Chicky on a Budget Series- (Which will now be called COB)-
Tuna Noodle Casserole, $0.80 cents per serving
We’ll officially be eating Tuna Noodle Casserole all week as I made a massive casserole of it tonight.
I took a basic recipe and improvised a little.
4 cans of tuna (I have the large 7 oz cans because I got them really really cheap), 25 cents/can = $1.00
3 cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup, $40 cents/can= $1.20
2 cups frozen peas- (99 cents, half a bag, =$0.50)
2 cups milk= $0.20
1 large dallop of sour cream- price? I buy big tubs, so probably 20 cents worth?
1 bag of No Yolks wide egg noodles, cooked and drained, $0.79
a dash of Garlic Supreme seasoning (Allison’s Pantry Bulk Spices)- pennies
1/2 bag of favorite shredded cheese or whatever you have in the house, $1.00
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed. $0.57
Cook noodles, drain, and put back in the pot.
Add everything else except the cheese and crackers.
Move mixture to a 9×13 casserole dish
Bake uncovered in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Add layer of cheese and then crumbs, bake for 5 more minutes.
The sour cream, garlic supreme seasoning, cheese and crackers was added to the basic recipe and it really made it quite delicious! This filled the entire 9×13 pan to the brink, there’s a LOT.
Ray and I each had 2 helpings, and there was enough to set aside 5 more helpings for lunches.
7 servings, $5.55 for entire batch, 80 cents per serving.
$0.80 vs $8.00+ for Ray’s lunches if he goes to McD’s or Jack in the Box
Installment 1: The Meat Slicer
In 2006, my sister sent me a gift-card for my birthday. I didn’t really know what I wanted personally so my husband and I decided to go buy a meat/cheese slicer. After using it a few times, we emailed her and said “Best Present Ever, Thanks!” and I still can say that.
Almost 6 years later, it’s still getting used and proving more valuable than ever. Lately, sliced deli meat has been around $8.00 a pound (or higher). Occasionally I can get it for $6, but generally it’s a lot more; especially for decent stuff.
A couple weeks ago I went to SamsClub with my friend Lisa and realized that they had the huge hams and turkeys ready for slicing there. Mind you, these were the same ones that my grocery store slices up and sells to me at a premium.
The price breakdown ends up between 1.79-2.99 a pound depending on if it’s on sale or not. (I bought my ham and my turkey at 23 each, but they had them at 17-19 each a few weeks before, I just missed the sale.)
We go through a lot of deli meat for lunches so this little slicer makes all the difference. I wouldn’t have thought to bring it up but I was talking about cutting up meats the other day and someone else mentioned they do theirs too and our friend was wondering where in the world did we just randomly find meat slicers?
Honestly I got mine online I think through walmart or target. They don’t have the above one anymore but they have one from magic chef that looks pretty wicked.
So if you happen to make sandwiches for lunches and find yourself gawking at the price of sliced deli meats, this might be a way to go. Just thought I’d share!
and PS…. yes, bologna is cheap… but then again does anyone really know what it’s made of?
Later today, I’ll be taking the Phoenix Metro bus and using the light rail train for the first time. I’m kinda excited (I’m sure it’ll wear off). As a kid, I used the city buses all the time and I’m no stranger to bus-hopping (it took me 4 city buses to get to school and 4 back) but it’s been a really long time.
My decision is based on the fact that over an 18 week time-period, I will be saving myself about $600.00.
That’s a lot of cash! That’s a lot of cash I don’t really have!
So here are the factors that played into my decision:
- Not dealing with rush-hour traffic, the bus driver can deal with that for me.
- Not having to pay parking fees (12.00 a day)
- Cuts my gas costs in half
- Only adds 1/2 an hour to my time per day, an hour per week, which surprised me.
- I’m a student so my bus pass is cheap.
- A little less pollution in the air
- There are no nearby buses cuz I live in the outskirts of town so I still have to huff it into Mesa.
- It’s a pain to figure out the system online. (Phoenix’s lightrail/bus/metro system online map is awful!)
- If you miss the bus, you’re still going to have to drive farther to get to the next park-in-ride or risk missing class, or end up parking on campus and paying for parking… so it takes being diligent and prepared.
Okay, so here’s the breakdown on cost based on $2.99 per gallon (on a jeep which gets 15 mpg, my husband has the Ford that gets better mileage because he has to drive way farther than me:)
Driving to ASU Tempe and parking there, 2 days a week:
- Miles per week: 132.8, cost =$26.47 per week x 18 weeks per semester = $476.49
- Parking fees per week: $24.00 x 18 weeks per semester = $432.00
- Total per semester: $908.49
- Total Time Spent driving: 117 hours per semester
Driving to Power Rd Park-n-Ride
- Miles per week: 66, cost=$13.16 per week x 18 weeks per semester = $236.81
- Parking Costs: $0.00
- Bus/Lightrail Pass (for the semester)= $75.00
- Total Per Semester = $311.81
- Total Time Spent on the bus/train: 135 hours per semester.
I’ll be saving $596.00 over the course of 18 weeks so I think it’s pretty much a no brainer.
Now on the “time” spent— people might perceive the difference of 18 hours over the course of 18 weeks as a lot of time wasted. However those 18 hours will be spent reading whatever I want, catching up on my texts, studying extra for an exam, etc, because I won’t be driving.
I also don’t have to deal with the road-rage and aggressive rush-hour traffic because most of rush-hour dies off at Power Road which is where my park-n-ride is.
The reason I’m not losing much time is because of trying to get out of ASU’s parking ramps at 4:15, which is when everyone else is leaving and I don’t get out of the ramp till 4:45 and then I have to battle the insanity known as Mill and University Ave and try to make it to the highway. I’m not losing much time there, and I’m saving a lot of sanity.
So now the real question is how long would it take me to get out to visit friends in North Phoenix via bus and lightrail? Makes me wonder!
I had a shelf for storage in my office.
I moved that shelf to the kitchen for more food storage.
I didn’t have a plan for all the stuff I was storing on it to begin with…
Bad planning on my part….
So this is me now: (in fact, I think I may use this for all future “rant” posts)
Piles, piles, piles. They’re everywhere.
So right in the middle of trying to deal with the piles and get my homework done (which is due tomorrow morning), I went to print out my assignment and the ink on my printer ran out which p***es me off to no end since I just replaced the cartridges last month and I have only printed probably 20-30 things.
Out of frustration (and the fact that I can’t afford to keep buying cartridges but I have to be able to print because of a Paper-Happy professor… come on lady, get with it, all of this could be saved and sent digitally damn it!) I went and bought a new printer. (It was 25.00 more than the replacement cartridges I was going to have to buy but supposedly the new printer can print out about 400 more copies than the previous printer.)
So I got home and started tearing into the box. More stuff everywhere. Then I realized that the new printer was too big for my wall shelf or the cubby that my computer desk has, so I had to haul out the old filing cabinet so that I had a place to set it on.
Everything is upside down!!! There are piles on the floor… piles on the desk…. piles on shelves on the wall…. and worse, my baby’s pack-n-play has the printer box and even more papers in it at the moment!
On a positive note though, the printer is wireless so that’s one less cable I need to worry about….. and just realized while I was typing I could have put the printer anywhere… aw &*%$
Andy Worhol might have made art out of painting soup cans, but that’s just not gonna fly in my kitchen.
So we continue with the ongoing saga of “how the hell do I organize my kitchen space, or lack-there-of”.
I have a surplus of “Cream of ‘whatever’” soup cans for use as a base in my crock pot meals. The problem I’m having is that I’m running out of cupboard space. I have a large shelf that I will be converting into a “pantry” (since I don’t have one) but I have major issues with is displaying ugly cans of soup, pasta, etc in my kitchen since it’s an open shelf.
So I came across an idea on Pinterest, the original idea came from Then She Made, which is a fabulous blog I plan on spending a lot more time reading!
With a little bit of decorative paper, some mod-podge, and a couple empty boxes of soda, I’ve got something I’m actually don’t mind displaying!
(I take horrible pictures, they are MUCH cuter in person and brighter.
My kitchen is just too dark for picture taking)
I do have a few little places to cleanup but overall they came out great. The result is cute boxes for storing soup cans in a rotational manner and also re-uses 12 pack soda can boxes.
I know you can use those soda dispensers for soup cans but it doesn’t take out the “ugly” factor.
- Find cute corresponding paper at places that have scrap-booking paper. I got my sheets at Hobby Lobby , 6 for $1.00. The outer shell took 2 sheets, the “front cap” took 1 and actually made 2 front pieces so I could do another box. So for 4 boxes in alternating patterns, was 10 sheets of paper, so $1.80 in paper.
- Cut the back hole where you insert cans out BEFORE applying paper. Kinda forgot to do that on the last 2 boxes and it wasn’t fun trying to cut out while the glue was still wet.
- Trace the front pieces with a pencil, cut out one side and then trace it on the other side of the paper so you have 2 front covers… also add a little bit of padding to wrap it into the inside of the box. I traced it, but then about 1/4 of an inch above the trace, added dashed lines.
- When using mod-podge, put glue on both the paper, and the box. Smooth for 1-2 minutes with your fingers to keep bubbles from showing up.
- You’re gonna end up with glue on your hands and everything else. Put something on top of your work station if you don’t want to scrap glue later.
- Apply mod-podge to the outside to seal it and give it extra strength.
- Use a paint brush, not paper towels, to apply the glue. Learned that on the first box. Also, if you can find a paint brush that has a hook on it to keep it on the lip of the mod-podge jar, it’s very handy. Keeps your brush from getting stuck to surfaces or dripping glue. I found mine at walgreens.
- Final thing, these are NOT meant for stacking– they won’t be strong enough to stack once the first row of cans are out.