Chili Lasagna, Or, Why I Fly My Frugal Flag With Pride

December 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm 9 comments

Since Christmas, we’ve been running very low on groceries and only today did we replenish our stock.  Now our fridge is FULL.

Lest you think we are egg fiends, I want you to know we get our eggs free from my in-laws.  Not that there is anything wrong with being an egg fiend.

A couple of days ago, I parsed together a Black Bean Chili using canned tomatoes, canned beans, frozen corn, and one solitary jalapeno pepper residing in the bottom of the fridge.  I’ve made this recipe before with successful result, but this batch was much too spicy for my delicate palate.  I’m not sure what went wrong!  I think our chili powder is on crack (figuratively speaking, of course).

Too hot to handle.  And I’m not talking about me this time.  (Badump cha!)

Being the frugal tightwad that I pride myself on being, I did not want to throw away this giant pot of perfectly-fine-but-burns-your-tongue-and-mouth-off chili.  I needed something to dilute it, but I wasn’t sure what to use.  I could add vegetable stock to make it more of a soup, but it was already quite runny.  I could have really used some culinary guidance on this one.  Where is Martha Stewart when you need her?  Not in my kitchen, I will tell you that.

But then it dawned on me.  I could make a lasagna using this chili instead of tomato sauce and vegetables!

***Cue frugal angels singing frugal songs about frugal living!***

The noodles and cheese would dilute the spice and I would not be forced to dump the chili.  Hurrah!  Since we bought a new container of baby spinach today, I added the last bits of our old spinach to the chili as well.

It is a shame these containers aren’t recyclable in Toronto, but that is a post for another time

So not only did I use up my “I no longer have a mouth/tongue” chili, but also old spinach!  I live frugally because, duh, I want to save my money, but I must say there is a lot of pride to be had with this mode of living as well.

Now a review of how the chili actually turned out is forthcoming as it is currently baking.  (Baby is asleep so I need to get as much done during this sacred hour as possible!)  But it looks fairly promising to me.

Of course it looks promising.  It looks like a pile of cheese.


In other frugal living news, I made a batch of Thank You cards today using paper supplies I’ve had since university days.


When you have a baby, especially a first, you receive a lot of gifts, which necessitates the formal thanking for these gifts.  I’ve probably written 40 or 50 thank yous by now, but I’ve still got eight people left to go.  I ran out of store-bought cards and thought I’d make some instead of buying.  A pack of 10 cards is about six dollars, so I like to think I am six dollars richer now (Six dollars = one Starbucks latte and a pack of gum.  Score!).

It was fun to make these, although I ran out of glue.  Is there anything worse than running out of glue when you’ve got your craft on?  The answer is NO.  But that is a post for another time 🙂


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Books I took(s) 2010

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  December 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I don’t think my fridge is ever that full…unless it’s full of cupcakes… 🙂

    You can’t recycle plastic containers in TO? That’s it, I’m not moving… LOL

    • 2. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  December 30, 2010 at 8:44 am

      You can recycle opaque plastic like cottage cheese containers, but not clear plastic like these! Weird, eh?

      • 3. Sarah  |  December 30, 2010 at 11:32 am

        Or, according to Jim Lee, everything is organic kitchen waste… put one container on your counter and “pretend” you are doing good for the environment, but really just put all your garbage in that container anyways…. LOL

  • 4. Amanda C  |  December 29, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for posting a pic of your fridge! I’m always looking to find ways to maximize the space usage in my fridge. It always seems like we’re running out of space! I think the key for me is to get a milk bag holder, instead of just stashing the whole bag of bags on one shelf, which isn’t all that practical.

    You can reuse your spinach containers! I use mine to store fabric and other doodads. Of course there are only so many containers you may need, until they start to take over.

    • 5. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  December 30, 2010 at 8:45 am

      I am a huge fan of the milk bag holder. Do you have a chain of stores called Kitchen Stuff Plus? I think that is where we got ours.

      Our house is so small I don’t even have a place to put the spinach containers! But that is a great idea 🙂

  • 6. echoingmetaphor  |  December 29, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Random but you keep your PB in the fridge? Doesn’t it get hard?

    I just restocked my fridge today and it looks a lot like yours! We currently have 3 dozen eggs sitting in our fridge so no judging here! (ours come from a farmer friend who for some reason gives them to us 3 dozen at a time)

    Very cute cards!

    • 7. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  December 30, 2010 at 8:46 am

      Yeah, the natural PB gets hard, but I’ve heard its recommended to keep it in the fridge. I wonder what would happen if I didn’t?

      Our eggs come from a farmer friend too! It pays to have friends in high (yet dirty) places 😉

  • 8. Erika  |  December 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    i bet that chili lasagna was delicious! no? i amaze chris sometimes what i can make out of a few left over things in the fridge when he complains we have nothing to eat.

    • 9. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  December 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      You should blog about some of your creations 🙂


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What happens when you love to eat healthy (and some unhealthy!) food, love to live frugally, and love to write? You start a food blog, of course. Of course!

Eating well and living frugally does not always come easy, but Lord help me, I am trying! This blog will detail my endeavor to live the best life possible. This will include pictures of my cats, odes to almond butter, and the general miscellany that makes up my life. Enjoy!

December 2010
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