Monday, February 15, 2010

A Simple Challenge

In my quest to be frugal this year I have come across many great ideas and tips. Friends have also passed along their ideas and Jenny suggested that I buy the book "The $21 Challenge". The book is based on only spending $21 on food for 1 week. It is not designed to be used every week but when needed like when a large bill arrives in your letter box or you are saving for a major purchase. The conept is simple and one which I intend to adapt this week. Mr MC says that due to the size of our pantry and freezer stocks that we should try to do it for longer but we will see.

I have not restricted this week's spend to $21 because I like to buy "The Specials" each week of regular products that I use so those purchases will still be made. But I did make the weeks Fruit and Vegetable purchase which came to a total of $12.50. For this I bought Apples, Bananas, Potatoes, Carrots, Pumpkin & Sweet Potato. The trick is to plan meals around items that we already have in the pantry, freezer and garden. Mr MC would really like to see me run the pantry right down this make take quite a few weeks -LOL.

I will try to blog as many ideas and recipes as I can over the next few weeks to help you to also be budget wise and try to use items you already have. This is one of my family's favourite vegetable dishes. It is a great dish to prepare towards the end of the week when you do not have very much left. Dice lots of different vegetables quite small like Potato, Pumpkin, Carrots, Sweet Potato etc (Usually Root Vegetables). Place in a baking dish, mix in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and mix well. Sprinkle with 3 teaspoons of Salt Reduced Chicken Stock Powder (I use Massel), a sprinkle of Onion Flakes and Garlic Flakes and mix well.
Roast in a hot oven for around 40 minutes to make a delicious side dish.
To let you in on a little secret I do not like vegetables........... I have never liked them - I grow them for the family but I only really eat Potato and Lettuce BUT I adore this dish !!! It is perfect for the little people in your house who do not like them either - I am sure they will love them cooked this way.

Being a girl who likes pretty things the hardest thing for me over the past 7 weeks has been to not purchase unnecessary items - Like anything from the "Robert Gordon" display at a shop I went to recently - That was heart breaking stuff. But I really want to give this my best shot so have been trying really hard. One of the cheapest forms of pretty home decoration can be indoor plants. In Australia we are almost to the time when Cyclamens will be flowering and also the time for bulb planting for spring colour.

The beauty of them is that you can move them around from room to room to pretty up boring areas. I have a number of flowering pot plants which I just love to look out - They never fail to make me smile when I look at them - Especially since Mr MC use to call me "Gold Finger" He said that everything I touched turned gold (as in died) but over the years my thumb has become much greener and I now manage to keep things not only alive but in bloom.

Some plants are also perfect for taking cuttings from or for dividing into other pots. These make perfect and economic gifts.
I have a couple of days off from work this week so I am about to hit the UFO box - Watch this space for some completed projects.
Until next time,


allsewnup said...

Thank you for the veggie dish. I'm going to try this with my boys, one refuses to eat anything but brocolli and the other is corn.
Beautiful flowers.


soggybottomflats said...

Your dish looks very yummy! I have a huge pot of beef stock on the stove simmering away. I have made my own chicken stock for a long time but never beef. I am getting more into basics and trying to avoid canned items. I had to re-think my ideas of beef stock after reading many items on the web, not at all what I had thought it should be! My dil is joining me in the frugal journey and we are having a great time. Love your flowers, so pretty. Thanks, Elaine from Texas

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I love veggies, Fiona - it's the rest of the family who are veg-phobic! I am going to make that recipe this week, and I'll let you know how it goes. It sounds and looks DELISH!

Janice said...

Your veges look so scrummy that I might try them tonight. I must say I do love my veges. Your indoor plants are gorgeous. I definitely have brown fingers, so for me it is the opposite of being frugal. I don't waste my money on them any more and just enjoy looking at other people's.

Joy said...

Oooh Fee, that vegie dish looks so scrummy ..... I'll HAVE to try that, thanks :o)!!
Love n Hugs,
Joy :o)

Jo in TAS said...

I love vegies, I could survive on vegies! We're inundated with zuchinis at the moment so I've been baking zuchini slice and freezing it for lunches.
We eat alot of rice when we need to save money!

Cubby House Crafts said...

Thanks for the recipe Fiona... will give that one a go for the fussy lass in the family! Lisa

Bunny said...

Looks yummy good luck with your determination to cut down. It sure is worth the effort. Good training when you retire. We all have to do this. For sure we all aquire too much stuff.

Debbie said...

Will have to try that dish! It looks and sounds so yummy.

Have a great day!


Kiwifruit-Shiree said...

I am really enjoying your frugal tips Fiona, keep it up ta!!

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Hi Fiona, I really like your recipe dish and we are having to be very frugal on this end since my son has lost his job. I'll be looking for all your good tips.
Love the YoYo's your making.
Keep Stitchen'