Friday, June 7, 2013

A Thrifty Week #8 with Frugal Recipes: Black Bean Quickie Burritos & Chicken Bone Soup

Being thrifty means doing with watcha got, making do, using it up, wearing it out, doing without.  It means foregoing some costly pleasures and finding pleasure in less costly things.  As you practice thriftiness, it becomes pleasurable to find bargains, to make something useful again, or to practice self-control.

Here's my thrifty week:
~ No yard saling this week due to storms.  Sometimes staying home is the thriftiest option!

~ I taught my son, Michael, to make refried beans.  We don't actually refry them.  We just mash them and add cheese.  We used two pounds of pinto beans so that we could have two meals.  We wrapped the beans in tortillas and spread the beans on tostada shells.

~ I baked chicken leg quarters in my clay cooker Tuesday evening.  I deboned the chicken prior to serving to make it stretch.  I left a bit of meat on the bones so that they could be boiled for a soup base later.

~ My daughter substituted coconut oil for canola oil for biscuits.  While coconut oil is more expensive than canola oil, it's even more expensive to drive to town to get an item when we run out.

~ I used the chicken bones to make soup  I just covered them with water and added a little salt.  I let them simmer awhile and looked through my cupboard for other things to add.

*Chicken Bone Soup*
Boil chicken bones until you have a nice broth, 30 minutes to an hour.
Strain out bones and bits of meat and set aside to cool.
  chopped veggies of your choice or
  leftover potatoes and gravy or
  dumplings or
  macaroni as I did this week.
  Season with salt, pepper, and perhaps a little rosemary.
The point is to do with whatcha got.

~ I began reading a new book that I will review.  I review for several companies for free books, videos, cds, curriculum.  It's just one more way that I stretch my husband's income.

~ I made black bean burritos and guacamole and chips for dinner.  The burritos were easy.  The guacamole was made with avocados I bought on sale for $.25 each.  The chips were from Aldi, so they were inexpensive.

*Black Bean Quickie Burritos*
  3 cans black beans, drained but not dry
  garlic powder
  onion flakes
  chili powder
  4 oz Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or Pepper Jack cheese, shredded or chunked

Heat the beans in a skillet.  There should be just enough bean broth to keep them from sticking.  Add about a teaspoon of cumin and half a teaspoon of the remaining spices.  Adjust to taste.  When the beans are hot, mash with a potato masher.  Add cheese to the beans and stir until the cheese melts. Serve with warm tortillas or tostada shells.

~We stayed home most of the week.  Staying home can save a lot of money for us.  We have just one car, so when I want to use it, I have to drive my husband to work and return at the end of the day to pick him up.  That uses extra gas.

~ I mended a skirt, a nightgown, and a dress while watching The Visual Bible The Book of Matthew that I bought at a library sale a few weeks ago.

~I also worked on an apron that I'm making for Amy from a denim jumper that she'd outgrown.  It had a seam down the back.  I ripped out the seam last week.  This week I pinned and hand-stitched the edges to make a neat edge.  I left room to add ties at the top.  I'll probably make a tie for the waist as well.  I just haven't decided what to use yet.

All in all, I think it's been a thrifty week.  I hope you try the recipes and let me know what you think.  I'd like you to share some of your favorite frugal ideas in the comments as well.  I love it when readers "talk back".

Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,
Happy at Home

 May I suggest?
A Quick & Cheap Lunch

Spring Link Party 


  1. Hi Laura you have been busy and so productive. It is so lovely to hear from someone not obsessed with consumerism, helps you see what life is really about. Sad today as a dear friend left us so unexpectedly, she was a baker, someone who created gifts from her heart. I shall so miss her, there is a new baker now in God's kitchen. I find comfort in your blog Laura, thank you.
    Lots of love
    :-( xxxxx

  2. This week...

    *I stretched a small roast for two meals and a lunch for hubby. Pot roast and then later in the week I used the remaining meat to make beef and noodles. There were even enough potatoes left for hubby and carrots for all to go with the beef and noodles.

    *Signed Megan up for the summer reading program at the library. Free books and she will earn points for prizes or a free ticket to the county fair.

    *Spent the day out with the kids. Went to a local park and packed a lunch that we ate in my parents back yard. Then spent the afternoon swimming in my parents pool. All it cost was a little gas and we made many memories.

    I enjoy hear other frugal adventures. It inspires me to keep doing what I am doing.

  3. I enjoyed your post.
    I am always trying to stretch our money. It sounds like you did very well. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. We are eating fresh veggies, they were on sale at the market. Simple salad for me, and a home baked pizza for my fellows.

  4. Hi Annie,
    I cannot wait to get to Aldi to see what veggies and fruits are on sale. Hmmm... wonder if they have a website. I'll have to check on that. Fresh veggies and fruits are favorites at our house as well.

    I did better this past week than I thought I had. I didn't realize until Friday, when I sat down and thought about it, how just how much I'd done.

    Well, I've got to get busy making breakfast pretty soon. Oatmeal, cheap, wonderful, healthy oatmeal!

    Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

  5. Hi Wendi,

    Thanks for sharing with us! I would love it if you'd share your recipe for beef and noodles. My mom used to make it once and a while when I was a small child. I like it, I just don't know how to make it!

    I signed my kids up for the reading program at the library, too. Two earned a free book this week. Amy, my youngest, earned a memory stick for the computer. She's a budding photographer and will use it for her photographs.

    Sounds like your day with your kids at the park and your parents' pool was a great time.

    Thanks so much for "talking back" to me. I enjoyed hearing about your week.

    Now, I'm going to come over to your place for a minute before I start my oatmeal. The kids are sleeping late this morning. They won't notice, will they?


    Blessings to you from Harvest Lane Cottage,

  6. Dear Dorothy,

    I am so sorry to hear that your friend has moved to God's bakery. I know you'll miss her terribly. When I speak of my mother, I still think of her in present tense, though she made the "move" to Heaven almost 14 years ago. When we are born again Christians, we don't die, we move. ~smile~ I'm sure your friend will enjoy baking with ingredients she's never had available before. There's quite a banquet to prepare. ~smile~

    I thank God that my blog has comforted you a little bit. Your comments have brightened my days. Thank you.

    May the God of peace fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (as I remember it version)

    Blessings and joy to you,


  7. Laura, my daughter took a 4 hour nap today, and my husband has to return to work on Monday after a month of convalescent leave for knee surgery. So, instead of doing the loads of things I should around the house, I watched a baseball game with my Handsome, enjoyed his company and caught up on my blog reading. I was very far behind, and had about 700 blog posts to flip through in my reader. Yours is one of the only ones I stopped to read each time a new post showed up in my reader. You bless and encourage me. :-)

  8. Hi Snowflakes,

    Oh my word! You just blessed me! Tears in my eyes blessed. So often, as a blogger, I've wondered if anything I write really makes any difference. Thank you so very much.

    I cannot think of a better way to spend an afternoon. I'll bet you enjoyed that nap more than baby, too.

    My husband has had knee surgery, too. It takes a bit to get going again.

    "Father God, I pray for a healing anointing to flow through 'Handsome's body today.
    I ask you to heal him from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet.
    I ask you to cause his knee to work properly, hold his weight properly, and be flexible with full range-of-motion.
    I ask you to cause his spine to have proper alignment.
    I ask that you cause him to walk without limp or leaning.
    I ask that he be fully recovered so that he can work and play with that sweet babe of his.
    I ask it in the Name of the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ."

    I hope you have an "enjoy the moment" week, and baby takes nice long naps, too.

    Your sister-in-Christ,
    Laura Lane
    Harvest Lane Cottage

  9. Wow this sounds delicious. We have to add this to our next to try list. I always make a list of recipes that I want to try and add ingredients to the grocery list. I wait till I can get some of them on sale and boom we have a new dish to try.


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Your blog friend,
Laura Lane
4 Year Cancer Survivor