my family and I love pot pies. So I came up with this recipe to make a good pot pie without all the fuss (and it tastes pretty yummy too!). This is also a good way to use up those Thanksgiving and Christmas leftovers.
2 c. cooked turkey, cubed (pennies if using leftovers)
1 can cream of chicken soup ($.60 on sale)
1 can Veg-all brand mixed veggies, drained ($.50)
1 can biscuits ($.50 on sale)
In a 2 quart casserole dish combine turkey, soup and veggies; mix well. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven. Place biscuits on top of casserole. Increase oven heat to 400 and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Total cost of this dish is around $2.00 for 6 servings. That averages out to about $.30 per serving.
Submitted by: Brandy, Columbia SC
This is a wonderful Mexican meal that I serve my family often. Chock full of ingredients that my family loves, its a bargain.
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (.99 per lb.)
1 jar salsa (1.50)
1 can green chilies (.50)
2 c. pepper jack cheese (or any other cheese you like) (1.50)
2 boxes jiffy cornbread mix (.25 per box)
1 can refried beans (.50)
1 can whole kernel corn (drained) (.33)
In a bowl, prepare cornbread mix as package directs adding 1/2 can corn, set aside. In a skillet brown ground beef, drain. In a large bowl combine beef, salsa, chilies, remaining corn and 1 cup cheese. Spread refried beans in the bottom of a well greased 13 x 9 x 2in glass pan. Top with meat mixture and remaining cheese. Top with cornbread mix. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and cornbread topping is well cooked. Yield: approximately 8 servings. Total price per serving: $.73
Submitted by: Brandy White
Mother’s Macaroni Bake
My mother used to make this casserole often when I was a child. Now I make it for my family and my two young boys love it. It’s inexpensive and easy to make. Add a salad and some rolls and you have a hearty meal.
2 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked and drained ($.99 for entire box, so at most $.50)
1 small onion, diced (pennies)
1 small green bell pepper, diced (free from my garden, or about $.35 from local Farmer’s market)
1/2 stick of margarine (pennies)
1 can tomato soup ($.33 on sale)
2 slices of American cheese singles, cut in half diagonally (whole package of 16 singles, store brand, on sale for $.99, so pennies)
Grated parmesan cheese (optional, as topping)
Cook and drain macaroni, set aside. Sautee onions and peppers in margarine until tender. Add vegetables to macaroni and mix lightly. Stir in soup. Pour mixture into a lightly Pamed casserole dish and arrange cheese singles over top. Bake in 350 degree oven until heated through and cheese is melted (about 15 mintues). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving. Serves 4. Approximate cost, $1.50 for the whole casserole.
Submitted by: Stephanie Martin
Bean & Beef Dish
This is a dish that my family absolutely loves.
1# ground beef (1.68 per pound)
1 can beans with MOLASSES (about 1.19)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
2 small biscuit tubes ( I buy the ones that are 3 for 88 cents, they
contain 5 biscuits each)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( about 99 cents)
Brown ground beef. Drain and place in ungreased, round 1 1/2 qt casserole dish. Stir in beans, ketchup and brown sugar. Mix well. Take biscuits and cut in half so that one side is flat. Place in two rows around the casserole dish. ( LEAVE the middle open or the biscuits will not cook right). Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 350 until the biscuits are done. ( about 20 minutes)
This feeds my husband ( BIG appetite), myself, and three boys ages 7, 6 and 21 months and provides us with leftovers. (at least one lunch serving)
Submitted by: Anna Benneta
This is a casserole that my grandmother passed down to my mother who then passed it on to me. I have 2 very picky little girls who turn their nose up at most foods (it’s the age you know) but eat this with no complaints. This recipe serves 6 and costs only $.39 per serving. Serve with green beans and you have a complete meal.
1lb. ground sausage (wal-mart brand @ $.99)
2 five oz. packs of saffron yellow rice (bella brand @ wal-mart is $.50 per pack)
1 pk. dry onion soup (wal-mart brand is $.77 per box of 2)
Brown sausage well and drain. In a 2qt. casserole dish combine rice, soup, and water according to both packs of rice (aprox. 3 cups). Stir well. Add sausage but do not stir. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until rice is tender. The sausage will all be on top of the dish, add some chopped green onions and this is a dish you can serve to guests.
Submitted by: Brandy White
1 lb ground turkey ($.85)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce ($.30)
1 or 2 cans drained green beans (up to $1.00)
2 or 3 cups mashed potatoes, from instant ($.30)
Brown turkey in a greased skillet, add tomato sauce and green beans, season to taste. Dump into 9” casserole dish. Drop spoonfuls of prepared mashed potatoes onto mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. This serves 4 very hungry people — can be stretched by putting in larger dish and adding more mashed potatoes.
Submitted by: Leigh Carpenter
Easy Taco Casserole
1 # ground beef .88 on sale
1 can store brand mushroom soup .59
1 can store brand rotel tomatoes .50
1 store brand taco kit 1.00
1 block cheese, shredded .99 on sale
Brown ground beef and drain. Add mushroom soup, rotel tomatoes, taco seasoning and taco sauce from kit. Heat together. Take taco shells and heat according to package directions in oven. (Will not work if heated in microwave.) Crumble half of heated taco shells and line bottom of square pyrex dish. Add beef mixture, then crumble other half of shells over beef mixture. Layer shredded cheese over shells. Cover with foil and heat in oven for 25 - 30 minutes on 350 degrees. This makes six servings and each serving costs .66!!! This is very easy and my kids love it!!!
Submitted by: Kim Harveston
This is a tasty dish that I make often for my family. At only $1.12 per serving how can you lose.
1lb. ground beef (on sale $.99)
1 pack flour tortillas 10 count ($1.89)
1 large jar salsa ($2.29)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ($1.50 on sale)
2 tsp. chili powder (pennies)
2 tsp. garlic salt (pennies)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (pennies)
1/4 c. water
In a large skillet brown ground beef, drain well. Add spices and water, boil for about 5 min until water is almost completely absorbed. Add 1/2 jar salsa and 1 cup cheese to beef, mix well. Fill each tortilla with 2 tbs. of meat mixture rolling as you go. Place filled tortillas seam side down in a 9x13 glass baking pan. Top enchiladas with remaining salsa and cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20-25 min. Serves 6 at $1.12/serving
Submitted by: Brandy White
Pôt de Chinois
Here is a family favorite that has been enjoyed for at least 5 generations! It is a quick and easy French-Canadian casserole that tastes even better the next day.Sauté 1 lb. of ground beef (sale price: . 99/lb.) along with 1 medium onion, chopped (sale price: 3 lbs/99 =.15)
Drain any fat, season with salt and pepper to taste (negligible) and place in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Boil 2 lbs. potatoes (sale price: 20/lb =.40) until tender. (If serving a larger crowd, cook more)
Drain and mash along with 2 Tbsp. margarine (Sale price: 19/lb. =.01),1/2 cup milk(mixed storebrand, reconstituted instant milk ($8.99 for the economy size box)along with storebrand whole milk@$2.69/gal)= .07), salt, pepper and onion powder to taste (=.05)
Spread mashed potatoes over the top of the ground beef mixture.
Top with 1-2 15 oz. cans of cream corn(sale price: .33/per can) (use 2 cans if serving more than 4 or if you want 2 nights worth)
If desired, top with small dots of margarine to help to make a golden crust. (about a tablespoon’s worth=.005)
Bake @350 F for 30 minutes. Serves 4-6
For $2.00, I can easily serve a family with leftovers for the next day. Traditionally, this has been served with a coleslaw of shredded green cabbage(4 cups=.20), a chopped, red apple (.15), 1/2 cup raisins (.15), tossed along with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise (.10)
It just wouldn’t be the same without the coleslaw. This can be even cheaper if using garden produce, more vegetables and less meat. Depending on time and prices, instant potatoes may work out better for you.
Submitted by: Carol Coderre-Marx
Comment by a reader:
I just can’t help but comment on this recipe. Being a French-Canadian from Montréal, Québec, it really made me chuckle! Although I’m sure that it tastes very good as is, please let me just mention the following. It is called Pâté chinois, not Pôt de Chinois. Pôt de chinois means a chinese pot and not pâté. But that is just the title... The traditional order in which the ingredients are put in the pan is essential to the enjoyment of this time-tested recipe. First the meat, then the creamed corn, and then lastly, the potatoes. By putting little dollops of butter and sprinkle paprika on the potatoes, you get a lovely golden crust. And that, Miserly Moms, is the right way to make pâté chinois. Doing it upside down is a little bit like putting the cherry under the sundae !
In any case, I really enjoy Miserly Moms and get wonderful tips from your website. It helps me not lose sight of how, as a single mom with two teenage boys (My gosh, do they all eat that much ??!!!), I need to do things in order to stay afloat.
Have a great weekend!!
Isabelle, Mtl, Québec
Italian Mac Recipe
Very inexpensive, makes a large batch, freezes well and takes hardly any time to make! For my family of 3 we eat one meal, leftover lunch for husband, and still have half a pan to freeze for another meal!
2 boxes Mac & Cheese (store brand 2@.89)
1lb hamburger (on sale @ .89/lb)
1 small onion diced (unsure of price)
1/2 green pepper diced (unsure of price)
1 16oz can spaghetti sauce (store brand meat flavor @ .89)
1 package (2 cups) mozzarella ( store brand 1.50 on sale)
Make mac&cheese according to package directions. Brown hamburger, onion, and pepper. Drain and add spaghetti sauce. In a 9x13 baking dish layer hamburger mixture, then mac &cheese, then mozzarella. (I use a 1 cup measuring cup and spread it out evenly). End layers with a cheese layer. Everything is already cooked
so bake at 350 until cheese is as melted or browned as your family prefers. Serve with Salad (or we do green beans). Approx - $5.00 for entire pan.
Submitted by: Kim Bailey
This recipe is so fast, easy and cheap. I’ve been making it since I was 15. My family has affectionately titled it “Tuna Slop.”
1 can Tuna Fish (0.89)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup ($1.00)
Milk (1soup can full) (pennies)
1 package wide egg noodles ($1.00)
1/4 lb. cheese (any kind works) (0.50)
Soy Sauce approx. 5-6 dashes (to taste) (pennies)
Salt & Pepper to taste
While the water is coming to a boil for the noodles, I combine all of the other ingredients (except the cheese) in another saucepan and start heating that through. By then, it’s time to add the noodles to the water. While the noodles are cooking, I cut up whatever cheese I have in the fridge into chunks and add to the tuna mixture. Drain the noodles when done, combine with the tuna mixture and serve.
Submitted by: Sandy Miller
Sausage Rice Casserole
I serve this as a meal sometimes I might serve it with another vegetable.
1 lb sausage - on sale .99
8 oz sour cream — use fat free to help cut down the fat - 1.19
1 can cream of mushroom soup - .49
1 can of corn — .39
2 cups of rice (raw) — 1.00 (if that much)
(I buy in bulk and at discount grocery stores)
Brown sausage and drain well. Drain and save liquid from corn. Using the liquid from the corn and adding water to make 4.25 cups cook the rice. Mix all ingredients into casserole dish; cover; heat at 350 for 15 minutes or until heated through out.
Makes about 6-8 serving at the low cost of .68-.51 each.
Submitted by: Lori Brandt
Easy Lasagna Recipe
This is a simple, delicious, and less expensive way to make lasagna. My family likes it better than “real” lasagna. Total cost $7.00 for at least 9 servings. Leftovers reheat very well. You can substitute low fat ingredients with good results, too.
12 oz. bag egg noodles (.49)
1 lb. ground beef (about $2.00 on sale for extra lean)
1 - 28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce ($1.29)
24 oz. cottage cheese ($1.59)
16 oz. sour cream (.99)
4 oz. shredded mozzarella (.64 on sale)
Brown ground beef and drain if necessary. Cook egg noodles until just done; drain. Mix noodles, cottage cheese, sour cream and ground beef. In a 9 x 13 pan, spread a layer of spaghetti sauce. Spread a layer of beef/noodle mixture.
Alternate until all ingredients are used, ending with sauce layer. Top with shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 until heated through, about 45 min. to 1 hr. I usually uncover the last 10 minutes.
Submitted by: Melanie Ditzel
Tater Tot Casserole
1 pound hamburger meat
1 bag tater tots ( 16 oz)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of milk
Brown the hamburger in a skillet. I normally put my tater tots in theoven and begin letting them brown, I use a baking pan for this. When my hamburger is done I drain off the excess grease. When the meat has drained, I then sprinkle it over the tater tots. I then mix my can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of milk. I pour this over the tater tots and hamburger. I put the pan in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. I serve it with homemade biscuits or a salad.
I have found a cheap grocery store that sells off brand items (Sav-a-lot). I can buy basic soups for 39cents. The soups actually remind me of Campbells. I buy tater tots for 99 cents. And I normally skimp on the pound of hamburger meat which averages $1 a pound. We don’t use a lot of milk in my household so this is a good way to avoid throwing it out. I figure about 30 cents worth of milk. The dish isn’t costing more than $2.75.
Submitted by: Carol
8 lasagna noodles
1lb of hamburger
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 packages of Mexican cheese
1 10 oz cottage cheese
Box of Lasagna noodles cost .96$ and I usually get 2 or 3 lasagna’s out of them. So I figure let than .50$ in noodles. 5 lbs. of hamburger at our grocery is about 5.00$ so $1 dollar for hamburger. Spaghetti Sauce is $1. Mexican Cheese at our grocery is 1.79. Sometimes you can catch it on sale and is it buy one get one free. And cottage cheese is .69$. So total for this dish is for under $5. And I feed 7 or more people with this dish and still have leftovers for days for lunch. Not to mention my kids love inviting their friends over to dinner because this is one of their favorite dishes.
Brown meat, add spaghetti sauce. Lay 4 (uncooked) noodles in bottom of glass casserole dish. Layer one layer of spaghetti sauce, meat mixture using 1/2. Then 1/2 package of Mexican cheese. Top with half of container of cottage cheese. Add second layer of uncooked noodles. Layer of spaghetti sauce, meat mixture (using last of mixture). Remainder of Mexican cheese and cottage cheese. Top with aluminum foil. Cook at 350 for 1 hour when you remove foil do so carefully some of cheese will be stuck. Allow to cool about 10 minutes and serve is good with garlic bread but not necessary.
I have 5 kids and 2 adults in my household. I have to find ways to make our grocery dollars stretch. Last month I spent 122.00 for the month at the grocery store. This is a normal grocery bill for us.
Submitted by: TPZDEER
This is a taco casserole my mom makes - very filling and very good
1lb ground beef
1 large can refried beans
1 pkg. taco seasoning
cheese (about 1 cup depending on tasted)
2 pkg. corn bread mix
Toppings - lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream (pretty much whatever is on sale)
Make corn bread batter according to pkg. directions.Brown ground beef; drain fat. In 9 x 13 pan spread the beans along the bottom; then layer the ground beef and the cheese pour corn bread batter over the top. Bake at 425 for about 10 - 15 minutes (until cornbread is done) yummy! It will easily feed 4-6 people and costs around $5 depending on sales
Submitted by: Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hamburger Rice Casserole
1/2 to 1 lb. Hamburger
1/2 Chopped Onion
2 Cups Cooked Rice
1 Can Condensed Tomato Soup
1 Small Can Tomato Sauce
A Few Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
Seasoning Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
Shredded Cheese (optional)
Brown hamburger with onion and seasonings (drain). Add to rice and tomato soup and sauce. Cover and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Add shredded cheese and bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
Submitted by: Julia
This is a big family favorite and easy to prepare. I use a 13x9 inch casserole dish. It’s under 5.00 to make and virtually free if you use up leftovers instead of starting from scratch.
4 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked pinto beans-including a small amount of the liquid
2 bunches diced green onions
1 diced tomato
1 can of kernel corn
1 batch of biscuit or cornbread batter (or sprinkle some cheese on top)
Layer in order given, adding any seasonings you like. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.
Submitted by: Lisa
Baked Omelet Casserole
When it comes to dinner my husband is a die hard meat and potatoes man. I on the other hand like breakfast for dinner or a vegetarian meal once in a while. This meal is inexpensive and even he will eat it. It is also extremely versatile so I can whip it up with whatever I have on hand in the fridge or ripe in the garden most times. I hope you like it as well as we do. Serves 4 @ .43 per servings
8 pieces of bread from the Day old Bread Store, crust cut off and diced into 1 1/2”-2” cubes .15
8 eggs .60
1 cup of milk .25
2 cups of diced assorted omelet type fixings you have handy in your fridge. .75
Here is a list of fixings I’ve used:
Left over ham, bacon or sausage
2 tablespoons seasoning salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” casserole dish. Place bread cubes in the casserole dish. Beat milk into eggs, toss in omelet fixings and pour over bread cubes. Using your hand mix all ingredients together. Bake 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Best served with a tossed salad or sliced fresh fruit.
Taco Tater Tot Casserole
1 lb. ground beef- $1 (only buy when on sale for $1/ lb. or less)
1 pkg taco seasoning—33 cents
1/4 cup water-free
1/2 medium onion diced— about 8 cents
1 can whole kernel corn, drained- 33 cents
1 jar salsa con queso $2.99-at BI-Lo (but I usually get them 50 cents a jar at our grocery outlet)
1/2 package (1 lb) tater tots 60 cents ($1.19/ 2 lb package)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef and onion together in skillet. Drain. Add taco seasoning and water and simmer according to package directions. In a 13x9 casserole dish spread taco meat on bottom of pan. Layer the corn on top of it. Then place tater tots in a single layer on top of corn. Spread the salsa con queso on top of everything. Cook in preheated oven for about one hour. We usually spread sour cream to taste on each serving. At 99 cents for a large container that adds about 30 to 40 cents to the total cost.
Normally I pay $3.29 for the whole dish—$5.78 if I have to buy full price salsa, but that’s still a bargain.
This feeds my family of 6 with seconds for my husband and leftovers for my husband’s lunch the next day.
Pasta Bake (serves 6 generously)
One 16 oz bag chunky dry pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc). ($.50-1.00)
One 28 oz jar pasta sauce of your choice (sale, typically $1.00-1.50)
1/2 lb package Brown and Serve sausage, crumbled by hand ($1.25 on sale)
2 cups shredded mozzarella (whole milk works best) ($1.00)
In a 13 x 9 inch baking pan mix the pasta, sauce, one sauce jar full of water and the sausage.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. Stir well, recover
and bake 10 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake until cheese melts.
Great for getting rid of assorted leftovers. You can add whatever you like to this and it works
Submitted by: Lucinda
Hamburger Casserole (serves 4)
1Lb. Hamburger (1.49)
1-8oz. cream cheese(.99)
10 oz. egg noodle(.99)
Cook hamburger with onion. Drain hamburger. Mix cream of mushroom and cream cheese. Cook noodles. Put hamburger back in pan add drained corn and cream cheese mixture. Heat hamburger sauce enough so it will be easy to mix with noodles. Pour noodles and hamburger sauce in casserole, mix. Heat in oven until bubbly.
When I really am in a pinch for time: I don’t heat sauce in fry pan I just mix and throw in oven or heat sauce and serve over noodles. This was a recipe my mom made us as kids I still love it and it makes great comfort food on a budget.
Sausage and Cheese Casserole
This is a family favorite and I get asked for it over and over. It is easy and you can make it so cheap
1lb. Breakfast sausage ( walmart sells their brand for .88 cents or watch for sales...i usually pay no more than 1.59 for jimmy dean when on sale)
12 ozs. Of macaroni...My family likes this with shell shape or spiral macaroni but you can use any kind. (dollar general sells elbow
macaroni and the spiral..$1.00 for 2 1lb. Bags
1 can cheddar cheese soup (campbell’s is .99 cents to 1.09 depending on where you shop)
1/2 soup can of milk (price depends on if you use dry instant milk or the regular. I use regular...so about .25)
1/8 tsp black pepper or to taste (we like a little more pepper..cents on price)
1/4 tsp. Dry ground mustard (same here..I use a tiny bit more...cents on price...dollar general sells their spices 2 for $1.00)
1 medium onion, chopped (cost about ..40 cents)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper or whatever color you have (green bell pepper will cost you about .30 in this red, yellow or orange bell pepper will cost you more...about .75 cents)
1/2-3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (depending on how much you like cheese walmart brand will cost you .50 -.75 cents if already grated..grate your own and cut the price more)
Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Crumble sausage and cook in frying pan until done...drain off grease.. You want it to be like crumbled hamburger meat. In large bowl, dump hot noodles, soup, spices, milk, onion, peppers and cooked sausage. Mix together well and then add your grated cheese. Put into a casserole dish and cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, depending on how brown you want the top to be. this will serve 4-6 very generous servings. Enjoy!
Submitted by: True, pottsboro, texas
This casserole is very tasty and very frugal. I couldn’t believe how good
it turned out to be and easy to prepare when you have nothing else on hand.
You can add any leftover veggies you have on hand to stretch a little
1 regular can of tuna (approximately .75 cents)
1 can of mixed vegetables (.34 cents at United Dollar)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (.50 at United Dollar)
½ bag of egg noodles ($1.00 at United Dollar)
chopped onion to your liking and 2 gloves minced garlic (pennies)
Parmesan cheese (pennies)
I started by boiling ½ bag of egg noodles per directions and drained. In
saucepan, I sautéed chopped onion and garlic, then added all other
ingredients except Parmesan cheese and heated through. When noodles are
finished, fold all ingredients into casserole dish and sprinkle with
Parmesan cheese at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Very tasty and only
around .45 per serving for six servings.
Submitted by: Marylea
Easy Chicken Casserole
3-4 cups cooked chicken (whole chicken 5.80)
2 cans generic brand whole kernel corn (.66)
1 can generic brand cream of chicken soup (.50)
1/3 cup chicken broth (free)
1 small container generic brand sour cream (.89)
1 sleeve ritz crackers (.75 3.00 per box, 4 sleeves per box — Using regular saltine crackers would lessen cost even further but the buttery taste of ritz really makes this dish in my opinion)
2 Tbsp. generic brand butter or margarine (.10)
Cut and boil chicken until cooked through. Dice chicken to make 3-4 cups. Place in 9 in casserole dish. Drain corn and pour over chicken. Mix soup, sour cream and 1/3 cup chicken broth (from when you boiled the chicken) in small sauce pan and heat through stirring constantly (be careful, this mixture will splatter considerably when it begins to heat up). Pour soup mixture over corn. Crumble 1 sleeve Ritz crackers over soup mixture. Pour 1 tbsp. melted butter over Ritz crackers. Sprinkle with pepper (no extra salt needed). Bake in oven at 400 for 15 - 20 minutes or until crackers are brown and soup is bubbly around the sides of the dish. This is my husband’s favorite meal. Feeds my family of 4 for dinner and we always have leftovers for lunch the next day. Total cost is $8.70 or $2.20 per person for dinner and lunch. I use any leftover chicken for chicken salad or chicken burritos.
Submitted by: Lori, Warrior, Alabama
Chicken Enchilada Bake
This recipe is a favorite of my family. You can whip it up in a snap, and it feeds 6 people or more. Leftovers thrown into the oven the next day taste awesome. Cheap recipe with lots of flavor!!
1 onion chopped (pennies)
1/4 c margarine (.10 cents or less)
4 c shredded cooked chicken (great to use chicken thighs if you don’t mind dark meat). ($2.00) (about a pound of chicken)
1 cup hot water
1 chicken bouillion cube (pennies)
1 can cream of chicken soup (.50 cents)
1 can chili beans ($1.00)
1 can corn (.50 cents)
1 small can chopped tomatoes (.50)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1-2 cups grated cheese (I usually use mexican cheese) ($1.50)
5 flour tortillas (.50 cents) (tear into pieces)
TOTAL COST : $6.60
Saute onion in butter until onions are softened. Add chicken (Generally I cook the chicken with the onions). Dissolve boullion cube in hot water, add to chicken. Add cream of chicken soup, beans, pepper and chili powder. Stir to combine. In a 13x9 inch pan, place a layer of torn tortillas to cover bottom of baking dish. Add a layer of chicken mixture and cover with half of the cheese. Add another layer of torn tortillas. Follow with another layer of chicken. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Easy Mexican Casserole
I have a large family and am always finding ways to use less meat which is expensive, without taking away from nutrition. I always use store brand.
1lb ground beef or chicken $2.50
1 jar salsa $1.29
1 onion chopped .05
1 bag plain tortilla chips (or another 1/2 bag for more of a quantity) $.99
1 16oz container sour cream $.99
2 cans chicken broth $.59 each
handful of flour
2-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese $2.50
mexican seasonings like cumin, chili powder, coriander powder, garlic powder (or buy a packet of taco spice mix $.59) ( I never buy spice mixes, as they are a waist of money and not natural. Buy spices and you can always use them and mix them yourself!
This makes a huge casserole large enough for 2 meals easily
Brown the ground beef
Add in your spices, as much as you like
In a seperate bowl, put chicken broth and flour and mix and pur into ground beef and simmer for about 10 minutes. This will take away the flour taste and also thicken the mixture a bit. Turn off and add the sourcream. stir until melted.
Take a large casserole dish, the largest that you have.
Crush all your chips and put a layer on the bottom of the dish. spoon some groundbeef mixture, sprinkle some chopped onion and cheese and spoon on blobs of salsa. Layer until finished and top with cheese, onions and salsa. Bake at 350 until cheese is melted. approx. 30 minutes
Tortilla Chili Bake
1 can chili beans (less than $.40 in WI)
¼ cup cheese cheddar, jack, Mexican cheese - whatever your family likes
1 onion a few pennies
6 corn tortilla shells
chili spices/ salt/pepper to taste
1 can tomatoes or use fresh from the graden
Brown onion in pan. Add tomatoes and cook together for a few minutes
Still in spices a little at a time until it reaches your families taste
Add can of chili beans
Cook over stove on low heat for about 5-10 minutes
Layer tortillas 2-3 in bottom of a baking pan, cover with chili bean mix and alternate with tortillas like a lasagna.
Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 350 20-30 minutes.
I usually make this the night before and pop it in the oven the next night. It costs me less than $1.50 to make this recipe and it can be stretched easily with extra veggies or ground turkey ($.50 lb when purchased in a tube).
Tastes great w/ corn muffins and a salad
Submitted by: Aleisha
My family and I love a good danish, but they are very costly to buy from the store. So I came up with this simple and frugal way to make them at home. Enjoy!
2 tubes refrigerated bread sticks (on sale for $.50 each)
1 8oz. package of cream cheese (store brand @ $.99)
1/4 c. powdered sugar (aproximatly $.05)
1/2 tsp. lemon juice (pennies)
1/2 c. powdered sugar (aprox. $.10)
1-2 tsp. milk (pennies)
Seperate bread sticks but do not uncoil, place on ungreased cookie sheet. With your thumb make an indention into the tops of each coil. In a bowl mix cheese, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Place about 1 tbs. of cheese mix into indentions. Bake at 400 for 15-20 min. Meanwhile combine remaining sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle frosting over warm danish. Yields 1 dozen. At about $.16 per danish you can’t lose.
Submitted by: Brandy White
Peanut Butter Granola
cost - aproximately $4.12 for all ingredients. Fills a 1 Gallon (recycled) Pickle Jar.
1 1/2 cups Crunchy Peanut Butter. (I bought Home Harvest - 1.19 on sale)
1 cup brown sugar (.20, whole bag costs about .69)
1 can frozen concentrated apple juice. (.99)
10 cups of instant rolled oats. (Also Home Harvest brand. 1.39)
1/2 cup of oil. (I use Safflower oil, has vitamin E added to it. cost of 1/2 c. aprox .35)
Mix the apple juice, peanut butter and oil in one container. Mix the oats and brown sugar in another container, until brown sugar is mixed in well. Add in the liquid ingredients and mix well with a spoon until it gets too thick, then I use my hands to mix, like a cookie dough. The granola mixture will be thick.
Spread on two cookie sheets, making sure to keep the Granola no more than an inch thick on the pan. Toast the Granola at 225 to 250 in the oven for an hour or so. You want it lightly toasted, not dark brown. You will probably have to turn the granola once during cooking. Keep an eye on it, it might not take the full hour. If you are careful turning you will have both tiny flakes and lumps (the lumps are good for snacking, and the tiny flakes are good for breakfast cereal with milk.) Let the Granola cool and put it in an airtight container.
If you wish to add fruit or nuts to this you may, but it makes the cost go up. I use the Crunchy Peanut Butter because it has small pieces of peanuts already in it.
Submitted by: Meriah
My family loves these as breakfast, or as a snack.
2 c. cooked rice (about .65)
1/2 c. minced onion( about .25)
2 eggs ( about .25)
3 Tbs. flour (couldn’t figure this one-sorry!)
salt and pepper
oil/fat for frying
In large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls into hot oil in skillet. Fry on each side until brown and crispy. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Makes 8 cakes.
Fruity Breakfast Oatmeal
This isn’t entirely original, but has been a big hit with the kids (8,6 &3yrs). My kids were used to the store bought instant oatmeal. I tried to make regular quick cooking oatmeal but it didn’t impress the kids. Then I tried this and it was a huge success!!! I now make a big pot at a time, freeze many servings in individual sized containers (purchased Styrofoam bowls with plastic lids from Gordon’s - just pennies). This heats up from the rock hard frozen state, in the microwave in just 90 seconds!
Quick Cooking Oatmeal (Save-a-Lot-$.79 for large container)
water (according to package directions)
Preserves, jelly...any flavor! (pennies, especially if homemade)
First and most important step, to get it like the store bought instant oatmeal is to zip dry oatmeal in food processor until fine. Then cook as directed, add preserves (to taste). YUM!!
Submitted by: Molly, Otsego, Michigan
Macaroni Egg/Ham Casserole
This was a favorite while growing up. It’s cheap and easy and my family loves it! It’s easy to add other ingredients if this is a little bland for your taste...
1/4 cup - Milk
1 1/4 cup - Ham/Turkey Ham - diced
1/2 cup - Parmesan Cheese
Boil enough Macaroni to fill up your favorite casserole dish. Drain macaroni and place in the casserole. Whisk the eggs together & add milk. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Add Salt/Pepper to taste. Poor mixture over the macaroni. Add 1 cup of the diced ham and stir in. Sprinkle the remaining ham and a little parmesan cheese over the top. Cover and bake for approx. 1 hour (depending upon the casserole size). It’s done when the eggs are set up. Take off the lid for the last five minutes to brown the top a bit. Sometimes I add broccoli or beans to it.
Submitted by: Irene Filipponi
10 eggs, beaten (80 cents)
2 shredded potatoes (about 50 cents where we live)
1 tsp. seasoned salt (pennies)
1/2 diced onion (35 cents)
1/2 diced bell pepper (40 cents)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or 8 oz. (1.50 a block)
1 pkg bulk sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained of fat (99 cents at Wal Mart)
Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. This can be used for breakfast, or for dinner.
Submitted by: Vicky
Thank you, GG, I forgot to say that that is the advantage to a gas stove, that you can light it manually when the electric ignition has no power!!
As for the water, I have an old swimming pool that is not used, and was thinking about tearing it down, until the power went out, and the water came in handy to flush toilets! So, I just decided to leave it be. I’m in the country with no close neighbors, so it’s only an eye-sore to me.
They sure are true ferals. We have been feeding them for a year. Mama had four kittens last summer and only two survived. They have gotten so spoiled that they won’t drink cold milk so we have warmed it for them even during the heat of the summer. Despite warm milk, chicken livers, steak from the moose we processed, mackeral fresh caught, hot dogs and all manner of cat food, they remain very nervous, coming when you call, but never approaching food til we return to the inside of the house. Can’t figure!! I just hope we can catch the other two and get them neutered before we have any more kittens.
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