Monday, August 11, 2014

Making Do with What's on Hand

This is the time of year that we are in "use it up" mode here at the Frugal Workshop. My income is reduced during the summer months and I tend to get very creative in the kitchen making do with what we have on hand. Our pantry is at the lowest I can remember it being in many years. This weekend I ended up making some Beanie Weenies from one can of pork and beans, the last of the barbecue sauce, and the last of some hot dogs. 

Here is a photo before I baked them off in the oven:

Another day I made some Fried Rice using the last of the brown rice I had on hand, a bag of peas and carrots I found in the freezer, a fried rice spice packet I found in the pantry, the last of the sesame seed oil, and my last onion. I also used the last of the soy sauce I had on hand or thought I had on hand. Then I remember I had bought some packets from Amazon for lunch boxes, and these worked perfectly for those who wanted additional soy sauce with their fried rice. 

Yesterday I cooked some chick peas/garbanzo beans in the pressure cooker that I had soaked overnight. After they were cooked I made some mock tuna salad out of them. I like the mock tuna salad even better than I liked tuna salad back when I used to buy tuna. I don't buy tuna anymore due to the cost and the possibility of contamination.  

As I mentioned earlier, my pantry inventory is very low. Right now I have on hand 4 boxes of spaghetti, one box of Bisquick, 2 bags of frozen carrots, 1 bag of frozen cauliflower, 1 can refried beans, 2 cans of mixed vegetables, 3 cans of green beans, and plenty of canned tomatoes including my last 8 jars of home canned tomatoes. 

Two of the burners on my stove top are not working and I've been making do without them all year. I cannot can on the two smallest burners, therefore I did not can any tomatoes this year. I've been using my electric pressure cooker for so many things that other than canning, I don't even miss the stove top.

I have plans to go grocery shopping on either Tuesday or Thursday of this week and have plans to replenish several things that we have run out of this summer. 

CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011-2014.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”


  1. Hi Belinda,
    School (and your work) start up again, very soon, right? I'm sure that's bittersweet, for you. Paychecks, again, but less time with your daughter and less free time for you. Enjoy the last of your summer!
    On canned tomatoes -- could you freeze tomatoes? I've frozen surplus a couple of times and while the texture changes a bit, they're perfectly fine for soups and stews.

    1. Hi Lili, I could definitely freeze our surplus tomatoes, although I've been trying to use them up as fast as I can, so they don't go to waste. I made spaghetti last week and use several fresh ones in the sauce. I will definitely missed the home canned ones this winter though. I made soup out of some today and they really make the difference.

      School has already started back. The students started last Monday and I have already worked one day. Can you believe it? The summers just get shorter and shorter it seems like.

  2. We try to "use it up" as much as possible. It saves so much money, and when you don't have much storage space in the first place it makes a lot of sense.

    1. Excellent point, Christel. :) So glad you stopped by today.


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