Smart Home Economics – Scones and Pies.

From time to time, I write essays outlining my practices and procedures for stretching the grocery dollar in this horrendous inflationary economy.  Without doubt, this era presents challenges, and with the ridiculous inflationary reality all of us are experiencing, it can become one heck of a challenge to maintain your household on a sensible budget.  Here at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms, we work diligently to maintain a sensible household budget, without sacrificing nutrition and quality.  Therefore, with the ever-rising cost of foodstuffs, using every bit of food and wisely buying provisions, is the key to maintaining the household on a sensible budget.  My “waste not, want not” motto works well.  Not only is it a good practice to follow with everyday home resources, but it is also a practical, wise, and economical way to get the most out of food and leftovers.  So why not wisely create light and healthy scones and pies, while keeping the cost of food as reasonable as possible?

It can be done.

So far, I have shared with you my tips on making chicken stew, stretching relatively inexpensive cabbage, making shepherd’s pie with leftovers, and creating soups from simple ingredients.  In this essay, I’ll share some of my ideas on two of my favorite desserts: scones and rhubarb pie.

When it comes to cooking and baking, I prefer making as much as I can from scratch.  It really is hardly any extra work, it takes about the same time as opening a box of mix, and it’s much healthier than processed foods.  It’s cheaper, too.

At the beginning of Lent 2023, I took on a project to make several batches of miniature scones.  I used the scone recipes that are found at the King Arthur Flour website, and from there I modified the “fillings” to my family’s taste.  The basic dough remained the same, but by adding dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, cranberries, apples, and dates, Best Friend and I have good choices of sweet scones to have in the morning with coffee, or in the afternoon with tea.  I also made savory scones by taking the basic dough and adding bacon, ham, onions, chives, and herbs.  Either way, by blending, for example, bacon with dates, I had a batch of savory-sweet scones.  Scones with apricots are a taste sensation.  Even a simple batch of scones with ham and cheddar cheese are a delight to eat.  Using leftover filling ingredients is a smart way to use up what you have without throwing it out when there isn’t enough to make a full meal by itself.


Pies are another way to stretch your dollar.  I make my own pie crust.  The fillings?  Well, I sometimes really go to town on that.  If I have a little bit of this-and-that (raisins, an apple, a peach, or any other little bits of fruit), I mix them together for an interesting “harvest pie.”  A few weeks ago, I found fresh rhubarb at the grocery store at a good price; so just by itself, I baked a tart rhubarb pie that was a hit.


And pies don’t always have to be sweet.  Using the same principals, if I have leftover or small amounts of vegetables like corn, peas, carrots, and broccoli, I mix them together with or without chicken or beef and create a savory pie good enough for company.

So, by using a little savvy, some creativity, and smart planning, you will find that stretching your grocery dollar can be fun, and it just might take your mind off of the challenging economy.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from “Smart Home Economics,” ©2023

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