Friday, February 25, 2011

Been Cleaning Out the Cupboards

And the fridge is really amazingly empty! Tonight, made a neat crab fried (brown) rice dish that I love and is really easy to make: 1 cup brown rice cooked, 1 package surimi, 1 package - 16 oz - of frozen peas and carrots, 2 Tbls vegetable oil, 1 bunch of green onions sliced (I use as much of the greens as I feel comfortable with), then a 2 egg equivalent of Egg Beaters. I saute the onions in the oil, add in the chopped surimi (bit-sized pieces), then toss in the rice, the peas and carrots, and once everything is well heated through, add the Egg Beaters in a well in the center of the mixture. Scratch this all together, letting the egg cook. Transfer to plate or bowl, and add in low-sodium soy sauce.
But everything was in the freezer except the Egg Beaters - oh and the rice was in the cabinet.

So with gas prices rising thru the roof again, and a corresponding increase in the grocery store, where are you thinking you're going to adjust your spending? I'm working on the idea of changing up my lunches to being totally meatless all the time. PBJ sounds boring, and humus and veggies, while easy aren't the most cost efficient. I don't do eggs much (just the egg beaters) so egg salad is out.

Vegetarian lunch ideas are welcome, just leave a comment if you will?

And give me other ideas, too, okay?

By the way? I managed to beat the electric company this year, but only barely - by about $1.20 a month. Still, I'm delighted that I came in under their estimate for my budget plan, even with our cold winter. I'm soon to begin thinking of ways to reduce the bill even farther, so let me know what you're thoughts are there, too.

Am I focusing on costs too much? In this rocky time, it's hard not to, but I'm bound and determined to make this a game, not be negative about it, but see how low I can go on my expenses...

And, my grocery bill this month? Well, I managed to come in under $150 - of course, there's still a few days left in the month, I could cave...

But I don't plan to.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Monday, Must Be Meatless!

I have nothing to show you...I've been away all weekend, and I didn't make a bit of what I ate, but I had meatless at every turn...

Friday night, a grilled portobella mushroom sandwich with roasted red peppers and an interesting mustard concoction. Saturday afternoon, Indian Dal Curry and rice at a local stall in a food court in downtown DC. Saturday night, La Madeleine's in Old Town Alexandria where I had their signature Tomato Basil soup and a field greens salad with bread. Sunday night was another Indian restaurant that I'd not been to, and I had a Vegetable Vindaloo that was incredibly spicy - but very very good!

In amongst there, I had one meal with meat, and it was a salad with chicken. The rest of the meals for the weekend (hey, I think that's almost only breakfast left, right?) were yogurt and Kashi.

Ok. Starbucks, too.

It was a good can see where we went and what we did over on my knitting blog.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Continuing Cleaning the Cupboards...and A NEW Challenge!

I'm about to let you know about my latest endeavors of Cleaning Out The Cupboards and also about something else mentioned there...that UWMD Challenge (you know, "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without?")...

No photos (I know, shoot me), but over the past weekend and into this week, I've pulled single serve leftovers out of my freezer to eat for dinner, making a considerable opening in the space available...there's much more to do, however.

Last night, I used up a container of vegetable beef soup and leftover artisan bread (both in the freezer), then made up a batch of Pumpkin Fluff (WW friendly) which used up a container of Cool Whip, a can of pumpkin, and a package of Sugar-Free, Fat-Free vanilla pudding (and milk, but I am having to continue buying that). I pulled a can of beets off the storage shelves and opened that this week, too.

When it's just me, it takes a lot longer to eat my way through all this! But tonight? Another frozen serving of that goulash down below...

As far as the UWMD Challenge? Oh, I'm all over that. I'm working hard to use up my stash of fabrics in making products for my shows and craft festivals this year. Trying hard to work through my yarn stash to create holiday gifts and charity items (and those hats mentioned below). But I'm also hoping to get through some of the things in the basement, the closets, all through the house for either a yard sale this summer, and of course the regular drops to charities and Freecycle.

I love the idea of the UWMD Challenge...I'm IN!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Reverb10: February

February Prompt:
One month into 2011, what question(s) are you living? Are there any prompts/questions that arose during #reverb10 that are still resonating in your life? Are you living new questions?

Wow. Dropped into my inbox at precisely the time I was giving myself mental slaps about falling behind (ok, failing, totally) in my attempts to corral my spending and improve my financial picture! I hadn't anticipated hearing another thing from the Reverb10 folks! But this certainly appeared at just the right time.

Finance was my personal tripping point, discovered in the midst of rethinking who I was, and how I'd come to be in this world. The Single Mom who struggled to survive without the child support due (and when any of it managed "magically" to arrive, spending it quickly for the things we were doing without - a twin bed set for DD when she outgrew the for her, shoes...and always treats that we couldn't normally afford, because "we deserved it," for doing without all the rest of the time).

It's a rotten, hard mindset to break.

I'd set for myself a goal of reusing what's in the cupboard in January and not buying the $300 at the grocery store I'd averaged every month of 2010. For one person that seems too much.

Well, apparently even when I'm cleaning out the cupboards, nicely, I can't stop myself from picking up those "specials" when they appear at the store! I've admitted that I include the cat's food & litter in my grocery budget line: one store had such a good deal on the canned food that I bought $10 worth on January 31.

(of course, I realize that means that they're set for February, which should mean I don't have to buy much for them, except the dry and the litter, right?)

And the freezer gets packed back as fast as I clean it out.

We won't talk about the savings account just now - I'll just say that it's being robbed as fast as the funds go in for routine maintenance stuff...Once again, there's very little at the end of the month, and someone keeps moving the ends...I think it's time to reconsider how I go about addressing this issue and must force myself to become much more aware. Tracking works in Weight Watchers, so I'll try it for Finance in February!