Like everybody else, Feaston is trying to pinch every penny we earn.
We shop sales, buy ground beef six pounds at a time, cook whole chickens, eat a lot of pasta (we would do that anyway, though).
And of course we come up with yummy ways to dress up some frozen leftovers. We did just that with some meatballs that were made a few weeks ago.
When I was a kid, we would mix everything in that picture together and call it “gruel.” When I introduced the concept to Michelle, she wasn’t opposed to it, but she ended up wanting the green beans on the side. OK, that’s fine. I went ahead and mixed mine together.
Gruel was the usual outcome after my Ma whipped up a load of meatballs. We wouldn’t freeze any leftovers, so it was almost always on day two or three after they were made. Gruel also involved a jar of gravy.
Yeah … gravy. It makes gruel good. We happened to make our own, because all of the ingredients (butter, flour, beef buillion and water) were already in our cupboards and refrigerator, so really, we saved the $1 that a can of gravy would have cost.
The point is, this meal is filling and comes at a real good price. Let’s do a little recession math:
There are like three ingredients in Recession Leftovers. If you don’t know what they are by now, you probably aren’t going to cook for yourself anyway — go heat up a frozen Swanson. (But thanks for visiting!)
Feaston introduced the Internet to our special meatball recipe a few weeks ago. We made a boatload for this specific reason. We freeze them for nights when we don’t quite feel like making dinner a big deal.
We bought the meat for the meatballs in a six-pound pack. It was something like $1.89 a pound on sale (usually $2.49). We used a pound of that for meatballs, plus a pound of ground turkey that we had leftover. We’ll throw in like $4 to account for the turkey. So far, we’re up to $6 for the meatball ingredients.
The batch made 24 balls. That’s $.25 a piece. We used seven for this meal = $1.75.
We used red skin potatoes for this meal and mashed them. Pretty simple really. Cut ’em and boil ’em. We threw in two garlic cloves for some flavor. The way we do this is throw the cloves in whole with the boiling water. Then they just get mashed into the rest of the spuds later.
We bought four decent-sized potatoes at $.99 a pound. They came out to $1.31. Add that to the total. We’ve got $3.06 for the meal.
- Green beans
For gruel, you really are not supposed to use fresh green beans. You can if you want, but I was reaching back into my childhood, so I used french style canned.
I got lucky at the store the day I bought these. Normally, the canned green beans cost $.50 each. Not the day I went shopping. Wegman’s was looking out for Mike’s wallet. They happened to be on sale for a whole $.39 a can.
We’re up to a whopping $3.45 for a whole dinner. If you don’t want to make your own gravy, you can always buy some for $.85 (and that’s name brand!) which will totally break the bank at $4.30.
Now, if we could only get the government to be as thrifty as Feaston …