Thursday, May 27, 2021

Eat Well and Keep it Frugal

 It is always easier to eat frugally in the summer - so many garden options to choose from.  But you can eat well and stay frugal all year.  You just have to remember that you do NOT need a 3 course meal every evening (I don't care what they say) - and you can keep breakfast and lunch easy.  
More times than not I eat one main meal a day and that is it!!!  I have a breakfast drink - I eat a larger meal late afternoon and then maybe a small snack a bit later.  I stay healthy and have energy - so it isn't hurting anything.
No need for 3 meals wither - that is just a habit.

I can make a pack of buns or bread last a long while.  I like to make and use biscuits and also use a lot of tortillas.  They are so easy to make and even cheap to buy.

Make a yummy fruit smoothie
Make breakfast burritos or biscuits (add egg, cheese and perhaps meat)
Granola bars are yummy

3 C rolled oats or 2 C oats and 1 of rice Krispies (or what you have)
1/2 C peanut butter
1/2 C jelly or jam
1/4 C hot water
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350*.  Grease an 8 x 11 pan or what you have - you may need to adjust cooking time with different pan.
Pour oats (cereal) in large bowl
Place peanut butter, half of jelly and water and salt in a small saucepan - heat and stir till smooth
Pour over the oats and mix well.  Dump into baking dish and spread out.
Cover with rest of jelly.
Bake about 25 minutes.  You want the edges toasty and golden.  Cool for about an hour and cut into bars.

You can add extra - 1/2 C chopped nuts
1/2 C shredded coconut
1/2 C chopped dried fruit
1/2 C honey instead of jelly
Add then while mixing up oats if desired

Think about something exciting and different than just a sandwich.  I like to use a dense and hearty bread (like Italian) sliced and toasted then topped with all kinds of things.
You can top with sliced tomato and cheese, any type of veggie, avocado, apples and cheddar, sauteed mushrooms or grilled onion and swiss.  Bruschetta is a yummy bite.  Cream cheese and fruit is tasty.
There isn't anything that you can't top bread with.  You can toast the bread and add toppings or you can broil after adding toppings.  Whatever is easy.  It is a nutritious bite of food, easy, and filling.

                                My favorite type of bread for open face tasty sandwiches

Make yourself a big salad - which contain anything and everything you can think of.  Not just fresh veggies of all types, but you can add any meat, nuts, cheese, eggs, croutons, or eat with crackers.  There is no right or wrong way to make salad.
It can be any type of salad.  Potato, slaw, bean, corn, egg, ham, tuna, pasta, veggie......................
I like just dicing up tomatoes, cucumbers (or zucchini) and some onion and adding dressing.  That is a summer favorite for me.  Cool and refreshing.  Uses what I have.
These would all be great for a light dinner as well!!

Keep it simple, especially in the warmer weather.
Make a casserole, soup (cold or hot), just throw together a one pot wonder or have a burger and side salad.  Make a special gilled sandwich and a side of any fresh veggie.  
Fancy up a grilled sammie - add meat, cheese, veggies, mac n cheese - anything you want

Top potato slices with cheese, onions or anything and bake till done.  Great alone or with a sandwich or burger or meatloaf
Baked or grilled tomato topped with parm or other cheese and green onions.  YUM  My goodness you can do cucumbers this way or zucchini - anything.  Get creative!!
Easy and cheap one pot dish - cabbage, potato chucks and a bit of smoked sausage or ham.  You can add rice instead of potato (above).  It is all good!!!!
OR just a simple burger, fresh veggies w/dressing and a handful of chips or crackers

Life can be tasty, easy and very frugal.  You just need to venture out of your comfort zone once in a while.  As long as you are full - you don't have to follow any rules.  Make your own rules.



  1. I am going to try those granola bars. They sound easy and good and cheap!

  2. It all sounds so yummy! I have a somewhat picky Hubby so many things I would eat he would not touch. I do think it is cheaper to eat in the summer since a big bowl of watermelon and something like a sandwich or burger is plenty for us. I am a person who wakes up starving every morning so breakfast is often the biggest meal of the day here which is pretty much always a low cost meal. Our alternative practitioner is always pushing smoothies but I just cannot consume all that cold. It makes me feel ill. I finally told her that and she checked me and told me I am right. Thank goodness I don't have to do that anymore!

    1. I think summer is the cheapest eating time too. So many fresh goodies from the garden and fresh produce abounds at markets.
      Yep - give me a burger or a cold cut sandwich (with tomato) or a hot dog and a salad and I am in food heaven!

      Bummer - smoothies can be so yummy.

  3. The heat always dims my appetite and that is not a bad thing. Right now I tend to fast between 12 and 16 hours so normally don't eat until around noon. If I have a big meal then, supper will be something light. If I just have yogurt and fruit then my main meal later will be a big salad (with lots of different components) plus a protein.
    If I'm hungry I eat - if I'm not then a cup of tea will do. It's the real advantage of living on your own - you just cater to your own needs.

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  5. Totally agree! I like to have a yogurt cup or cottage cheese at breakfast. With yogurt, I stir in a 1/4 c. or less of granola (or crumble up a granola bar). Another option is toast with peanut butter. I try to make sure there's some protein. At dinner, if using a recipe, I traditionally cut it in half (making 2 servings, instead of 4) and have half for dinner and the other half for lunch the next day. For me, it reduces waste and keeps things interesting. I've learned over time that I'm not one to eat the same dinner meal for multiple nights in a row. Thanks for the granola recipe. Looks delicious and easy. And those potatoes and tomatoes? All I can say is thank you for the suggestions! :-)

    1. Great ideas. It is hard to cook smaller portions for sure. I am a work in progress on that.
      Easy peasy granola bars!!! I know - the tomatoes and potatoes are delish - I have done both of them. Yu can top with whatever. It is always nice to get new ideas - especially easy and frugal ones!

  6. Lots of great options there, especially for someone who moved to living alone fairly recently. I still make too many big meals, but I am learning to make less or freeze the rest, though last week I had the same curry for dinner four nights in a row to use it all up.

    1. It IS a real tough job to learn to cook for one. I know we have many one person homes represented here. It probably is easier to eat this way if alone - but simple meals can be made for all.

  7. Look at all that beautiful food! Love that you give us so many great ideas. Tonight we had my fav supper of late: creamy chicken flavor ramen noodle soup with an egg poached in it :). Quick and easy.
    Take care~

    1. Options make life exciting!! I love having different things to choose from.
      That sounds good and very frugal!

  8. I think I will try the granola bars. I tend to eat what I please and not what I am told to eat. Well, I do eat healthy in all my choices. Okay, most of my choices.

    1. Same here - I eat whatever I want. Most is good for me! Some not.

  9. I've only ever eaten two meals a day as long as I can remember. I never, ever wake up hungry, so my first meal is between 12-1:00 pm and then dinner is six-ish. So just two meals a days. Now with the days getting longer and warmer it will be lots of sandwiches and salads. I just can't be bothered with making big meals with the warmer days. Plus might as well take advantage of all the yummy fruits and veggies the summer has to offer. Happy Memorial day (a little early)

    1. I don't do breakfast either. I make my morning drink - but that is it. I can't stand the smell of cooking food in the morning!
      I am with you - much simpler as summer comes to be. Salad and sandwiches sound perfect. I love all the fresh produce.
      Thank you and you have a great weekend.

  10. Yummy for the tummy! Summer is great for eating light. All that fresh produce, whether you raise it yourself or buy it at a farmer's market. As we have aged, the Urban Farmer and I usually have two meals a day. I have a smoothie for breakfast and he likes to cook his own breakfast, usually eggs from the backyard girls. Lunch is a bigger meal and about 4:00-4:30 we have small bits (some call it pickety bits). Gary and I both grew up on farms so big meals were standard fare.

    1. I love summer for the eating. So much fresh.
      I like the term pickety bits!!! I do that too.
      I think many of us had those big meals at least once a day - ours was supper at 5PM prompt! Lunch was a sandwich and breakfast - well whatever Mom could get me to eat. I didn't like it even back then.

  11. We do that here too, Cheryl. One big meal a day and I think it's all we need too.

    1. Sure it is. More is just a habit. Snacking is a pleasure too - but just one big meal is all I eat.

  12. Those granola bars are very interesting. I am going to have to try them.

    God bless.

  13. Neither of us are early morning eaters. I'll have a cup of coffee and would prefer something around 9:30 but I'm at work then & it's not convenient. So I'll have a piece of toast or something to get me through the morning. Lunch is something protein and heavier as we have a long haul before supper (working and then farm/garden work). Supper at this time of life is lighter. And not too many portions as Farmer doesn't eat many leftovers anymore.
    We are eating more eggs, cheese and veggies this summer. Not many potatoes or breads.