Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My summer of frugal living (1 week of recipes and ideas)

Long story short: Me + Budget = big mess. So here’s my new tactic: I spend money no more than once a day, and if I spend more than a certain amount at one time, then I don’t spend for two days in a row.

That’s it. If I pay a bill, I spend no more money that day.
For example, yesterday I got my haircut. I’m sure it’s gorgeous. I went with my girl, who was climbing the walls (literally) by the time we were done, so I couldn’t get it styled and last night I slept in wet hair. Next month, when I get around to styling it, I’ll love it.

Day before yesterday I put money on the metro card. Day before that, I bought a book from a friend whose press is in danger of going bankrupt.

Groceries? So far, not this week. I’ve been using all the food in the cupboard and fridge (and garden)—you know, that stuff you have but never eat? You don’t realize how much stuff you have in your cupboard from one Pesach to the next (and by “you” I mean “me.”)

Thursday night I went shopping.
Friday: I made vegetarian fajitas for a family with a new baby.
*pan fry slices of portabella mushroom/carrots/zucchini/onions (you can do the mushrooms in your leftover wine).
*Puree black beans with garlic, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper
*cook brown rice
*use whole wheat wraps

from the leftover vegetables, I made Pizza for the weekend at the beach:
dough: 3 ½ cups flour, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 cup warm water, I package yeast, dash of salt, teaspoon honey or molasses.
Knead, let rise twice, roll out.

I made one pizza with goat cheese, mushrooms, onions,
other pizzas I used garden tomatoes & broccoli. Also garden basil.

Weekend at the beach: CAMP outside. Just make sure you bring bug spray. (it’s way cheaper than therapy AND lodging. I don’t feel cranky anymore, and it’s nice to sleep to the sound of frogs).

Monday Eggplant/Tomato stir fry
Garden swap with a friend: Onions, tomatoes, baby eggplant, peppers. Stirfry well, puree, serve over brown rice.

Tue. Tofu, broccoli and garden tomatoes.

Evening snack: white bean dip & vegetables
white beans, pureed with garlic, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, salt.
I served it with celery and carrots and garden tomatoes.

That night I had girlfriends over for a
clothing swap
I’d also done a clothing swap at work the week before.
Now I’ve got chagim clothes, new work clothes, and the satisfaction of knowing people I love are wearing the fabulous things I bought but never wore, or will never be able to wear again. It’s great for accessories and shoes, too.

Wednesday—I was going to make oatmeal and espresso for breakfast. But since my espresso pot exploded this morning (you really should never forget to put in that little screen. Did you know that two servings of coffee can cover two rooms, floor, ceiling, walls, with a fine spray of grinds? Oh well, I can toss the sodden calendar. There’s only one more month on it anyway) my girlfriend who is spending the rest of the week with us, apartment hunting, bought some pastries and coffee. I’m not sure if I’ll count that as my having spent.

Tonight I’m doing salmon croquettes from those cans of salmon I never want to see darken my cabinets again, with celery, egg, shallots and matzoh meal.
remoulade—mix a little wasabi and chili paste in mayonnaise with lemon juice.

When I’m tired of water, coffee and tea I make Ginger-aide
cut fresh ginger into little pieces and pour boiling water over it. Steep for a couple of hours with honey (to taste). Serve cold.

Bon courage!


Ima Shalom said...

I've been thinking of Salmon Croquettes too...great recipes!

SuperRaizy said...

Spending money just once a day is an interesting idea, but I wonder how long I could stick to it.

Maya said...

It's certainly odd, but it's easier than math.

Queen of Laundry said...

It's nice to read that you're not feeling cranky any more. Hope it lasts (mainly for you, but also because when Ima is happy, everyone around is happy too :)