Friday, January 29, 2010

Sparro's Anyone?

In our quest to save money and be healthier we are cooking at home every day. We haven't gone out to eat since January 8. We decided to treat ourselves to a night out this weekend. Gar and I have had a great time trying to decide where we will eat and we pretty much have it down to two places. Gar, in a moment of crazy, suggested that we go out for a few beers after dinner. My reply - Are you insane - do know how expensive that is? Apparently I've gone a little too far with frugality because that night I dreamt that I was trying to talk Gar into going out to eat at the mall - the MALL? I think we can do a little better than that.

Part of saving money and cooking at home is not getting burnt out on it. You have to find a good balance of challenging meals, easy meals, and going out occasionally. This is a hard journey and we are having fun but I can get a little intense about things (just ask my brother about when I decided to go Green).

Does anyone have a suggestion for a dinning out experience? We are looking for affordable, unique, and fun!


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Recipes promised - recipes delivered.

First one is really easy - we love grilled cheese and recently we've been adding ham to our grilled cheese and it's delicious!!!! Its more filling and more protein.

Second one is also super easy. Every Sunday we cook the largest chicken we can find at the grocery store (usually 4 or 5 lbs). Half of it goes with Gar for sandwich meat for the week and we use the other half for entrees during the week. Here's one that I love. I uses this amazing pot that I will keep FOREVER. Its beautiful and works wonderfully. You can also roast your chicken in it.

Chichen Noodle Soup

2-3 cup of Chicken chopped up into bite size pieces
2 32 oz of Chicken stock - I use low sodium
2 handfuls of carrots chopped up
2 celery stalks chopped up
could shakes of garlic salt.

Put all that in the pot and bring it to boil and then to simmer.

In another pot I make the noodles - any kind will do but I like the big curly ones.

After the pasta is done I throw it in with the soup.

Easy right?!

Now - to make the soup go a little longer, I often serve it over mashed potatoes - its delicious!!!!

I'm wanting recipes from other people too!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Frugal Living - Week 2

So here we are at Week Two of my goals and so far I'm doing pretty good. I haven't been to the gym yet BUT I did write down all the classes that take place before Gar goes to work and I've got a good idea which ones I'll go to - Yoga here I come! I've made all our meals at home - except for Gar's wonderful parents who took us out to Sabor last Friday and my wonderful parents for making us chile rellenos on Saturday (I should also mention that Gar fixed us breakfast Sunday). K-Bug and I have had tons of fun crafting and Gar and I have had fun watching our Netflix movies. I've learned, in the past two weeks, that part of living frugally is being willing to take risks and my friends, risks have been taken.

Monday night I was super jazzed about this recipe from Martha Stewart. I've never used a broiler but I didn't think it would be too hard. When Gar got home from work the pork was still cold in the center - not good. I'd already made the pineapple-avocado salsa and my mom had given me some left-over rice from her yummy chile rellenos so I turned the oven to bake and made bean burritos instead. Lesson learned - always have a back up! The next night we had the pork but it wasn't a big hit. It had a lot of brown sugar, cinnamon, and such on the outside and my normally very complementary husband came up with "interesting flavor" as his assessment of the meal.

Today I took a bigger risk. While grocery shopping I walked by the clearance table and noticed that the hair color I was looking at last weekend was on clearance for $2.38. Now, let me back up and tell you - I love my hair. It's my safety net. I may not be thin, but I have good hair. I may not be very nice in the morning, but I have good hair. I may not always pay my cable bill on time but ... you get the idea. Today I risked my safety net and bought that $2.38 hair color. I waited until K-Bug had her nap and I went to work on the color. After rinsing, conditioning, and
blow drying - I looked in the mirror and I really like it. It's a little darker than my natura
l color but it looks pretty good. I haven't gotten my toughest critic's (my brother) approval but I'm pretty sure we're looking at a win.

It's hard not having money to do whatever you want but I'm learning it might be more fun trying new things and knowing how hard you work for the things you do spend money on. I look at our house and our family and I know we have everything we need - we have a cozy house, lots of love, and now - new hair color.

Tomorrow I promise I will have some recipes - I've got some good ones!!!


Here's a recipe from SAMSTER MOMMY. Looks very good!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Are we up for some changes?

When Gar and I were contemplating adoption we knew that we would be financially challenged. We are not big savers and we love eating out and shopping - not exactly Suze Orman's model students. We kept making budgets and failing to follow them. Many a night I lie awake with a heart thumping/ sick tummy feeling about money. I knew K-Bug had fully adjusted to our family when I went through our receipts each week and she could look at them and tell me what she ate at each restaurant. Even as we drive around she points and says things like - "I eat chips and salsa there" "We get pizza there" "I eat burger-fries there."

Now that the New Year has started and we see all the spending we did during the holidays - we know changes have to be made. I am writing today to inform my loyal reader(s) about the changes that we are undertaking. I am hoping this honesty will keep me on task and accountable.

Here's the list:

Save money by not eating out except ONCE a month and making delicious inexpensive meals at home.

Go to the gym that I am paying a membership for.

Work at least two days a week (substituting).

Find new ways to entertain our family with out spending money.

OK - there it is. It actually doesn't look that daunting. I have gotten several books (from the library) to help us accomplish this and I will be blogging any helpful hints that I have gleamed.

Here's to a new year and new challenges!!!