In the Living Kitchen

Musings, memories, meals in the making.

Frugal Fridays


When I was admiring the strong beet seedlings last week, I began fantasizing about the full grown, first late-spring beets: medium sized, sweet, with delicious leafy greens.  Then I realized that I still have beets stored in our basement.  I have been eating beets for months now.  That really took all the fun out of spring beets.

Add this to the fact that we still have butternut squashes and a freezer full of preserved food, and I decided to take action in the form of a challenge:  To not purchase any food for as long as we can take it, a minimum of two weeks.

We are officially on day 5.  Normally, we would have gone to the store on Sunday, but we have been trudging right along.  Our meals have been a mixed bag.  For instance, I would not wish tonight’s dinner on my worst enemy.  Weird frozen udon noodles with frozen (over ripe) green beans topped with hot dried chilies (the best part) and a strange sauce made with an even stranger fermented black bean sauce (that basically came in a jar, why did I ever buy that?) .  Most of the foods in our house that are still in the freezer or condiments that we still have after months are items that flabbergast me now.  Like frozen (over-ripe) greens beans.  I know now that I enjoy pickled dilly beans so much more than frozen green beans.  The proof is in the pudding, we have been out of dilly beans for months and still have 5 or 6 bags of frozen green beans to go.

On the plus side, I found a bag of frozen, sauteed fennel (score).  One last bag of roasted, diced eggplant (very nice).  We now have enough room in our freezer for the six gallon-sized bags full of tomatoes that have been housed in a friend’s freezer.  I am putting tomatoes in everything.

Some meals feel like cheating, like when we had black beans and rice for dinner.  Others are glorious:  kale and seaweed over soba noodles.  I am actually looking forward to getting down to the wire, when we really are almost out of food, and have to be really creative.  After all, we won’t have a good supply of spring greens until the very end of May.  This challenge has already forced me to rethink feeding my food cravings at all times.

Update:  Since I wrote this on Friday and am posting it on Sunday, I can add that Sam was excited that he might be able to buy cereal at the store today, since our challenge has lasted a week.  “Cereal?” I replied, “Cereal?  This challenge is not over!  You do not need cereal!”  I must be firm.


3 thoughts on “Frugal Fridays

  1. why? why must you be firm? if you haven’t preserved breakfast foods, why must you deny them? Wouldn’t the challenge also be good (by which I believe you mean virtuous) if it was to simply use up all of your frozen and preserved assets before your new season’s crops are ready? Wouldn’t that be practical, even exemplary, without being punishing? I am truly curious.

    • Well, I think I must be firm because Sam and I lack self control. It’s true that we could simply use up all our “preserved assets” but we have had trouble doing just that. (Plus, we’ve got a good supply of milk, eggs, frozen/dry fruit and bread ingredients for breakfast type foods for Sam. He just wants a quick fix!) In addition to working towards emptying the freezer and full cupboards, money is a bit tight right now, hence the idea that we can learn to spend less on food–which, since doing a budget, turns out to be a huge portion of our income considering we grow our own!!

  2. Hey!! I’m in the exact same place right now! Guess why I made strawberry frosting for those cupcakes?

    And guess why I’m having a party this weekend? To make freezer space! Frozen hors de oeuvres, hello!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s