Welcome to a brand new month!
My Vicky Challenge last week went fairly well and we are trying hard to up the anti towards our solar panels!
My savings and earnings included:
$125 from blog ads.
I made all work lunches and the fishing day picnic saving $150.
Cooked all meals plus double tuna mornay, double batch of brownies (part as a gift) and a fair few things went into the freezer.
I mended a sheet.
Sorting out my laundry sink cupboard I found I have more dusters than I knew!
At Aldi I saved about $45 on fruit loaves and turkish breads alone! The little shoes were a bonus!
Andy did the pruning of a big tree. The tree is higher than the house and it sprawled over into the neighbours yard. Now it is away from gutters and cleared from the fence line. I estimate this would have been at least a few hundred dollars if we hired someone to do it. I am counting $300 for this.
I got ahead with freezer meals and supplies, added to the pantry and gift cupboard.
All up I wrote $620 in my savings book.
This week my savings subject is deli meats. Talking with Cookie we got onto this subject of preserved meats and it went from there! I promised her I would post how I make meat loaf so here it is!
The act of making and taking lunches to school and work is going to save a fortune compared to buying them. But deli meats are mostly quite expensive. Making your own roast meats and mixes is a good way to keep those costs down.
Firstly I was telling Cookie how I do corned beef in the crockpot. (these are the kind of conversations that go on in the comments section!) A lovely friend taught me to do this. You fill the crockpot with enough water to cover the corned beef. Add a splash of vinegar, bay leaves and peppercorns. Let that cook all day. It turns deep red and so tender.
That night it is dinner with mashed potatoes, mustard and veggies.
The rest is cold meat for during the week!
A homemade pastrami is easily made by taking one of these (once cooked) and drying it off. Then roll in a good thick layer of cracked pepper and roast in a pan on low for an hour.
This is rich and full of flavour. You can slice it thinly so it goes a long way. In my large crockpot I can do two corned beef at the same time and use one as corned beef and one as Pastrami.
If you look at pre sliced meats, especially the ones in little packages the costs are crazy. It varies so much. i.e. a kilo of sliced ham in the deli is $24 or so. A kilo of ham in the little plastic packages is closer to $40 a kilo. A kilo of ham on the bone which you slice yourself is about $7 a kilo, at least when they are on special! A kilo of bacon is under $10. So there are many variations to get pretty much the same thing! (these are my local prices)
This applies to chicken and other meats just the same.
I often do a roast leg of lamb and the left over meat is sliced for most of the weeks lunches. Overall this is much cheaper than buying deli meats.
For those that like them egg sandwiches are an alternative to meats too.
One that is a help to me is good old fashioned meat loaf! This is great in sandwiches and rolls and in lunch boxes as little mini meat loaves. I make these in muffin tins. For little kids make them in mini muffin tins and for big kids make them in texas muffin tins!
The key with meatloaf is it slices nicely when cold and not so nicely when hot. So for dinner to serve hot I will make it up in muffin trays.
This is also a very good "use it up" recipe and can be cooked in the oven or in the microwave. It is cooked in 14 minutes!
The recipe is very adaptable.
The basic recipe is
About 1 kilo ( 2.2 pounds) mince meat. (That is ground meat)
1 large onion or two smaller chopped.
2 cups breadcrumbs, or torn up fresh bread or stuffing mix (homemade or pack mix)
3/4 cup of milk, bit more if you used dry crumbs.
1 cup tomato paste or relish, or BBQ sauce, or chutney or tomato soup or spaghetti sauce! (or a mixture of any of these)
Pepper. Herbs you like (I like oregano) or chilli.
Cheese is optional.
This can be cooked in the oven in a loaf pan or two smaller tins, in muffin tins, whatever suits. A full sized tin is one large meatloaf. I would use a medium oven setting and allow an hour. The smaller sizes will be less of course. Once they look at though they are bubbling right through and browning on top that is my guide. I think 15 mins for muffin ones.
You can make in the microwave. You simply pat it into the shape you want. Top it as you like, I covered mine in a layer of tomato paste and grated cheese. I microwave on high 14 mins.
That is it! I browned mine for a couple of minutes under the grill. Or it can go in the oven for a few minutes. It is purely to give colour as it is cooked. If it is for cold meat in sandwiches then the growing doesn't really matter.
You want a well mixed mixture and it to seem moist but that it will hold together.
I used the left overs from a jar of tomato relish, some tomato paste, and I used a pack of stuffing mix. With that I didn't need to add herbs. I just added pepper.
I made a few mini meatloaves in muffin trays and this was dinner. I am not going to make anything and it not be meal as well! This is a good old fashioned dinner. I think in the US meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots is called Blue Plate special. Or maybe I saw that on a movie?
Once cold they slice nicely and make great sandwich/roll filling.
You can freeze them whole or freeze slices for emergencies! When the kids were at school I froze trays of mini ones that went while into lunch boxes. You can also use mini ones as meatballs and serve over pasta. Or make cheese burgers and use this instead of the burger!
Mince can be expensive here now. Once it was the economical meat. Now I buy it up when there is a good special. The addition of the breadcrumbs, egg, onion, tomato etc all bulk it out quite a bit.
The things I use instead of deli meats varies depending on the time of year. Sometimes after Christmas I can get turkey at a great price. Then we have roast turkey in everything for a while! Sometimes hams are on special or lamb or chicken... They all become roast meat sliced up and used instead of deli meats.
How did you save and earn last week? I hope you found great ways to get ahead!
And what do you make or buy that keeps costs down on filling sandwiches and lunch boxes? If you make anything that could be used as good lunch box fillers please share! This is a big area that we can make savings in! I am working on a post about lunch box fillers that are not sandwiches or rolls coming up soon!
Have a wonderful week and a wonderful August! xxx
The little birds...
If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.
Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.