By Julie Norman
Monday, April 13, 2015
For the past two weeks I've been home alone. When you're used to cooking for 2 and having leftovers for lunches, cooking for one is nearly impossible. I did my best to avoid wasting food. I froze lasagna after eating on it for about 3 days. I avoided going out to eat for lunch and instead used lunch time to work on other leftovers as they appeared: frittatas, pizza, etc. Still, in the end I did end up throwing out some rice and some pasta salad. I'd made the salad for a picnic but, even using just half a box of pasta, there was still quite a bit left. After 2 or 3 days the veggies get soggy and it's just not any good any more. So out it went. I tried not to feel too bad about it, but knowing I'd just wasted artichokes and feta made me cringe!
The next time I'm left alone that long (I hope there never is a next time) I'm going to work much harder to avoid cooking large meals. It may mean I'll have to eat sandwiches for lunch, but that will be better than wasting leftovers.
By Julie Norman
Monday, March 30, 2015
Today's quote board quote seems appropo for Penny Pinchers: "The best things in life aren't things." ~ Michael Franti
It's true though, isn't it? We get hung up on material items so often in life that we for get that they're just that: materials. They aren't love, peace, happiness, satisfaction, contentment, harmony, adventure, awe or even inspiration. They're items that make our lives easier, or sometimes way more complicated. I know my life would be simpler without a tablet. It's certainly simpler without cable and without a car payment. Would a nicer car make my life better? No. I use it to get to work and the grocery store and some days I don't even use it for that. It runs, it has low miles and that's really all that matters.
Would I be happier with a bigger house? No. Our house is the perfect size for us. We have a room for visitors and even an extra bathroom. THAT is a luxury in itself!
The best things in life? For me, the best things in life are:
Friends who also bike
Awesome coworkers and a great job
A great home-cooked meal
Good microbrew beer
THOSe are the things that make my life what it is. Not a big house, not a fancy car...I'd much rather save my money on those things so that i can spend it on adventures and experiences!
By Julie Norman
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
There's a great article in the NYTimes today about options for those who wish to ditch cable. You can read it by clicking here. I'm not advocating getting rid of cable; at least, I don't believe that's right for everyone. I DO however believe that you should shop around and find what works best for your family and lifestyle. Maybe it IS a money issue for you and you just can't afford cable. Perhaps as an alternative you could get a strong antennae for network channels, and buy a cheap Hulu Plus subscription. Really it's the same as choosing your newspaper options: digital only? 7-days? Saturday and Sunday only? They're all options and they fit a variety of budgets and lifestyles!
In other news, I have a food waste confession. I had to throw away onions last night. The BF reminded me that onions are inexpensive and that I shouldn't feel that guilty about it, but I do. See, we'd been gone quite a bit lately; we were on a ski trip for four days and then the following weekend were out of town again. Because of that, my bag of onions began growing. I mean, like 4 of the onions had sprouted and probably, had I just put them out in the dirt, I'd have lots of onions later this season! Alas, they were mushy and just before rotten when I threw them out yesterday. I did manage to salvage a few and used one the day before yesterday on a pizza. I used another last night for stir fry, another this morning to season a chicken I'm cooking in the crockpot, and I'm using yet another on Friday for fajitas.
So that's it folks. I wasted food BUT am at least trying to avoid wasting anymore. If you're looking into the cable alternatives from that article here are my thoughts on several of them:
I like Hulu Plus because I have easy access to "Brooklyn 99," "The Daily Show," and the Danish version of "The Bridge." Its two downfalls are that it sometimes freezes and you have to completely restart your streaming device (we use ROKU) and that it doesn't remember what episode of a show you're on. That's up to you.
Netflix we have almost abandoned, though we've considered getting the DVDs again. The best movies are available that way long before they're available for streaming. We do enjoy watching some of the Netflix originals though, so we share a subscription with a friend and watch "House of Cards."
Amazon Prime is probably our favorite of the three. Amazon has done a great job of creating original shows and we're anxiously awaiting new seasons of "Alpha House," "Transparent" and "Mozart in the Jungle." It has many of the same shows as Hulu Plus, but some, like The Daily Show, aren't available as quickly on Amazon as they are on Hulu.
By Julie Norman
Thursday, March 12, 2015
This is Richie showing me the original price tag on a new coat that she bought and then her receipt showing that she saved a TON! The original price was something like $250 and she got the coat for under $100! Richie was at Herberger's and purchased their coupon book for a small amount ($5 to $10). With that she found a coupon that, along with sale pricing, helped her to save so much money on this awesome new winter work coat!
By Julie Norman
Monday, February 23, 2015
We decided to take a trip to Snowmass this weekend to use 2 of our Classic Pass days. Snowmass, you ask??? How do we make that cheap at all??? It's not easy, but it can be accomplished by:
1. Not staying in Snowmass.
2. Not eating out for breakfast (we take something to heat up in the microwave in our room or we make do with whatever is at the "continental breakfast" at our hotel).
3. Not eating out on the hill for lunch. This is the part that really makes the difference. Yes, we're going to eat out for dinner, but even that can be cheap..lunch on the mountain? No way. It's pricey!
Here's a picture of what we had to eat this weekend for our ski trip lunches:
We made bagel sandwiches (bagels were BOGO this week at City Market) using blueberry bagels, peanut butter and honey. We also had packs of our favorite completely over the top processed crackers and (not pictured) granola bars. The beers? Yes, we splurged on those! Still, a sandwich and 2 sides at a mid-mountain restaurant would easily set you back $20 PER PERSON. As it was, we spent $7 each on the beer. It was worth it though!