Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Frugal Living

Lately I've been trying to think of ways to save money. A couple of months ago, I quit smoking which has saved me TONS of money. Considering... I would probably go through 2-3 packs a week at about $5 a pack. Yeah... that was really starting to add up. That's a savings of about $100+ per month. I absolutely LOVE the fact that everything I own doesn't reek of smoke. My wallet really appreciates it as well. I've done some reason of 'frugal living' and most sites said that you shouldn't jump right into it and cut your spending in half. I know for me, it'll be a HUGE shock to my system and it wouldn't last very long. For one, I've always been a label snob and always wanted to buy the best products until I realized where most ALL our products are coming from. China. Yeah... no thanks.

With a little time and effort... I know I can change my ways. Spend more time searching for the good 'ol "Made in America/U.S." labels and do more DIY stuff at home. :) 

The first couple of changes I've been doing is by cutting out fast food completely. If you read my post below... you'll know why. I take my lunch everyday and try to keep it as healthy as I can and no I'm not bringing the little micro-meals. As "healthy" as those things claim... it's still processed foods, conjured up in a factory, slapped together and placed in a neat little micro tray. I'll pass. When we make dinner in the evening I always make extra and take the left overs for my lunch. So simple and easy to put in my lunch bag as I'm out the door for work. By putting them in a single serve Rubbermaid container the night before will save some time too. 

Secondly, I'd love to try my hand at making my own laundry detergent. Being able to spend about $20 for almost a years supply of soap?? Yes please!! 

My next endeavor will be gardening!! I can't wait to start growing my own veggies. I'm so sick of buying veggies from the store only to have them spoil on me. They just don't keep very long anymore!! This way I'll always have a supply of my own veggies on stock so I'm not wasting time going to the grocery store if I need one tomato, onion, etc. Plus it'll get me outside this Spring/Summer and the results will be so rewarding. I can't wait!! :D 

I will admit that being single, with no desire to find a mate, makes things a little difficult. Especially living on my own... well... considering I'm back living with my parents temporarily helps out ALOT with saving money. But I'm having to rely on my sole income to pay for everything and that makes things a little tight where you have couples that split everything. 

These changes will surely help me pinch and save in anyway I can. I can honestly say that I'm proud of myself and these changes I'm wanting to try. I'll try and keep track of how everything's going in my blog and take photos as well!! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy 2012!!

Recently, my mother and I have been doing a lot more baking and homemade cooking. Over the weekend we made our own pizza crust from scratch. It was delicious!! J I was very very impressed. Along with it, we made “buffalo” chicken “wings” but we used drumsticks instead because they have more meat on them. I knew my dad and brother would really enjoy that. One thing we didn’t do was drench them in sauce either. We set out a couple sauce choices for a little variety instead of just one. My mom did her recipe for Chinese Chicken ‘Wings” that was beyond incredible. I liked those more than I like the chicken “wings“. By the end of that dinner… we were stuffed but didn’t over do it. There’s just something about cooking/baking your own food from scratch. You don’t feel so over bloated in the end…. But that’s just my opinion. Sometime last week my grandma gave me a bunch of strawberries and I made some Strawberry Jam (recipe listed below) and it came out really good. 

Since I’ve completely cut out Fast Food… I feel so much better. I’m taking my lunches to work everyday and whipping up dinner all from scratch. I’ve read several articles regarding fast food and it just turned my stomach in knots. You don’t realize all the garbage that’s put in your so-called ‘meal’. One article I read was regarding the chicken mcnuggets. Seems harmless, right?? How could someone screw up and make mcnuggets disgusting?? Well. They are. From the article it said that they make a paste out of ALL the bits and particles of a chicken (inside and out). Horrible right?? Then they mush it all together and then add a little food coloring to make it look edible. Yuck. You have to ask yourself… would you go to the grocery store and purchase something that had the ingredients listed on the back as: chicken: feet, innards, feathers, etc.?? I didn’t think so. I’ve done really really good being good about it!! It’s been 2 weeks and I haven’t had any. Yay J  

This Spring/Summer I wanna try my hand at gardening. My mom and dad always do a garden and I’m excited to try it and get to grow my own veggies!! I’m sick of spending so much $$ on fruits and veggies just to have them rot in a week. This way I’ll know I’ll never have to worry about that!! If they do spoil… I have a  full garden of more. Wheeeeeee!! :D 

I'm really excited for the new year and all the changes coming. I'm so ready :) 

Strawberry Jam

5 qtz. Strawberries
1 pkg. Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp. butter
7 cups of sugar

I really need to keep up with this!!

Lol :)