Friday, April 10, 2020

Frugal Friday ~ April 9, 2020 ~ Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe Included!

Good Friday morning to all my readers. Fridays are normally exciting for me since they mark the end of the work week. Exactly four weeks ago today, on March 13, was the last day I worked.  

We have sheltered in place for the last 28 days due to COVID-19. 

We are not sure how long this new normal will last, but hopefully we will come out on the other side in a better position than when we started. 

I read an article today on the AP website about how we are revisiting forgotten household skills

For my own household that has been true. In fact, as long as I've been on my frugal journey, I've found ways to save money this week that I hadn't always realized before this started.

I'd say it has a lot to do with having to stay home, which forces us to use what we have here and to make do with what we have on hand. 

I can recall my grandfather telling me they ate cornbread made with water during the Great Depression. After staying home for four weeks, now I realize why they would do that, and have actually thought about what alternative we could use for our buttermilk in our cornbread. I hadn't really stopped to think that this generation would have to think about things like that.  

We normally buy our bread at the bread outlet inexpensively compared to the grocery store prices. But, we are not going to any stores, and although I've made bread several times over the years, I realize that now I'm going to have to make it for real if we want bread to eat. 

LOL, I am up to the challenge. :)

This new way of life has given me a lot to think about and a new mindset, a more frugal can-do attitude that is forcing me to be even more frugal. 

So this week we have eaten all of our meals from home and they were seriously cooked from scratch. These days I'm thinking about how I handle food in the kitchen. 

I believe I've used more flour these last four weeks than I have in the last year. Now I find myself thinking about having to ration what I have left. 

I'm cutting back and using less, so I can make our food stretch as far as possible. And even though I have done that in the past this time feels different. There is a real purpose/urgency  behind this more so than any other time I can recall. 

This week for the first time I put a container in my freezer to hold small amounts of leftovers to turn into soup in the future. I have never done the soup container in the freezer before this. 

I was creative in the kitchen before this started, but these days I find myself trying to think of and create meals like I've not done before. We are using everything we have and like Frugal Queen told me once, "now eat all of that and don't go to the grocery store again until it's all gone."

Non-Frugal Things We Did This Week

This week I switched one of my prescriptions to mail order via CVS. And although I ended up paying more for it, it was worth it to me since we are sheltering in place. 

Items We Bought This Week:

We purchased this box of 96 toilet paper rolls for 50¢ each, but now the company website has been taken down and is no longer available. 

We bought ten pounds of white popcorn from Blain's Farm & Fleet. At $1.99 for two pounds I considered this a good deal. 

How we Entertained Ourselves:

We played board games this week. One of them was Ticket to Ride. 

In My Frugal Kitchen this Week:

Ever since I moved to a more plant based diet I do not drink dairy milk, but rather use plant based milk. I was out this week, but realized that I had pecans in my freezer, so using my Vita-mix enabled me to make my own nut milk. 

On Tuesday I made a batch of Amy D's muffins, which you can read about here

I cleaned out all the Tupperware bowls and lids. I have done this before, but today I went thru all those lids that no longer fit the bowls. 

They should come with a disclaimer that Tupperware lids will shrink if not used for a long time. I've read that running one under hot water or leaving it in the sun will help it fit better. 

I've also read that apparently certain Tupperware is considered dangerous to store food now, but using them for other uses would be OK. 

When my daughter made homemade wipes this week she stored them in one of our old Tupperware bowls. If you missed that blog post you can read about it here

On Thursday I took the four zucchini I had from Misfits Market and grated them. I used some of it to make these two loaves of chocolate zucchini bread. I still have one cup left, so I saved it and will add it to something else I make this week. 

Here's the recipe in case you're interested:

Chocolate Zucchini Bread


2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups shredded peeled zucchini


In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended. 
Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder. 
Beat into sugar mixture until blended. 
Stir in zucchini. 
Transfer to two  loaf pans coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

That's all the news I can think of to report from here this week. How has your week been?

~ Living within our Means ~
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  1. I made a similar chocolate quick bread, & it was delicious. Our week has been similar - juggling food prep & tradeoffs, trying to stay home for two weeks from the store.

    1. Sounds like a good plan. I like making those quick breads because they are easy to make,and no kneading. :)

  2. I've got several bottles of beer that will not get used in the traditional senses. I'm going to make beer bread this weekend. I'm not sure how it will be and if suitable for sandwiches, but since it won't require yeast, it's worth a go. I worry if it is delicious, well, I love bead so can see my little bit of weight loss coming back. While I can't really find good about this crisis, I am finding good in people, myself included, to be less wasteful in general,more generous when possible, and appreciate what we have.

    1. That is great, Sam. I too have noticed so much good in people since all of this started. The community live in has stepped up to the plate and is really making a difference in peoples lives. Like you, I can't find the good in this virus, but that has been heart warming.

  3. Belinda, have you tried no-knead bread? It’s super easy and so delicious.
    Here’s the recipe

    I leave it on the countertop overnight, and bake in the morning.

    1. I will definitely do a no knead bread, Nil. Thank you for the link to the recipe!

  4. I am so happy you were able to find Toilet Paper. Good for you.

    I grew up with parents who lived during the Depression/Dust Bowl. Making do was always so normal for me. I love the thinking outside the box. As an essential family with all the stress I still find it a blessing that our new normal is simpler times.

    1. Thank you, Safyne. We are definitely in simpler times, aren't we? The staying home thing I had down pat before this hit, but the not going to the grocery store is tougher.

  5. I have used zucchini in breads before but never chocolate bread. I will have to try it out this summer when I have a bunch. I hope you had a nice Easter. Crazy to think we have been home a month already. Stay healthy.

    1. Thank you so much, Marybeth. It is hard to believe we have been home for a month now. I hope you enjoy the zucchini bread when you do get the chance to make some.

  6. I made the chocolate zucchini bread, but baked it in a 9x13 pan. Super yummy!

  7. Hi Belinda,

    Wondering if you repurposed the pecan "meal" after you made the milk? I have done oat milk from time to time and either spread the meal out on a baking sheet to dry in a low oven and use as oat flour or simply add to whole oats I'm cooking for breakfast.
    On another note, I know a lot of people might be feeling depressed if they are laid off, etc, but I must confess as someone who is still working because my state seems my employer essential I find myself becoming depressed when I see the number of people out frequenting my place of work when it's "essential" status, I feel is very subjective. I know that's a bit of rambling, and don't get me wrong, I'm thankful to still be employed, I just find myself hoping that everything but the truly essential businesses would close don't and people would actually stay home for the 14 days so the illness could be nipped in the bud that much sooner. Just some feelings I had on my chest.



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