Over the years I have watched different ladies “get by” on a very limited budget. The first one that comes to mind was my Aunt Jessie Pearl. She was a housewife who was very talented in the kitchen. She would take leftover biscuits and make a mouthwatering bread pudding that everyone loved. By crumbling the biscuits, adding a little milk, an egg, and a little sugar and cinnamon, she would place this in a Pyrex dish and press it down evenly, adding a dab of butter on top and sprinkling with sugar and she would bake it until golden brown. . Yum!
If we made a dessert, for instance a cake using a store-bought mix and icing, we would pay at least 3-4 dollars for it today. I’m sure Aunt Jessie Pearl’s bread pudding cost less than a dollar to make! And considering she already had the leftovers and other ingredients, it really cost her nothing to make it. You can make a variation and add berries for added interest.
We have just LOST all of the old ways of doing things in our mad rush-rush world we live in. We’ve lost the identity of these women of old along with it. We no longer consider ourselves to be valuable as these women did. They were sure of themselves, knowing their ways were tried and true! Their mothers and grandmothers passed down these recipes, money saving ideas, ways of making-do, and probably they didn’t even consider them to be such. They just knew the recipes were good, and they continued to make them. I also think of Chicken & Dumplings…Using flour, a little butter or shortening, salt, bits of chicken or turkey, and broth made a meal that “everyone” loved!
Indeed, we just need to use a little ingenuity. Pay attention to older ladies, even men and learn the “old ways”.
I do know that these women used what they HAD. They were mainly country housewives, that had chickens that provided eggs and after a few seasons, the chickens were killed and eaten, their husbands grew corn that they had ground into corn meal, they had fresh vegetables they grew in their garden. They had fruit trees that provided fruit for making preserves, cobblers, and also they picked wild berries such as blackberries to make cobblers, pies, jelly and jam from.
I KNOW lots of ladies aren’t this fortunate these days to have access to things like this. Some live in cities, and have to depend on what the local grocer has to offer.
Here are a few tips for $$$ friendly meals…
Buy the bulk of your food in rice, dry beans, pasta, veggies and potatoes.
Chuck has less fat, which means you pay less in the end. While ground beef is cheaper, it has lots of fat that is “weighed in” on the price, that you’ll just have to skim off and throw away!
Buy the family size packages…Then use LESS meat.
Cut the package in 1/2 or 1/3 it. Get 3 meals instead of one from it!