When I started this challenge it was really to see if I could find a way to free up some money to plan for the future. What I didn’t expect was to deal with my whole attitude towards food. After University there were the times where money was non-existent and you made do with whatever you could afford. It created a feeling that making it meant that you could eat whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. Even if it wasn’t good for you, even if it hurt you. To not get to eat something was a punishment or failure.
I knew that decluttering my environment was one of the goals of the Year of Less but I didn’t realize I needed to declutter my thinking about food. Let the games begin!
Other expenses: $38.54 for supplies at Home Depot. Part of living a frugal life is to preserve the things you already have and keep them in working order. My rug hooking frame is starting to dry out and I needed paste wax. I also am having paint peeling on the out side of my doorframes and railings. If I leave the raw wood exposed I will spend a lot more to replace it as it rots and warps. When I was there I saw a wood stain/sealer that was a discard for tint and I picked that up for $1. That will preserve a wood table in need of help. Yes I just bought myself more work.
Now to the pantry challenge. I had some chicken legs and thighs, bone in, that were taking up room in the freezer. Problem? My son doesn’t like dark meat and I’m afraid of the bbq. Seriously, I know. No problem. I’d decided to use a can of coconut milk and so with the two ingredients I finally found a great crockpot recipe. Problem? Yes, as I prepped for the meal I couldn’t find the can. Did I now vaguely remember giving it to a foodbank drive. Maybe. Rats. Normally I just would have gone to the store and bought one but I was going to honour the terms of the challenge and keep on searching. Next the cream corn. There were many casseroles listed. Hhm. Nope, I don’t have sour cream. Nope I don’t have creamed cheese. ( I thought I did but who knew that it hardened and went green if not used promptly). I had saltines. Excellent or so I thought. I opened a package that was still sealed. I popped one in my mouth just as the smell of paint thinner hit me. There is no expiration date on the box but the chemicals released were horrible. I will never again buy saltines based on what they evolve into. They were crisp and looked great but this was scary. Time to colour outside the lines. Tortilla chips would substitute and sauteed onions and red peppers would seal the deal. Yesterday I served cucumber slices with the dal so I needed a different taste. I went with a rice wine vinegar and sugar mix, carrot curls and seasame seeds for a sharp contrast to the bbq sauce chicken with pineapple, and scalloped corn casserole. Rice rounded it out and the left over cherries and plums made a great dessert.
My final project was to declutter. Each week I take all my receipts and put the credit card ones in a box. It hold them but that is it. Out of sight out of my wallet. I decided I needed to be more organized so I created envelopes for each month that include all my receipts. This will help me track my spending and make me more accountable. OK enough for now.