Archive for November, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

weekly accounts

from-the-kitchen1

A big part of my keeping to a budget has been menu planning. Each week I take a look at what’s in the cupboard and decide what to make for dinner each evening. Breakfast is every man for himself and lunch is dependent on whether the husband is home or not. Planning dinners has allowed me to shop sales and make sure the food we buy gets used and not thrown away. Plus I love to find recipes and then ignore them when I cook, the menu plan gives me a starting point. So let’s see what’s on for this week…

I am not even attempting a menu plan this week.  We move on Wednesday and I’ve spent the past six days packing boxes.  I hate packing the kitchen so I don’t even want to spend any mental time there right now.  Our meals will come from the freezer and cupboard, be simple, easy and use no more than two pans, a spoon or a spatula as everything else is packed.

felix

We are using a system that is somewhat based on $80/week for grocery and non-edible and the $50 a week budget. Each week we calculate how much we spent overall and I announce if we are under or over budget.

eating out – $49.42

grocery – $7.99

grocery non-edible – $5.42

Apparently sending the husband and Toddler L away for a few days is all my budget needs.  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for feeding my family.

Friday, November 20, 2009

food waste

food-waste-disposal

Every week I talk about food waste. Why? Other than it’s so cool and fun? In the hope that it will make me aware of how much food (and money) I’m throwing away when something gets tossed in the garbage and not eaten.

Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion. via Wasted Food

Kristen, over at The Frugal Girl started documenting her food waste in March 2008, added pictures and then challenged her readers to join the fight. Don’t be a Grouch, keep it out of the can.

Just a quick post to say that we are doing a great job of cleaning out the freezer, have made a huge dent in the cupboard and there’s little more than condiments in the fridge.

And I haven’t thrown a single thing away to do it.  Not even the fortune cookies I found that are probably at least a year old.  I figure Toddler L will think himself so lucky to have such a special treat.  And it’s not like a two year old is much of a fortune cookie connoisseur, a little staleness will not be noticed.

It may not be the most economical choice but it is husband’s one desire to not move food so we are eating everything we can and will buy new (local) goodies to stock the (new) cupboards.

Now back to my packing.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

tossed and found

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

That’s a pretty good adage when it comes to making the most of our possessions.  But what about the re-make aspect?  To me, that’s where the real fun lies.  I think the Wary Meyers agree.

They found not only the use-ability but also the humor in their used up stuff.  Their new book, Wary Meyers’ Tossed and Found Book is definitely on my Wish List.  I especially love the how-to sketches and behind-the-scenes planning pages.

By scrounging through flea markets and trash bins the Meyers have found items that lived a great life and given them a whole new existence.  Basketball hoop turned side table anyone?  From garden to dining table – ceiling?

If you’re inspired, check out a great article about John and Linda Meyers on Design*Sponge.

via Make

Saturday, November 14, 2009

it made my day

new day

I saw this site and just had to share.  It has nothing to do with the Compact or frugality or environmentalism or design or anything at all really.  But it made me chuckle and that’s worth something.

It Made My Day!!  Little Moments of WIN is a collection of everyday situations.  There is nothing terribly special about the situations except that they may be funny.  Here are some moments that made me laugh,and look for new opportunities to say IMMD.

I was digging through my old first grade notebook today. In response to a prompt that read “I am happy to be a kid because…” I wrote, “I can sit on the toilet backwards and yell Yeehaw!” IMMD.

There was a power outage in my dorm, and while I was walking through the pitch black halls someone started whistling Luigi’s Mansion. IMMD!

My 12 year old daughter ran up to me with her iPod. She put one earbud in each nostril, cranked up some tunes and the music came out of her mouth. Then she opened and shut her mouth making it seem like the music was going on and off. IMMD!

Do you have an IMMD moment?

via Land-O-Links

 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

bagnanimous

dress a

Target is doing their bitSo is Ikea.  Now the Public Works Department for the County of Los Angeles has stepped up to the plate.  Or in the lingo of spokesman Luke Walton, they’re taking it strong to the hoop.

Public Works will conduct its first countywide “Brag About Your Bag®” reusable bag campaign beginning on “America Recycles Day”, November 15 and runs through “A Day without A Bag”, December 17, 2009. We will team up with Albertsons, HOWS, Ralphs, Top Valu, and Valu Plus supermarkets to host countywide reusable bag giveaway events and distribute over 50,000 reusable bags.

The “Brag About Your Bag®” campaign goal is to unify the County of Los Angeles, the 88 cities, non-profits, and other entities to help educate by:

* increasing public awareness of the litter impact on the environment;
* promote the use of reusable bag;
* increase at-store recycling of plastic bags; and
* reduce plastic carryout usage

Plastic bags certainly have a lot of uses once they make it home.  But if you don’t have a dog and aren’t considering making that lovely 1950’s era knit dress maybe this will be the tip-off for change.

image via Craftzine

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

the fixer

I was so encouraged by the spirit of this post about reusable bags, in part because it touched on my love of all things inherited.  Lucky for me, Tara[ “tar” (the road stuff) – “uh”], aka The Organic Sister, is way cool and allowed me to share her words with you.  Check out her story, I’m incredibly envious of her family’s up and coming adventure.

. . .

These canvas shopping bags are about 20 years old. They belonged to my mom; proof we’ve been living green before I even knew what it meant.

The average reusable bag has the lifespan of over seven hundred disposable plastic bags.

I love the fact they have lasted so long! Canvas shopping bags are the best; their durability is obvious. I’ve seen some reusable bags that were poorly made and had holes or broken handles within a year.

Repairing Vintage Grocery BagsThe red is even still bright!

Using canvas bags can save an average of 425 plastic bags per person, annually!

Our “vintage” bags (as the store clerk calls them) only recently broke a couple straps. We load them up pretty heavily and the stress started to show in two of the 8 bags’ handles.

Their canvas material makes them easy to repair: I just overlapped the two halfs of the broken handle by a few inches, and machine-sewed vertically and horizontally until it felt good and secure. Nothing fancy and it shortened the handles a bit but it extended their use at least another decade!

An estimated one million birds and 100,000 turtles and other sea animals die of starvation each year after ingesting discarded plastic bags which block their digestive tracks.

Other than some day owning family heirloom bags, want some more interesting reasons to switch to reusable bags? Click here:

Go Reusable Bags!

. . .

Yeah, hey, hey
When somethings dark, let me shed a little light on it
When somethings cold, let me put a little fire on it
If somethings old, I wanna put a bit of shine on it
When somethings gone, I wanna fight to get it back again

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, fight to get it back again
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

When somethings broke, I wanna put a bit of fixin on it
When somethings bored, I wanna put a little exciting on it
If somethings low, I wanna put a little high on it
When somethings lost, I wanna fight to get it back again

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, fight to get it back again
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

When signals cross, I wanna put a little straight on it
If there’s no love, I wanna try to love again

I’ll say your prayers, I’ll take your side
I’ll find us a way to make light
I’ll dig your grave, we’ll dance and sing
What’s saved could be one last lifetime

Hey, hey, hey
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, fight to get it back again
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Fight to get it back again, yeah, yeah, yeah
Fight to get it back again, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

A new favorite song of mine, fitting no?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

missing in action

time-flies-clock-10-11-2006

I miss you blogosphere.  I miss talking to you.  I miss having time to talk to you.  I thought not shopping would give me more time?  I guess I shouldn’t have had a second child if I wanted time to do fun things like write a blog.

I hope to talk to you soon.

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