One of the reasons I enjoy reading blogs is that I can learn useful ways to save money. With prices on just about everything going up, I greatly appreciate any ideas that help stretch the dollar. While I understand how some women feel great satisfaction in buying expensive and trendy items, whether they can afford them or not, I feel sheer joy when I can a purchase something at a significant discount, as in a clearance sale. This is just a small way I try and contribute to help our budget and to be a helpmate for my Husband. It is a sense of family that makes me want to share helpful tips. Are we not all a family, in a way?
In the spirit of being thrifty, sometimes it really is nice to sit down to simple 'peasant' fare at the table. For example, yesterday, we had a simple supper of egg omelets with a delicious filling of diced apples and Swiss cheese. I also heated up some wonderful flour tortillas, and provided some delicious homemade hot sauce to 'zest' up our omelets. Eggs...they're not just for breakfast any more. Today's main meal consisted of ramen noodles that you buy 6 for a dollar. Since I always keep homemade chicken stock in the freezer, I simply added it to the sauted onions, garlic, and celery and julienned carrots in a pot. After some simmering, to that I added mushrooms, 1/2 cup of frozen peas, about a cup of sliced cabbage, a small package of raw shrimp, a little bit of chopped green onions as well as some chopped cilantro, and the noodles. I only used two packages of noodles, so it depends how much you want to make. I also added a little bit of oyster and soy sauce. Simmer until shrimp and noodles are cooked, about 5 minutes. We all keep most of these vegetables in our refrigerator, so all I had to buy was the shrimp ($1.84) and fresh cilantro. It was a very filling and satisfying meal. For supper, and to continue with the Asian theme, I made Sushi rolls. If you google sushi, you'll find quite a lot of videos that teach you how to make it. It's very easy and above all very inexpensive. The little mats cost around $3, but you do need to buy Japanese rice, which is not expensive either. The rice is seasoned with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt. As to the fillings, I made mine simple. I used imitation crab, shrimp, avocado, 1 cucumber, 2 carrots julienned, and you can also use omelet, sliced into long strips and scallions. I garnished with black sesame seeds and masago, which are the little orange roe used to garnish the rolls, and of course you need the Nori, or seaweed to roll up your ingredients. I like to use soy sauce and wasabi for dipping, but that is optional. Most of these ingredients you will probably only need to buy once, and they'll keep until you make sushi again. I refer of course to the rice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and even your Nori. Everything else, you probably already have in your pantry. I did have to go out and buy the crab meat, shrimp, and avocado when I decided I was going to make sushi earlier in the week. That was the only 'additional' expense I had to make.
Tomorrow, for breakfast, I think I'll make 'Migas' which is a Mexican meal consisting of sliced and quartered corn tortillas which are lightly fried in oil,and to which you add onions, diced tomatoes, or a good chunky hot sauce, and of course your well whisked and seasoned eggs. You can top them with a layer of shredded cheese, any kind you have on hand. Served with a side of refried beans, it makes for a cheap inexpensive meal. As can be clearly seen, we don't necessarily eat a lot of meat. We do tend to eat more chicken than beef also.
What I do come away with during these difficult days of price increases, inflation, and soaring gas prices, is that the Lord is our Provider and everpresent help in times of need. Anything that we have needed, the Lord has given us and in abundance. Even those things which I have sometimes wished for but not needed, the Lord has seen fit to give me. Not always, mind you, for he doesn't spoil us. I sometimes marvel at the love and mercy of God, my creator, my Father. The funny thing, if you search long enough, you will find testimony of other people who have also seen his hand at work in their lives, especially in the areas of provision. I have read some wonderful stories of how he has provided things they could never have afforded, but somehow, the Lord provided. Glory to him!
I quite understand how some people might perceive this blog as belonging to someone who is overly zealous and religious. Far be it from the truth! I am not religious!! It just so happens that the Lord has dealt with me in ways that make it impossible to not want to shout from the rooftops of his mercy and love! I have felt the glory of his presence, and when that happens, it changes you forever! It truly does feel like rivers of living water wanting to gush out!
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~