Simple living lifestyle challenge 24-gather up your fragments

simple livingThe change: to gather up your fragments

To gather up your fragments means to use what you have without having to search elsewhere for supplies.  This week, I want you to avoid shopping.  Yes, I said that correctly AVOID grocery shopping.  I hope that you have a small stash of groceries left in your pantry and a few pieces of meat or beans in your freezer.  Maybe you looked at them and thought…..ahhhhhh I will go shopping this week so that I don’t have to “think” about making dinner.  Make sure I get all my supplies so that dinners are easy.  But meanwhile there is still plenty of food in the pantry.

Why make the change:

Most of us over spend on everything, ME included.  I will go shopping just because I do the same thing once a month and it is time to do that.  I don’t always wait even though I could.  But there were times when I was unable to do shopping due to an unexpected financial emergency.  We had to do without and guess what??  We didn’t starve and no one went to bed hungry either.

I was just creative and “gathered up my fragments and used what I had.”  It was times like that, that I realized that we ate too many wasteful food.  I noticed that my children got fuller on staple foods like rice and beans.  I realized that without cookies and sugar filled snacks they were actually acting better.  I also realized that I could purchase food inexpensively by eating  healthy whole foods and feed my children a better diet when I wasn’t buying all of the extras like chips, pop, and ice cream.

Some of our favorite meals are “surprise chili.”  When I handed my children their dinner plate I said “surprise!”  and they ate it and loved it:)  It was a mixture of items that we had on hand.  But it made a great dish. Sometimes my husband will ask, “can you make this again?”  I laugh because it is usually a dish that we threw a bunch of ingredients together.

How to make the change:

Well this part will be hard.  How can I tell you how to throw a bunch of ingredients together and make something???  I recommend that you think casserole or soup type meal depending upon what you have.  For myself we make many casseroles.  I usually always have brown rice on hand.  I can throw some beans, diced tomatoes, spices and then put it over top of rice for my famous surprise chili.  It usually contains a bit of leftover salsa, alfredo sauce, and taco seasoning.

The key is to use what you have.  Be creative think what sort of things might taste good together. I discovered that chicken tenderloins cooked in 1000 island dressing tastes really good.  We served it over noodles coated with a butter and garlic powder mixture.

We also have  many eggs, but sometimes we don’t always have the breakfast meats to put into it.  My daughter used pepperoni cut up small and guess what?? It is the staple meat that we put into her eggs each week.

It is very filling to make haystacks.  We use the following foods and then layer it.  Use whatever ingredients you have or add some of your own.

  • cooked brown rice
  • refried beans
  • black beans
  • corn
  • shredded lettuce
  • shredded cheese
  • salsa
  • green onions
  • sour cream or ranch

Dig into that pantry and look deep into that freezer this week, I am sure you will be able to find food to last you for the whole week and then think about how much money you saved.  Put that extra money NOT SPENT into a special envelope marked vacation or savings.  See how much you can accumulate by gathering up your fragments once a month.

 

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