Are you watching grocery prices rise with dread? Are you seeing the shelves empty from time to time and wondering how to cook without your favorites? Scary right? I'm here to help. My specialty is creating healthy balanced kick-ass tasty meals with in-season and inexpensive ingredients & amazing seasonings. Oh, and Gluten-Free too! My other specialty is growing my own food, and next winter I will be doing just that again - after I rebuild my Winter Greenhouse here in my new home of Nova Scotia!
Food prices are skyrocketing and food shortages are hitting with Omicron messing up the supply chain even more. For 2 yrs I've been cooking live online sharing ways to cook with the random ingredients in your kitchen, in under 30 mins, making the meal shine with incredible seasonings. Always Gluten Free & always with at least one mishap or funny story. I figured what better way to show you what I do, than issue a challenge to myself, cause why do it easy right?
THE FRUGAL FRESH FEBRUARY CHALLENGE
Fresh February is about using up what you have in your pantry, fridge and freezer and purchasing only fresh seasonal ingredients in February. Most of us have things wallowing away in our freezers and pantries, we often have more food than we realize.
MY CHALLENGE - How Low $ can I go? I'm starting this challenge with a near-empty fridge, a 3/4 full freezer, lots of dried beans and grains, a few cans, and a massive spice pantry. See what I have on hand, below.
My grocery budget from January 18 to the end of February is $250. 6 weeks, and I hope to not even spend it all. How low can I go?
Nutritionally balanced meals (per Epic Life & Canada food guide)
I will cook the proteins already in my pantry (a wide variety of beans & lentils) & my fridge freezer (2.5kg chicken, 1 pork tenderloin, 1/2kg of trout, 1 tiny steak & 3/4 bag of Costco green peas.
FRESH FEBRUARY - Most of my budget will be spent on fresh & frozen vegetables as that will feature as half of every plate.
Probably $60 of my $250 will be the frozen fruit from Costco I have most mornings for breakfast. I'll be adding a food forest this summer, my end goal is to freeze enough homegrown fruit from my own property to get through future winters.
So that leaves ~$30 avg per week. Which both scares & excites me cause food prices aren't what they used to be! And with GF there's no cheap breads to pasta to fill the gap.
This $250 budget ALSO includes my 'going to town obsession' an Iced Capp.
Everything I cook will be GF with both plant based and classic meals.
SO WTH AM I THINKING?
EVERYONE needs to know how to cook with what's on hand and most people don't. What I hear: 'a meal costs at least $10 to cook for one, so I might as well grab drive-through' 'I went to 6 stores and couldn't find pita so can't make souvlaki tonight', 'I'm allergic to XYZ, so I can't make that'. THE BIGGEST ONE: There's nothing to eat! I get it. I was 100% that person. I'd look in the fridge and JUST SEE INGREDIENTS. UGH. That's not yet food dammit! I needed recipes & precise measurements to cook. Every week I'd have WAY too much food wastage. I tried classic weekly meal planning which failed, then I discovered the magic of BUILD YOUR OWN DINNER as a way to cook.
Frankly, I haven't been taking the best care of myself lately and I need to clean up my eating, so I figured I'd show you step by step what I do while I take care of and love myself by nourishing my one & only body. January and February we spend MORE time indoors than ever, so it's a great time to up our nutrition game and get ready for a spring and summer spent outdoors. It's also a perfect time to empty our pantries!
I KNOW my personality, I NEED A challenge/game or I get bored... I also know that in order to post daily healthy meals, I need to get think ahead for the days I'm JUST NOT FEELING IT!~ You know the ones, we all have those days. If there isn't something I can eat in minutes, I'm diving into a bag of chips and a handful of chocolate before I even blink.
Here’s the dry goods I have on hand. Potato, squash, tomato sauce, rice, beans & lentils.
as well as my Fridge & Freezer
Daily - I'll post what I ate on IG, FB - watch for TikToks, Reels and Stories!
BiWeekly Round up - A blog post with what I've purchased, what I made and recipes/ideas
Weekly - FB Live cook ups - Thursdays at 7:30pm AT (3:30PT 4:30MT 5:30CT 6:30ET) I'll be LIVE doing one of the meals and prepping for an upcoming one.
Assess your Assets and Liabilites (more about that on my Jan 20th FB Live)
Grab photos of how much food you have on hand when you start so you can compare after you use up some of your long-term food storage
Use BYOD as a Guide for a nutritionally balanced meals
Tag #FrugalFreshFebruary and me - I'll be sharing YOUR creations and ideas in my stories to help inspire others
MY FIRST SHOP! Jan 19th - Costco. NOTE: Currently looking for a Costco Friend with Benefits - someone to share large pkgs of produce with me - I can't eat all those oranges and lemons!
Let's get busy not worrying so much about what's happening out there! Let's nourish ourselves, learn new ways of eating that are less stressful and more reliant on what you CAN source, not worrying about what you can't! Happy Growing, Cooking & Eating! 💜 Dana K
Find me on Social: Instagram FB - Page (most food content!)
FB Grow It Cook It Group (more garden content)
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