A Week in the Life: Day Six (homemade stock, repurposing leftovers and basketball)

by Melody on February 23, 2013

Welcome to Day Six of my new mini-series: A Week in the Life.

Each day I will give you a brief rundown of how I spend my time related to saving money. This could be grocery shopping, banking, using our time efficiently and effectively, stocking the freezer and so much more. I want to give you an idea of what an average week for me looks like and hopefully realize that saving money does not have to be a full time job.

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Homemade Chicken Stock

A few days ago, I roasted a whole chicken in the oven and saved the bones and fat in the fridge.  Before we headed to the gym this morning, I threw everything in to the crock pot with a full diced onion, a few smashed unpeeled garlic cloves and some dried dill, thyme and fresh ground pepper.  After cooking on low for about 8 hours, I will strain and defat, strain again and freeze the stock.  Not only did we have two full meals from the roast chicken meat, we will now have delicious homemade stock.  Not bad for a chicken that cost less than $5 to begin with.

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Repurposing leftovers into full meals

I have been wanting to make these Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Bell Peppers for awhile and I almost picked up some roast beef at the store the other day.  Then I realized that the yummy roast I made in the crock pot a few days ago (that made a boatload of leftovers) would make the perfect filling without costing any extra money.  Normally, we just eat the leftover roast on a salad or for lunches, but it tends to get a little boring.  This was the perfect way to repurpose one thing into another, making it feel like an entirely different meal.

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Just because I love awesome stuff

We spent the evening in Walla Walla watching my baby brother play in basketball regionals.  I can’t bring myself to use the word “little” since he towers over me.  We are so proud and thrilled that they won tonight and are on to State!  This has nothing to do with saving money, it’s just pure awesome.

I did pack a giant bag of matchstick carrots and cucumber slices, so we wouldn’t splurge on something junky.  I guess that’s something.

Welcome to a week in the life.

Please share your favorite money-saving tips with us!  How did you save money or time today?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda February 25, 2013 at 12:09 am

State?! That is awesome!
Don’t have many money savers this week.
I have been making some adjustments with our recipes to use less meat. While we are working on eating healthier, we are no where close to the changes your family has made. My priorities are for quick meals that don’t come entirely from a box or can. We do a lot of crockpot meals and other casseroles so when it calls for 3 cups of meat and 2 cups of veggies I switch it and use more veggies than meat. There’s enough protein with everything else and we can always eat more vegetables, I doubt anyone has even noticed. The other thing I did this week was to roast a bunch of chicken breasts. I love Zaycon chicken! When I get the order I just cut them in half and stick them in freezer bags, but every so often I like to pull a bunch out (10 lbs. or so) and cook them up. All I do is dump them in a roasting bag and throw in some spices. It only takes a couple hours and once they cool I shred them and put them in 1 cup bags. I love how convenient it is, especially when you realize at 4pm that you forgot to plan dinner…again!

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Melody February 25, 2013 at 6:40 am

That’s a really good (and simple) tip, to flip flop the amount of meat and veggies. Veggies can add so much flavor and substance to a meal, if you’re adding them anyway, why not add more? Thanks for sharing!

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Sherry February 25, 2013 at 11:10 am

A friend of my husband’s recently turned us onto a local Farmer’s Stand that is open YEAR ‘ROUND in Spokane…amazing! The 75+ year old owner grows some of the veggies here but at this time of year, much of his inventory comes from the Yakima Valley & Tri-Cities area. I love it that my fruits and veggies don’t travel so far (lower carbon footprint) and that I’m supporting a locally-owned business. My new strategy is to stop by the stand every Friday for the coming week’s produce. On average I’ve spent $8-$10/trip & it adds only about 30 minutes to my shopping time once a week, but I’m sure I get back most of that time at the grocery store by being able to skip the produce section. After getting home, I pour myself a nice glass of wine and begin washing & cutting much of the produce for snacks. Our kids (ages 7 & 9) have their own mini-fridge that I stock with a lot of veggies, fruits and a few cheese sticks and yogurt tubes or homemade applesauce or granola bars. The kids feel all grown up being able to get their own snacks and my husband (a very proud Mr. Mom), doesn’t have to take the time to get them their after-school snack and can concentrate on helping them with their homework.

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