Thursday, June 16, 2011

Help Me with Recipe Ideas and Money Saving Tips!!

Wow.  Being STILL stuck financially is just so draining!  Its been a decade of financially struggling and honestly, I'm tired tired TIRED of it.  I'm getting tired of bread and potatoes.  And Rice.  Forgive me for complaining, I know that I am blessed that my husband now has a job... I just get frustrated sometimes.

I am having a really hard time even thinking of recipes because I know we just don't have the money for a 'real' grocery shop.  It is really starting to get to me.

So, I made stuffed peppers again because green bell peppers (which only the guys like) were on sale for 50 cents each and the rice is cheap as well.

I want to make a wishlist of foods I'd LOVE to make before the year is out, and a list of inexpensive foods that I haven't ALREADY made.

Dream Recipes?
I LOVE Panera Bread's Salads, so I definitely want to try some that would be similar.

  • Stuffed Artichokes that I found at CajunLicious
  • I REALLY want to perfect the best Guacamole because my hubby loves it SO much.
  • I want to find a new recipe for green enchilada sauce because its a favorite, and the last recipe was REALLY good... but I'm hoping for a little more 'kick' and flavor.  Although it might be as simple as finding better quality ingredients, to be honest.
  • New Salad recipes.  Since its spring/summer and I don't like to really eat hot stuff, I want to find some new ideas for salads.  I would like to get in the habit of adding beans to my salads as well as experimenting with fruits and nuts as well.
Inexpensive Recipes?
Since I'm already the queen of toss everything from my freezer into a pot and calling it a recipe, I need to branch out:)
  • Salad Dressing recipes:  I LOVE homemade salad dressings and I really want to find some new ideas to try... and they're cheap to make as well
  • Beans.  I need to find more bean recipes.  Dried beans are SO cheap, super filling and healthy.  I need to get us all used to eating them more.
  • Smoothies
  • Blackberries.  We have blackberries out the wazoo, since we have a ton of bushes in our backyard that our landlord lets us have.  My son makes cobbler, but I'm thinking that surely there are more uses for them.  Maybe I could even make a clean eating jam with them or something?  I welcome your ideas!!
  • Pasta Salads.  My hubby and sons LOVE cold pasta salad.  I have never cared for it, but I think I'm grown up enough now that maybe I can get over my aversion to cold pasta and find some ways to make it in a recipe that I would like... please, if you have any you love, share your favorite recipes or ingredients with me!

Would you share your top 3 'dream meals' or favorite dishes?  
I feel like I'm stuck in a rut... and now my hubby isn't feeling well whilst having to work 6 days a week, so I really need to make some awesome garlic recipes as well.  Help!  My creativity appears to be drying up!!

Money Saving Tips?
What are your favorite money saving tips?  Mine (off the top of my head):

My most recent hair cut other than my own:)

  • Cutting everyone's hair myself (even my own, which I also dye myself)
  • Buying whatever food is on the best sale and working around that for a meal.
  • Making any trip to town count... meaning that I always organize my trips to town so that I use the least amount of gas and get the most done.
  • Keeping the heat/AC on the setting that uses it the least.  We bundle up a LOT in the winter and try to not go nuts with the AC in the summer.  Our house is very small and incredibly well insulated, so our electric bills are incredibly low.
  • Buying food at cheaper prices in bulk from
  • Making Vegetable Broth from veggie scraps instead of tossing them
  • Probably my favorite "frivolous" thing is bartering.  I have bartered for tattoos once by making lollipop boquets for my tattoo guys' wedding, once by painting on a leather vest and once in exchange for Zumba punch cards.  I'm working on a deal to paint his motorcycle in exchange for a back tattoo.  This has been awesome because I love tattoos, but its probably not something I would have ever had $$ for.  Have you ever bartered for anything?