Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Making It Work

We are on the home stretch..... spending my last bit of money in the grocery store with a predetermined meal in mind I picked up ground beef, a small can of beans and peanut butter..... I made chili and it turned out great :-) (I didn't add the pb) seem like lots of flavor, I still have quite a bit of basics left, dried beans, rice, barley, flour, bok choy, corn (things I thought I'd run out of). I'm set for the week :-) I don't foresee a need to pick up anything else for the week which is good as my $80 is spent. I am baking my last loaves of bread and can't wait to try it out once it is cooled.

Last week and this week my energy levels have been quite low. I've felt, just exhausted. It has been tiring just thinking about food and cost so often and avoiding temptation. I have lost 3lbs which isn't a significant amount but I don't know if I can directly contribute it to the diet either. I walk to and from work which is about 5.5 km a day. I live downtown and did all my shopping downtown too. As some of you know groceries tend to be more expensive and there isn't much opportunity to buy in bulk which can be costly when on a budget. Sales and coupons are a must.

Why are there no coupons for necessities? Is it because there is subsidies from the government in most of the industries the products are from? Is $2.50 - 3.50 each a reasonable amount for bread, eggs and milk? And what about soy? it comes from a bean, the process (thanks to avid readers and bloggers) I've found out is to boil, de-shell (which is more or less done in the boiling process), strain and add a little sweetener...... does it really have to cost twice the amount of milk?

Today's intake:

snack1: 1 serving barley, 1 serving corn
snack2: 2 servings chili (2 meats and alternatives, 1 veggie)
snack3: 2 serving pasta, 1 serving veg
snack4: 3 servings veg
snack5: 2 bread
snack6: TBD

4 cups of tea, 2 cups of soy, 6 cups of water

Monday, February 22, 2010

My last $20 is spent

On the weekend, I spent my last few dollars. Twenty dollars didn’t get me much, just some oranges, bananas, pears, chicken, bread and milk. Once again it was a longer shopping trip than it needed to be. It took about 90 minutes to make choices between what I really wanted, what I could afford and what is good for me. I wanted to buy tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, cheese, olives, strawberries, blackberries, nuts, yoghurt and procioutto, but my budget wasn’t having any of that.

When I was at the checkout, my cell phone rang and a friend asked me what I was doing. I replied, “Spending my last $20 for the month.” I could feel everyone standing in the lineup staring at me. And as I had calculated in my head, my bill came to $19.32.

I walked out of the store with my four plastic bags disappointed because I didn’t buy anything that excited me. You know that feeling when you leave the shop and you can’t wait to get home to rip into that bag of chips, that smoothie drink, that block of cheese? I didn’t have that feeling. No impulsive purchases for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to be eating chicken for the first time all month and those oranges are going to be a welcoming burst of citrus in my mouth, but I have nothing to add spice to my mundane meals. Not even a tip of an asparagus tip to have with my chicken. Some corn would have been nice. Oh, how I love frozen peas too.

Adding some variety to my meals is my main challenge this week. Last year, I did a lot more experimenting with my meal planning. This year, I feel like I’ve been defeated by the rice, potatoes and a busy work schedule. So as I type this I'm scouring the internet for two-ingredient recipes. This evening, I'll probably do some variation on this Slow Cooked Stuffed Cabbage dish. I'll let you know if it turns out and if it doesn't, i'll still have to eat it. Can't throw out food at this stage.