Posts tagged ‘Shopping’

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.

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?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

it’s in the bag

target tree

If you’re not already saving money at Target plan to start soon.  Along with smaller stores such as Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmer’s Market, Target will be giving a 5¢ credit for each reusable bag shoppers bring with them.

USAToday had the full story

The Target program, which will roll out on Nov. 1 at all 1,700 Target stores nationwide, could save billions of plastic bags. The chain posts upwards of 1.5 billion transactions annually — most ending up in more than one bag.

A pilot test in 100 Target stores earlier this year resulted in a hefty 58% reduction in plastic bags used, says Shawn Gensch, vice president of marketing. “The best-case scenario is that we’ll have 100% success and every consumer will use a reusable bag.”

I’ve been using my own bags at Target for a while, now I just get paid for doing it.  What’s not to like.

 

Saturday, October 3, 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…

Saturday – salmon was on the menu but got left in the freezer so we ended up eating out on our way home from the fair

Sunday – pancakes

Monday – I’m looking for a recipe for the salmon filets I didn’t use on Saturday

Tuesday – black beans and rice

Wednesday – pizza

Thursday – baked pasta

Friday – the husband and I are out, Grandma will be running the kitchen

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 – $174.50

grocery – $54.10

grocery non-edible – $6.53

Not pretty, but not as bad as it could have been.  All of this eating out was because of our travels so there’s not much we could change there.  Now we’re home and back to some semblance of a budget.  I hope.

Saturday, September 19, 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…

Saturday – clean-out-the-fridge scramble

Sunday – HOHO

No menu plan for the rest as we leave for Portland on Monday.  Gone all week.  Looking forward to a week of no cooking.  Or at least no real cooking, hotel room lunches don’t count.

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 – $125.01

grocery – $117.37

grocery non-edible – $14.57

We had a very active week.  Which equaled a lot of eating out apparently.  So what were all the groceries?  I did not create a shopping list and am paying the price.  Literally.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

eco-me cleans up

Premix-Line-up_large

Eco-me has created some really great packaging for all natural household cleaners.  So all natural in fact you already have them in your house.  And some of you are probably already using them to clean with.  (Oil, vinegar, water and baking soda.)  There’s even a DIY kit so they sell you the great packaging and you provide your own ingredients.  Minus the secret mix of essential oils.  I’m just not sure a mix of tea tree, lavender, lemongrass and rosemary are worth the cost of packaging and shipping the packaging.

If these products help some people kick the toxic habit then I’m all for it.  (Apparently they work really well, but you probably knew that.)  I just hope I can have a brainstorm idea to make money selling people what they already own.

Do you use essential oils in your cleaning?  (I’m collecting recipes so I don’t have to buy the packaging.)

via Design Mom

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

my not shopping challenge

gap

Ugh, I just had to go to The Gap to make an exchange of some gifted items.  So hard to see all the new cool sweaters and scarves.  My true weakness.  Walking past the window of Anne Taylor didn’t help my weak knees.

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Saturday, September 12, 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…

Saturday – broccoli brown rice casserole

Sunday – we’ll be at Lampost Pizza – not having a TV means going out when certain teams are playing a certain game called football

Monday – brats, sauteed carrots

Tuesday – tuna casserole

Wednesday – pizza

Thursday – garbanzo beans and ? (I’ve never cooked with garbanzos, I’m not even a huge fan, but I’m trying to change both of those things)

Friday – creamy tomato gnocchi

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.

Shopping in the cupboard and freezer has really helped again this week.  I can only hope to see more weeks like this one at any time in the future.

eating out – $39.74

grocery – $35.46

grocery non-edible – $1.2o

Wow, I’m loving those numbers.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

weekly accounts

from-the-kitchen1

It’s Sunday night.  Actually it’s late Sunday night.  I’m sort of behind this whole weekend.  I blame Toddler L.  He’s two, I can blame him for most anything.  Actually, he’s not two for another two days.  And I can only blame myself for the amount of work spent on his birthday party yesterday.  (It was totally worth it and I loved every minute of the prep, but more to come on that in a future post.)  Planning, executing and recovering from the party have put me behind schedule so please excuse the lateness of this week’s menu.  Let’s see what we’ve had and what’s to come…

Saturday – we broke down and picked up something, Mama was just way too tired for all the above-mentioned reasons

Sunday – buttermilk puff (I modified a Joy of Cooking recipe and came up with something wonderful.  I’m working on a name and will probably add it to the cooking page when I have it perfected)

Monday – baked pasta with spinach and roasted cauliflower

Tuesday – pineapple pork (I have no idea what this means but I’ll come up with something by Tuesday)

Wednesday – pizza

Thursday – chicken tenders

Friday – pesto pasta with shrimp

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.

Again with the birthday excuses.  Because my head was in party planning mode I wasn’t paying as much attention to this category as I should.  I’ll find out as I tabulate it here if that was a kind-of bad or really-really bad thing.

I did do one good thing though.  We only bought fruit, veg and some dairy groceries this week.  Our cupboards have become a little to well stocked and I decided it was time to eat them down.  I’m hoping that helped the budget, let’s see…

eating out – $160.84

grocery – $37.20

grocery non-edible – $12.06

Apparently buying from the cupboard can really make a dent in the grocery spending.  Maybe I’ll just keep doing that until there’s no food left.  Also apparently, going out for two birthday dinners for the husband (one with friends, one just us for sushi) is a killer on the eating out budget.  At least all the birthdays are behind us now.  Life in the kitchen can get back to normal.  No, really.

Monday, August 31, 2009

cookin’ stuff

Sorry, no recipe here.  It’s not even about food.  Although it is all about the kitchen.  Which is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house.  Or at least the one I spend the most time in.

I have always had a weakness for china, silver and glassware – blame my grandmother for teaching me the artistry of a well dressed table at a young age.  Recently though, I have really taken a hankering to kitchen tools.  All the things that a kitchen should have to function at it’s peak.  Yes, I know the brush is only as good as the artist holding it.  But a girl can dream.

And today I found a place to dream big.  Unfortunately it’s not a new thrift store.  Cookin’ Stuff is a nearby cooking and bakeware store.  If only I had stepped foot in this place before joining the Compact.  I either could have already fully stocked my kitchen or avoided today’s denial deluge.  If you’re not a kitchen tool kind of person you won’t understand, but just look at all the goodies, stacked row after row…

100_2191

Okay, so the rainbow of colors isn't really necessary, but they sure are purdy.

I swear, they don't come used.  Just ask anyone who owns one if they'll sell it.

I swear, they don't come used. Just ask anyone who owns one if they'll sell it. (And I apologize for the terrible photography, I only had the point and shoot and took this without the flash.)

100_2200

I don't even know what they're all for, but don't they look cool?

I know this is obnoxiously non-Compact but I will say I was going to the store for wooden skewers and twine, so legitimate purchases by most standards.  (If your standards are higher than that, I applaud you.  And have no desire to be you.)  I just couldn’t help myself wandering the aisles drooling over the possibilities.

Okay, confession time.  You knew it was coming.  I made purchases beyond my skewers (they didn’t have the twine).  I bought a lovely tea cozy and a set of cookie cutters.  The tea cozy is something I have thought about for years – again, blame Grandma – but have never seen a used one and am not of the skill level to make one.

The cookie cutters were purchased to fulfill a birthday party design need.  What’s a birthday party design need?  It’s a designer’s need to have pbj sandwiches cut out with a shape that matches the overall scheme of the party.  And to set the style of all future cookie/sandwich and other cutouts.  I know cookie cutters can be found at the thrift store, I’ve seen them there.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any in the last 4 days since I decided to add cutout pbj sandwiches to the menu.  I’ll be keeping my purchase in their wrap until the last possible moment in the hopes of replacing them with a borrowed or used set.  Although, I really do like having a signature style of cookie cutout, and these would be perfect for a lifetime of cutting.

Have I justified yet?

At least I left all the Le Creuset and Kitchenaids on the shelves.