If you do not take a daily walk, I would highly recommend that you do. It is amazing how much better I feel and how much more energy I have when I am able to take my morning walk compared to days when I miss it. I have found that this challenge has shown me even more how important it is to take some time for yourself to refresh.

On today’s walk, I was on the lookout for more blackberries. You can imagine the smile on my face when I come around a corner and see a blackberry bush like this:

blackberry bush

Because when you have a blackberry bush that big, it is easy to come home with this:

freshly picked blackberries

During my last trip to drop off food at the local food bank, the coordinator mentioned that cereal was running low and asked me to keep a lookout for any cereal deals. I found one at Lucky and ended up buying 110 boxes of cereal at $0.27 a box (this purchase was not part of this challenge, but part of penny experiment)

cereal pile

I am going to try this week to do both this challenge and start buying for food banks again as well and see how it goes. it should be an interesting week…

Blackberry Smoothie

With all my freshly picked blackberries, was there any doubt that a blackberry smoothie was how I was going to start my day?

blackberry smoothie

Spinach Salad

Before I left to do my cereal buying, I made myself a quick spinach salad with shredded cheese, Italian dressing and and extra slice of bacon I had stored in a baggie that was hidden in the back of the refrigerator that I found on top.

spinach salad

I then took with me a couple of peanut butter sandwiches while I was out getting the cereal.

Beef Stroganoff

Because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to once again attempt to make stroganoff even with two previous failures. I decided that using beef instead of chicken might be the key:


beef veggies

beef stroganoff

While it did turn out better than the previous two attempts, I still am doing something wrong. Maybe I will get the courage to try it again at some later date…

This is the current list of food I still have
This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Goal: 100 days eating on $1 a day
Current Money Spent: $67.73
Money Left to Spend: $32.27 ($6.17 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1440.92


The Beginning ::: Day 93: Getting Coupon Lazy

Rebate Fanatic. Saving you money every time you shop online! Sign Up and Start Saving Today


  1. I think the problem with the stroganoff is the substitutions.

    The key to stroganoff is that you have to have beef, beef stock, sour cream, pasta and mushrooms. The substitutions are likely throwing off the flavor.

  2. here’s the family stroganoff recipe,
    passed down through the ages from the old world.

    2 lbs. beef filet
    6 tbsp butter (i substitute 3 tbsp olive oil)
    1 cup chopped yellow onion
    1 clove garlic (i use about 1/2 a bulb 🙂
    1/2 lb mushrooms (i use more & less beef)
    3 tbsp flour
    2 tsp meat extract
    1 tbsp ketchup (organic)
    1 can campbells beef consumme
    salt/peper to taste
    1/4 cup white wine (i use cocktail sherry)
    1 cup sour cream
    1 bag wide egg noodles
    1/2 tsp dill
    poppy seeds and parsley leaves for garnish
    boil egg noodles 10 min, drain set aside. trim beef into 1 inch strips, heat skillet, melt 3 tbsp butter, brown meat by searing quickly, set aside. add 3tbsp butter or oil to same skillet and saute chopped onion, garlic, and mushrooms about 5min. remove from heat and add flour, meat extract, ketchup, salt/pepper to taste, stir until smoth, add consomme and heat to a boil, reduce heat, add wine then simmer 5min over low heat, add dill, beef, sour cream and heat til warm.
    (not too hot or cream curdles). serve with warm egg noodles garnished with parsley and poppy seeds unless you have an imminent drug test. 😉
    best eaten with garlic bread made with some of that acme sourdough
    bread that i miss like crazy.:(

    great job on the cereal again!

  3. Dave,

    What is meat extract??? I cook a lot but have never come across this before.

    Your family recipe sounds good and we may give it a try sometime.

  4. Dave, that stroganoff recipe looks like it would turn out so yummy. I am definitely going to try it. But did they really have Campbell’s beef consomme ages ago in the old world? 🙂 No matter, looks fabulous!

    Jeffrey, great job with the cereal for the food bank. And even though your stroganoff doesn’t really seem to be stroganoff, it does look very tasty!

  5. We love beef stroganoff around here..what I use is:

    ~1 lb some kind of steak cut into bite size pieces
    1/2 cup flour
    1-2 Tbs butter/margarine
    olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan
    1-2 cloves minced garlic
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    mushrooms (canned is fine, just drain them first)
    1 can of beef broth
    sour cream
    egg noodles

    My ingredients are a bit of an estimate, because I adjust the seasonings etc as I go. I mix the onion powder, garlic powder and flour together, and coat the beef with it. Put the butter/margarine, olive oil, and minced garlic over medium/medium high heat on the stove (be careful not to let this start to burn). Brown the meat in the pan and once it is browned, put in the mushrooms and beef broth, and I also put in an extra can or so of water). I then let this simmer for 30-45 minutes on the stove. Check every so often to see if more liquid (I just use water) is needed and to keep the meat from sticking..you can also add more seasoning if needed. Check the meat to see if it is tender enough and once it is, let it cook until the sauce is a bit thick like a gravy. Turn off the heat, and add in about 1/4 cup of sour cream. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

  6. When I see mushrooms on sale I think ‘stroganoff’ and immediately check the price of sour cream. You can use any kind of steak cut into thin strips of 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide, then sliced in half lengthwise but that is a lot of work. I find it much faster to just use ground beef or leftover roast beef shredded or chopped. Both taste fine and you don’t spend forever slicing up tiny bits of steak.

    Hint for sauteeing mushrooms: don’t crowd the pan. If you throw a big pile of mushrooms in they steam instead of sauteeing (frying basically). So fry some onions, set aside, fry some mushrooms, set aside, brown the beef … add salt & pepper and the other ingredients. Remove from heat and add sour cream and stir well. Done!

    Can be eaten as is or poured over cooked noodles. If making all of this from scratch start the water boiling for noodles while you chop veggies & meat, easy to cook noodles at same time so they finish slightly before the meat & sauce. This way noodles have time to drain but are still hot.

  7. So, here’s my question: Do you even know if you like beef stroganoff? I’m assuming you must, and know someone who makes it amazingly well or you wouldn’t keep making it (ask him or her for help, maybe…?). It’s not a dish that I’ve ever seen on a menu, so this is the only explanation I can come up with. I haven’t had it since I was a child, but I distinctly remember hating it and have never tried it since. Then again, I don’t like anything with sour cream as a main ingredient.

  8. Here is a recipe for Peg Bracken’s “Skid Row Stroganoff “for when the challenge ends. There are better versions of Beef Stroganoff but none easier. You can freeze the other half of the cream soup to use in a later recipe. This recipe makes 2 servings.

    4oz. uncooked noodles
    1/2 garlic clove, minced
    2 Tablespoons. Chopped onion
    1 tbsp. oil
    1/2 lb. ground meat (I would use beef)
    1 tbsp. flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    1 sm. can mushrooms or 8oz fresh, sautéed before you brown the meat.
    1/2 can cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 c. sour cream

    Cook noodles in boiling water. Brown the garlic, onion, and beef in oil. Add flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms; stir and let it cook 5 minutes. Add soup and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream, keeping heat low so it won’t curdle and let it all heat through. To serve, pile noodles on platter; pile the stroganoff mix on top of the noodles and sprinkle chopped parsley around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment