Day is Done


“Day is Done” not only is currently a very true statement, but it is also the title to one of my favorite songs by Peter, Paul, and Mary.  Now I know that admitting that I like, actually love, Peter, Paul, and Mary may make me look like a freak to some of you, but it can not be helped.  The refrain of the song states “And if you take my hand my son; All will be well when the day is done“.  As I sit here now, I am reflecting on how true those lyrics are.  My daughter is upstairs and my husband is sitting across from me feeding the baby, and I know that with their hands to hold all WILL be well when the day is done.  Today is no exception.  Not that there was anything particularly bad about today if you forget about that early wake up. But this being the end of the first day of my “project” I am realizing how much time and focus it is going to take to be successful, and how much I am going to need their support and cooperation.  Well, enough philosophizing for now and onto the subject at hand.

Gabriel was nice enough to go back to sleep right after this morning’s post, so I got to crawl back into bed myself.   A couple of hours later, I got up much more rested and ready to get started.  Today I computed the costs per serving size for a number of my food staples, though there are still many left to do.  You can find these under Cost of food staples to the right.  The computations weren’t hard and neither was finding prices to start from for products bought awhile ago, thank you Giant’s Peapod. What was difficult was figuring out how to format the information.   I decided on a table, but that is as far as I got because I had no real idea about how to go actually do it.  In stepped Ed and viola, I have tables.  Thank you Ed!!!  I have a feeling that he will be called into action on many occasions in the name of the blog. 

Lunch consisted of leftovers.  Leftovers that we had eaten at least 4 other times in the last 3 days. I am grateful that they are now gone.  Well almost gone, there is still one serving of American Goulash left.  Don’t get me wrong, I love leftovers!  Leftovers are free food on this budget and usually, hopefully, they are something that you enjoy eating.  I say hopefully because we ALL have dinner blunders on occasion.  Come on, you know it’s true. We actually plan on leftovers with every dinner so Ed has something to take to work the next day.  We do this for 2 reasons. First, and I can’t say this enough, is that it is FREE food. Second, Ed really hates his work’s cafeteria.  Since we have not accounted for the original meal I have charged us for the leftovers this time.  With a general idea of the cost of the original meals and knowing how much we were eating, I estimated that we were eating no more than $.75 worth of ingredients each. So that is the number I will be using.

During the afternoon, we made a quick shopping trip to Harris Teeter and were pleasantly surprised with free ice cream.  I got an ice cream sandwich!  I haven’t had one in so long and it was so good!  In the interests of time and space, and the fact that I would like to keep grocery posts  separate for reference, I will blog about that later.

Sundays are the one day that we are guaranteed to have Ksenia present at dinner.  Most other nights she is either working or has chosen to hang out with her friends.  She’s 18 if you’ll remember.  Since she can be a fairly picky eater and I no longer have to take that into consideration during the rest of the week, not that I always did anyways, I try to pick things she will like on Sundays.  With that in mind, tonight’s dinner was grilled smoked sausage, pierogi casserole (recipe to follow), and roasted green beans. This was a satisfying meal, Ksenia liked it, and there were leftovers.  That is what I call all around success.

Pierogi Casserole found at  Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations changes will be noted in italics.

1 package frozen pierogies (12 per package)
1/2 onion, sliced
1 green onion, chopped – omitted
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp flour
1 c light cream or milk  I used 2% milk
Approximately 1 c shredded cheeses; I used a combination of a Mexican 4 cheese blend, an Italian 5 cheese blend, and some mild cheddar.  If you can’t tell I was trying to use up my cheese odds and ends .

Preheat oven to 375
Bring a pot of water to a boil; drop in pierogies and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer 6 to a baking dish (so they cover the bottom), and keep the other 6 aside until you are ready to assemble the casserole. (I cooked six at a time and timed it so my second set of pierogies were done at the same time as my cheese sauce)
Make the cheese sauce: Heat olive oil in a pot. Add all onions and red pepper flakes; saute 2 minutes. Add flour and stir. Add cream/milk and bring to a simmer. Add cheeses, and stir until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour some of the cheese sauce over the first layer of pierogies. Add the rest of the pierogies and top with more cheese sauce. I used an 8×8 casserole dish and that was too big to do two layers so I just put all the piragiin one layer and covered with the cheese sauce. Top with breadcrumbs.
Bake on 375 for about 15 minutes or until bubbly. Turn on the broiler for 3 minutes at the end.


Now for the day’s accounting.  Today, in fact probably this whole week, is going to be a little more expensive than normal because we are doing full costing for many items at once.  Hopefully this will soon balance itself out.


  • 1 bowl of cereal – $.45

  • milk – $1.20 ( 1/2 gallon half empty)

  • please note that I do not normally eat breakfast so the above is for Ed

subtotal = $1.65


  • 2 plates of pasta leftovers – $.75 x 2

subtotal = $1.50


  • nectarine – $.40

  • bowl of ice cream – $2.50; cost of carton and will not be charged again

subtotal = $2.90


  • smoked sausage – $2.00

  • green beans – $.70 + $.10 in olive oil = $.80

  • Pierogi Casserole

               1 package frozen pierogies (12 per package) – $2.00
               1/2 onion, sliced – $.50
               1/2 tsp red pepper flakes – $2.00 – initial cost and will not be charged again
               1/2 tsp salt – $1.50 – initial cost and will not be charged again
               1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper – $2.00 – initial cost and will not be charged again
               1 tbsp olive oil – $.10
               1 tsp flour – $.01
               1 c light cream or milk  – no charge
               Approximately 1 c shredded cheese – $1.00

subtotal = $11.91

TOTAL =  $16.96


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