Resourcefulness At It’s Best

Resourcefulness At It’s Best

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According to dictionary.com, the word Frugal means: “economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful” and “entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty”. Essentially, being frugal is being resourceful.

Every now and then I try to put this to the test. For example, instead of running out and buying more exfoliator, I decided to use the resources I already had, to make my own. And it worked out great.

Use What You Got

Once again, I am in a situation where I need to use the full extent of my resources. See, last week I learned that I will be facing unemployment in mid-January. This hit me hard as I was not expecting it. Immediately, I had to take another look at my finances and adjust some of my budgets and goals to make-due throughout this unstable time. It being Christmas makes the situation even trickier.

So, partly out of necessity and partly for a challenge, I decided to stretch out my current groceries instead of doing my monthly $100 grocery shopping trip. I last bought groceries on November 25th. I always keep a pretty stocked pantry and, as you can see in the shopping list, I bought quite a bit of meat.

The Challenge…

Breakfast started out fine with cereal and milk. Once the milk ran out, I turned to toast and eggs. Now that the bread and eggs are gone, I’m eating oatmeal. I always have oatmeal on hand for cookies but haven’t eaten it for breakfast in years! It’s a very nice change and adding the brown sugar & cinnamon makes it plenty sweet for me.

Lunch is almost always leftovers no matter what. However, not having bread greatly reduces “quick lunch” choices. A quick peanut butter sandwich is no longer an option.

Dinners are still going strong since I bought all that meat in November. However, I am all out of “lazy” dinner options. I am on my last bit of pasta and ran out of cheese last week. All in all though, I still have a lot of rice/couscous, chicken/pork/beef, and frozen vegetables. As always, I have plenty of baking ingredients and all my seasonings.

Getting Creative

At the very least, this challenge is making me get creative and learn new recipes! Last Saturday, getting tired of oatmeal, I wanted to make pancakes. I used All Recipe’s Ingredient Search (which is amazing!) and searched for pancake recipes without butter and egg. Well, there was a vegan recipe, which I tried but was a complete failure. So I moved onto a beer pancake recipe. I lucked out and borrowed the 1 egg from my roomate. But I am the only one who buys milk in the house so there was no getting around that. However, I did have some leftover light beer in the fridge that I was not planning on drinking ever, so I just used that. And you know what? The pancakes were actually very good!

Then, for dinner, I combed the freezer and found a package of Kielbasa that I bought in, well, I don’t know when. So I decided to use that up. Once again I went to Allrecipes and found a kielbasa recipe that called for brown sugar, ginger ale and mustard. I had to check on the ginger ale but found a 1 liter bottle waaaay in the back of the fridge. It was very flat but I figured cooking with it would be better than throwing it out. I always have brown sugar on hand and I had all the ingredients to make my yummy honey mustard. The recipe came out great. I never would have thought to prepare kielbasa that way if I weren’t challenging myself.

The worst part about all this is that I ran out of all my snacks, even popcorn! Luckily, it is holiday time and I already have quite a few holiday cookies and candies from friends. But if this weren’t the case, I would definitely be craving for sweets.

Learning As You Go

I will continue to use all the resources I have in the best way possible until I run out of them! I still have quite a few left, even if they’re not my ideal choices. While I love learning new recipes, it is very easy to get stuck in your routine recipe stash. Being challenged with limited resources is a great learning tool. With that said, I’ll gladly take recipe suggestions.

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2 Replies to “Resourcefulness At It’s Best”

  1. Sorry to hear about the job, but glad to hear at least you have some warning. When I was in college, and even single, I saved a fortune eating stir fries. There are a million different combinations and sauces, you can make in bulk and keep in the fridge, and all you need is ramen and some different veggie fixins (frozen veggies work fine). It’s not glamorous, but in a stretch they’ll get you through. I also lived on tuna.

    If you need anything or I can be of help in some way don’t hesitate to ask!

    Jessica

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