From Cupcakes to Traditional Korean Food and Everything in Between

Realistic Resolutions

To begin, I’m sorry to say that I won’t be bringing you any weight watcher tips on how to look like Jessica Simpson.  Someone asked me the other day if I’d rather give up food or sex.  Too easy.

A new year typically punctuates the beginning chapters of good intentions, all the things you fully intend on achieving throughout the year but too often, the full throttle sprint diminishes to a faint memory until you’re greedily grabbing at that 3rd croissant you know you shouldn’t be having (don’t look at me, I’ll only tell you to eat more).  So, for a girl who’s never even seen the inside of a gym (shame on me, I know), I gravitate more towards realistic goals.  Ok, so only eat 2, not 3 croissants and let’s save money together because there are two things off the top of my head that I can think of that are great to have more of than less, money and food.

Saving money is immediately gratifying, and hey, with all the money you’ll be saving, you might even be able to visit a real pâtisserie …in Paris!

If you spend most of your days in the kitchen like me, you realize just how much money passes through in the form of food and products (not to mention electricity/gas/water)!  If you’re not careful, you’ll unknowingly allow extra money to go down the drain along with the dirty dish water.  It may not work for everybody, but here’s what works for me.

Grocery Haul + How to Save Money

For more info on coupons

photo47-300x300

One way we reduce waste in our household is by:

  • Eliminating paper towels.  I have a stack of tea/dish towels that I wash only when I have a full load of laundry going in.
  • Investing in a washable, bpa free water bottle and avoiding as many “disposable” products as possible.

 

One way we reuse is by:

  • Using brown paper bags to drain bacon.  Brown paper bags + twine = cute (free) wrapping paper.
  • Washing plastic food containers for other use.  My good ole’ yogurt container holds my homemade brown sugar.
  • Carrying reusable shopping bags to the market.

 

One way we recycle is by:

  • Taking our used coffee grounds (Starbucks also gives them away free) to use for our plants to stimulate the soil.
  • Composting.

 

DIY:

  • Purchase brown bananas on clearance and freeze for smoothies or thaw later for muffins/breads.  They also help ripen Avocados/Persimmons/Apples/Figs/etc when left in a brown bag together.
  • Purchase foods that are “freezable.”  When my favorite bread goes on sale, I know to buy double so I can freeze one loaf while I enjoy the other.  Bread freezes beautifully!  Experiment with what freezes best for you.  I personally dislike previously frozen milk but different things work for different people.  Think about investing in a deep freezer.  Ours has saved us thousands in just storage.  I love going “shopping” in mine.
  • Make your own (economical and eco-friendly) cleaners.  I use Baking Soda, Vinegar,  and Lemon for practically everything!
  • Make a double batch and freeze for later.  This way, you don’t have to turn on your stove twice and next time you’re craving stuffed shells, half the work is already done!
  • Garden and grow your own food, even “window sill” gardening is a start.

IMG_4981-300x300 {Just submerge the fibrous roots into a couple inches of water, replacing the water every few days}

  • Learn how to can.
  • IMG_5862-300x267 Make your own spice mixtures (pumpkin, taco, chili, etc) and dry your own herbs.  Buy high ticket items like vanilla beans online vs in store and make your own extracts, brown sugar, Greek yogurt, and bottled teas.

photo-1115-300x300

{Pumpkin Spice}

IMG_5029-225x300 {Buy a larger, economical tub, double line another container with thick paper towels and scrape in your yogurt.  Cover and allow it to drain in the fridge for a a few hours and tada!}
photo48-300x225 {Homemade strained Greek yogurt} photo-322-300x300

{Refill individual juice bottles with tea to sip on throughout the day after disinfecting.  I keep a bottle of brewed, unsweetened white tea with me in my car}

photo-226-300x300 {I use about 5 beans/cup}

 

  • Buy in season, stick to your list, and freeze excess.
  • Don’t always assume that buying in bulk automatically saves.  It pays to scan/compare circulars, check individual policies and stack coupons.  Most of my markets here accept competitor coupons and host double coupon/super double/triple coupon events.

This is an ever expanding list and I will add to it as it occurs to me.  Until then, I hope this proves to be another handy little helper in your kitchen.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster ^.~

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