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Saturday, September 12, 2009

9 Days 11 Dollars: The Round Up

Pizza and a party. That's how the week of scrimping, saving and starving ended. OK, not starving. Starving would be if we had run out of frozen pizzas. Thank you Tombstone.

On the eighth day we had our last frozen pizza. It was a bit like crossing the Jordan. (Was it really you ask? I'm not entirely sure...need to do some Scripture research here. I do believe there was an element of faith and the miraculous involved when Elijah/Elisha crossed the Jordan. That's where I'm going folks.)

So yes, we crossed that Jordan and ate our last pizza not knowing where our final meal would come from. Every blessed part of our young chicken had been roasted, sauteed, chopped and stewed. My collection of canned goods was down to one dusty can of Mandarin oranges and some kidney beans. I woke up last Thursday morning in a cold sweat wondering how I was going to make it through.

And then it hit me. Party!!

We had a party to attend that night for a dear friend's birthday. Surely there would be food and I could return to my blogging family with head held high on Friday morning.

And indeed there was food. Lots of it. A kind soul must have noticed our gaunt faces as we licked our plates clean and sent us home with 1/4 of the ginormous birthday cake.

So we made it. Regardless of the fact that my own irresponsibility with the grocery envelope put me in this pickle, I am proud of the fact that we made it through without pulling out the old tarjeta de debito.

In no particular order, here's what I learned from the whole shenanigan:

1. Frozen pizza (or any frozen dinner for that matter) is a working girl's best friend.
After a long day, having food that can be ready to eat in under 20 minutes while you lay on the couch and beg for a foot rub from anyone in your starving family may save your sanity. Or your marriage. Or both.

2. Stock up on the basics.
Okay, so there were no eggs save one on hand during these long 9 days. But I had flour, butter, sugar, milk, frozen and canned veggies & fruit. It's amazing how many meals you can turn out if you have these on hand.
Throw some yeast in, you can make bread. Add some cocoa, you've got brownies. Smoothies, stir-frys and bizarre meals like cut up hot dog in mac & cheese all come together pretty quickly when your pantry is stocked with Food 101.
Buy these items when they are ON SALE and you have a COUPON. You can always make use of them!

3. Get back to basics.
Learn how to make your own bread. Learn how to make chicken (or vegetable) stock. These are staples in any diet and can be made more healthfully and cheaply from scratch at home.

4. Share what you have even when you don't think there's enough.
I've found that God smiles on you when you give out of the little that you have. A good life lesson for anyone, any time.


  1. I am both proud and amazed that you were able to pull off such a feat. I feel a little more frugal and resourceful just living across the street from you :) I think my next "test" in the kitchen will be the artisan bread!

  2. Don't forget the loads of free bottled breast milk just sitting in the freezer waiting to be thawed and poured on Daddy B's cereal....Would he ever really know the difference????? Mwahahaha. Oh just kidding.

  3. I know I'm over a year behind in reading this (I just subscribed to your blog and I love it!), but I wanted to tell you how great your writing is and especially how much I loved this '9days, 11 dollars' journey. Just last month was a lot like this for us, but I was proud that I made it work!


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