making the most from little

this weekend was an interesting mix of good & unexpected. we checked a few things off our ever-growing to do list, dirtied up a sink of dishes while baking the most delicious strawberry yogurt bundt cake, cuddled a handful of quickly growing chicks, savored breakfast at home, & managed to get out of the house for a day of fun just when we were getting a little stir crazy. 

of course, as life so often happens, we experienced a bit of the unexpected, too. the weather wasn't what we anticipated with the mix of rain, sleet & snow right outside our door & dampening our spirits. with unexpected trips to the mechanic, two cars & three new tires later, we spent a hefty amount more during our spring break than planned.

as always, we bounce back. these next few weeks we plan to go on a sort-of purchasing freeze to recover from our unplanned expenses & get back on budget. i journaled for a bit on sunday the many ways i could serve our family, stop spending & get a little creative with what we do have.

 i am naming this week clean out the pantry week, a week of using up & eating those ingredients leftover or forgotten in the back of our cupboards & hidden in the fridge. i have several delicious meals planned, including storage winter squash stuffed with apples & sausage from the farm, homemade cornbread, split pea & sweet potato soup, roasted beet bites, omelets, tomato soup with grilled cheese, & sauteed kale from the garden.

my spirits can grow a little weary when i dwell on the unexpected hang-ups of life, but that survivalist in me loves a good, healthy challenge mixed with a bit of thriftiness. there is so much growth & goodness to be found in making the most from very little.

how do you creatively make the most of what you have?


Yonder said...

your leftovers sound so much better than mine! We rarely ever have leftovers in our fridge because I work at a grocery store so I buy a little at a time of things we use. I love using what we have in the pantry though, and have successfully been going chunk by chunk through what we have this winter season. It feels good to use what you have, but then my pantry is starting to look a little bare now too and that's another problem altogether. Life always has a curve ball to hand us every now and then...just be thankful you have someone to go through all of this with.

Stephanie said...

Sorry to hear about your unexpected expenses, I hate that. I also have been needing to go on a spending freeze and just use what I have. It's always harder for me with sewing supplies. I just love to buy fabric. Also would love it if you shared your cake recipe with us! :)

Daniela said...

I like the way you are always positive and thankful :-)
I am trying to budget on food too, writing down every expense and trying to cook better with less.
We would need a spending freeze but I have big unexpected expenses with my University taxation right now, it's an hard but happy life :-9

Erin Van Genderen said...

Good for you, Natalie! You have the right attitude. "Make do and mend" is the best phrase that comes to mind for these seasons.

When we get in a situation like this, I use EVERYTHING - scraps and leftovers become new meals in themselves, and then the name of the game is more about creativity than scrimping and saving.


Kaylan said...

You should read the book An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler if you haven't. I think you'd love it :) Your pantry meals sound delicious and very similar to the types of foods we have each week! :)

summer said...

I would LOVE to hear your recipe for that strawberry bundt cake! That sounds like the perfect Easter day dessert!

Good for you using up everything in the pantry. We try to do that too. You are much more creative than I in the kitchen though. :)

Chelsea said...

So appreciate the encouragement to embrace the challenge of "limited resources". Your blog is beautiful and inspiring!

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