I really need to update the picture of my pantry. It was almost brand new when I first posted my thoughts on having a pantry and how it saves me money.
I've learned a lot about food staples and it's definitely still a work in progress.
I believe that preparedness and frugality go hand in hand. I can't tell you how many times the day gotten away from me from circumstances beyond my control (or not). And then a child reminds me that they're hungry only for me to realize it's supper time and I've forgotten to thaw anything out.
How easy is it for us to then just order in? Or load up the kids and make a quick run to a fast food place? Or call up my husband and see if he can stop on his way home and pick something up?
I believe that having a Menu Plan is important. It really helps keep me organized and coaxes me to think ahead when needed on certain dishes. But sometimes, things get out of my control and my ideal dinner just isn't going to happen.
So what do I do?
I have a few dinners that are almost completely pantry stocked and that I can make from thought to table in less than an hour.
Tuna Patties is one of them.
I also have a recipe for a Cheesy Chicken Casserole (posted below, pictures to be added later, hopefully) that I got from Candy a long time ago that works perfectly in a pinch. (I've changed the amounts to accommodate my family, but the recipe is basically the same.)
These kinds of recipes are also good for days that I know are going to be crazy busy and I won't have time to cook. And if my pantry is stocked as it should be, there is no reason to run out and grab that fast food.
Cheesy Chicken Casserole
1 13oz can of cooked chicken
4 T butter
4 T Bisquick (I use a low carb version)
2 C Milk
1½ C shredded cheese
½ t mustard (to taste)
½ t hot sauce (to taste)
2 cans cooked mixed vegetables
1 C Bisquick (I use a low carb version)
½ C Parmesan cheese
2 T butter
1. Preheat oven to 400. Get out a large baking dish (appr. 9 X 13). Do not grease.
2. In a skillet melt 4 T butter then stir in the 4 T Bisquick, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Stir and cook over medium heat until mixture turns smooth and starts to bubble.
4. Stir in 2 C milk and return to boiling. Once boiling stir constantly for 2 minute then turn off heat.
5. Stir in mustard, hot sauce and cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture looks like cheese sauce (which is exactly what it is). Set aside.
6. Drain chicken and break into fine pieces, scattered over bottom of baking dish. Drain vegetables and pour over top of chicken. Pour homemade cheese sauce over the vegetables.
7. In another bowl, mix 1 C Bisquick and Parmesan Cheese. Cut in 2 T butter. Then gently mix in the egg. The mixture should be crumbly.
8. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesy, vegetable, chicken mixture.
9. Bake uncovered for 22 minutes or until light golden brown.
Both of the recipes listed here cost less than $5 to make (with ingredients bought on sale) and feed my family of five for two nights with nothing more than a salad throw into the mix. Eating out, even at the cheapest places, would be 3 times that for one meal.
For more frugality be sure to check out Crystal's Blog!
14 hours ago