Sunday, September 30, 2012

October starts tomorrow, and I'm not prepared.

I have been writing recently about a few reasons why I am having a no spend October (mostly, I have been hoarding groceries and I am obsessed with McDonalds Monopoly). I had every intention of making nice lists and making sure had diapers and wipes and such to last through the month. I also wanted to sort my stash of groceries into meals and make a month long menu.

Well, that hasn't happened yet.

My son was in a wedding this weekend. His father and I kept looking at eachother and smiling during the rehearsal and reception. The silent thougth was "It isn't our kid being horrible for once!" Don't get me wrong, Odin is a very happy and mostly well behaved child. But, holy crap does he have a wild streak.

It was particularly adorable watching him try to blow bubbles. He knows how, he was just too excited and was holding the wand up in the air instead of up to his lips while he was blowing. 

But, the real moral of this story is that, somewhere in the two days I wore dresses and didn't carry a purse I misplaced my wallet. Awesome. So, my plan to show stockpiled diapers and such will probably not work out exactly. And getting ready for this wedding meant that I didn't go through and make menus like I wanted to. 

Regardless, I am still going to stick with my no spend October. 

I will keep you posted. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Confession: I love McDonald's Monopoly

Seriously, I love McDonald's Monopoly a little too much. I actually ate a hashbrown this morning (something I haven't done since I was pregnant 2 years ago) simply so I could get 2 more Monopoly pieces. Yesterday, I won a free medium fry with my morning Diet Coke, so I bought another medium Diet Coke with my free fry on the way home from school. 

Basically, what I'm saying is: I know it's stupid, but I love it. 

I wrote last week about how my plan for October is to not spend money. I'll get to a picture of my freezer later this week, but my obsession with McDonald's Monopoly is another reason I am going on a spending fast October 1st. Monopoly goes until October 22nd so cutting it off cold turkey next Monday is a much needed thing. 

Other food related confessions:
1) I hate whole wheat tortillas and am officially giving up on buying them. The spinach tortillas from Trader Joe's are pretty good, but I prefer the all white flour-crappy for  your digestive system white tortillas. This is only worth noting because I tried so long to like them and wasted so much money letting them go moldy. 

2) I don't like Greek yogurt. It is too sour. My doctor told me that it would replace just about anything I was missing from not eating meat, but I've never really put any effort into figuring out how to eat it because I was content not liking it. However, when I finally looked up the difference between regular and greek yogurt I have decided that I'm going to try and figure out how to add stuff to it so I like it. It's more expensive, and I have been trying to buy organic and ethically raised dairy products, but the nutritional benefits I think will be worth it. There will be a post about this soon. Just for the record, blueberries and honey do a pretty okay job of making it not too sour to deal with. 

3) I made crappy taco pizza Monday. The reason this is notable is that since I became a vegetarian I don't think I've tried one new recipe (or made one new thing) that I actually didn't like. I was very disappointed when I used salsa instead of tomato sauce that it just took all of the flavor out of the pizza. I used cheap Aldi's salsa, which I am not officially not a fan of anymore. I plan on making 25 lbs of tomato worth of roasted corn and tomato salsa sometime in the near future (it's almost winter, I should get on that if I want to use fresh local produce), so that might work better next time. I gave a pizza and a half to a friend last night because I couldn't make myself eat it. 

That's all for now. More to come on the reasons behind the no spend October and updates along the way are also in order.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting ready to not spend money in October

I know it's been a long time, but rather than talking about the fact that I don't deal well with change (a.k.a. moving, being home with the baby for the summer, going back to work, grad school, blah blah blah,) lets just  get right into what's going on right now. 

When I moved, I moved into an apartment with a pretty decent sized kitchen (considering it's just an apartment), but that doesn't have a pantry area. So, I now have two short cupboards that came from Home Depot that are in my dining room (though right outside my kitchen) that act as my pantry. However, this is currently what they look like: 

(Sorry it's fuzzy, I'm not on my computer that has Photoshop to fix it)

This is one of the two cupboards. I also have another actual kitchen cupboard full of baking staples. And my fridge looks about the same, though is better organized into already cooked single servings of leftovers. And my freezer has fallen victim to me discovering all the AWESOME Trader Joe's frozen rice/quinoa/multi-grain and veggie bags-o-awesomeness.

A well stocked pantry, right? The problem is that I only feed one and a half appetites every day. 

My tastes have changed at an exponential rate over the past year while I learned to be a vegetarian, learned to really cook, discovered the farmer's market (and Trader Joe's apparently), and basically stopped eating canned goods. Re-hydrated bulk chick peas and beans are a bazillion times better than the canned ones, but I didn't use up the canned goods before I switched over. And I had switched to the good organic canned stuff before I stopped eating it, so the things I have saved aren't "bad" and they also weren't cheap to stock. 

So, I've decided that (for a multitude of different reasons to be explained over a few posts) that I need to try and see how long I can go without spending any money. Yes, this included groceries too. 

So, for October, my "area of opportunity" (man, I haven't done that in a really long time) is to see how long I can go without spending money on anything (besides rent and bills and gas of course). A lot of other bloggers out there have done this, and they usually leave money for groceries. But they also usually are feeding a lot more people than I am and they probably don't have the insane amount of back stock I have. 

So, for the food part of my no spend October, I am only going to buy milk (and soy milk for me), cheese, yogurt, bread and eggs. 

Now, the goal isn't to starve myself to death. When I seriously start running out of things to eat I'm going to buy groceries. And this is NOT because I don't have the money to feed us; I'm actually doing pretty okay financially (I have over $1000 in my emergency fund for the first time EVER!). The purpose of the food part of this is to use of what I have not to see how far I can push myself. 

So, the way I am preparing for this is I'm starting to sort my pantry by when things expire so I can make sure that those which expire first go first. I'm not going to "stock up" on anything; that would defeat the point. And a thorough menu plan doesn't work for my family, but I am going to start looking to divide things into meals so I don't end up with 6 cans of green beans and no actual entrees left. 

I'm excited to see how this all works out.