Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Caved In!

Solar System Planets.Image via Wikipedia Well, well, who's been a bad girl? Moi, I am afraid...
Yesterday I caved in, buying stuff we don't need, just for the sake of it. I had to buy Maya a pair of sunglasses as she lost her last pair. Here the sun is very strong and her grey-bluish eyes are very sensitive. I had to look high and low because I couldn't find some decent ones. Finally, I found a pair at a "Happening" store. But...I found there also a gorgeous 3D poster of the Solar System. As I am trying to teach Maya as much as her mind could comprise I thought it would be a good adition to our resources, as the space is a rather abstract notion to grasp when you're 4 years old...But this not all...I also bought her some atlases and...a puzzle. wel, it was a Toy Story one, with Buzz Light Year and I knwe she absolutely loves the character...
I felt prettty bad afterwars, guilty and all but I guess I am only human...I hope I will resist more and more to the every day tentations...
I guess this is all part of the game, but I am still in...
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Friday, January 21, 2011

I am Sooo Proud of Myself !!!

If you are reading my other blog - Alone in Holy Land also, then you know I am not myself lately...but that doesn't mean I am giving up my thrifty ways...No! The truth is, besides looking after Maya, thinking about ways to save money is something that helps me put one feet in front of the other some days... For now, at least...

Still, I wasn't able to tackle this meal planning malarkey. I am not a very good housewife, I admit. I liked better when I was career-woman, but, what can I do, this is what I am right now, a bloody housewife and I try to do my best (not very succesfully, but that's another story). I am not a good cook either so if I boast today, here, in front of you, it is because for me it is a big deal doing what I did, being a whizz in the kitchen.

Maya likes chicken soup and now, during the flu season, it is healthy, too. I don't eat it, being a vegetarian but I compromise by eating the veggies from the soup. So, I bought a nice plump organic chicken and a lot of good, non-organic veggies (awfully expensive, so, another compromise). The result. A huge pot of soup. I divided it in four portions and freezed three. Took the boiled root veggies (carrots, parsley and celery ), chopped them and mixed them with peas, boiled potatoes (chopped, of course) , chopped pickled cucumbers and home-made mayonaise and voila, a huge bowl of what we called back home - boeuf salad. There is also a short article about it in the Wikipedia - We didn't put in it any "boeuf" (that's beef in French) back home and I didn't do it, either, but that's the salad's name and I stick to it...We ate it with vegetarian hot dogs. Yummy. Maya had the soup with noodles and lots of meat.

Now, I have a freezer full of soup for Maya and I have to think only about the main course. I personally don't like soups, luckily, Maya does.
What thrifty ways to save money in the kitchen do you have? Do you want to share? Be my guest! I mean it...on this blog...I would love to read about your ways to save money while cooking delicious, healthy meals.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Fight an Addiction of the Foulest Kind???

I am sorry I am not very consistent with writing here, but between two blogs, my daughter and many other things I try to do...but as I promised, I am working very hard not to succumb to spending more than necesarry. From the beginning of the year the only time I spent something I shouldn't it was on...books! I admit, this is my downfall, from all point of view: books. When I see a good book, I cannot think straight, my blood rushes to my head, I break in a sweat, I tremble and I cannot calm down until I am the owner of the aforementioned book. How to resist the addiction? I swear to God, I don't care about nice clothes, beautiful shoes, astounding jewerly, exquisite chocolate. Show me a book and I'll follow you like a good-mannered puppy. I have two ebook readers, you know, for chepthe sole purpose of saving some money, as ebooks are cheper, sometimes free . But like the drug addict that prefers the purest cocaine, I love to hold in my hands the true thing: covers, pages, typographic ink and all - A REAL BOOK.
So, how to fight the addiction?
Any ideas?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Bit of a Wrap Up

OlivesImage by Erik Hartberg via Flickr Unfortunately, with Maya being sick I didn't have time to do the things I wanted to. But. fortunately, I am still on my no sending path. Or, at least, the spending only the bare essentials. And a bit more...just for the fun.
So, I didn't do any meal planning or inventories, but because I am staying at home with Maya, it means I don't spend money, either!
On Friday we went to Tel Aviv, to Shouk (market) Ha Carmel, because here in Ashdod it is impossible to find heads of pickled cabbage (the best when one wants to make stuffed cabbage). On account of being Friday, it was also the day when on the near-by alley like streets the Tel Aviv's artists came to sells whatever they are making. There are also street artists and Maya enjoyed so much watching them...
Then, we went to a nice Indian eatery - "24 rupees", where they make cheap vegetarian thali. The place is nice, you have to take off your shoes at the door and you sit on an assortment of mismatched matresses, pillows and such. The place attracts a lot of young couples with kids Maya's age or smaller, because you don't have to worry about the kids there, the babies crawl on the carpets, the older ones have games and toys (pretty old and battered, but still usable).
So, we had a nice, fun filled day and we didn't spend much...
Of course, I forgot my camera at home, so no pictures...sorry...But I am sure we'll have a repeat on this one, so you'll see photos, too.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to My Un-Trifty Ways...(Not in a Million Years!)

TaxiImage by Stephan Geyer via Flickr Sometimes things just don't go as planned...My "oh I am so trifty" smugness just dissolved into nothingness. I think this is also part of the process of getting used to a new project. You have to be flexible (inside the rules you've established for yourself) and, like in my case, just take the things the way they are.
What happened?
Well, my daughter Maya is sick - a cold that developed into a nasty cough that kept her awake last night. I decided it is time for the heavy artilery, so I took her to the doctor. The problem is our doctor moved from our neighbourhood to the other end of the town. Most of the time my husband takes us there by car but today I couldn't wait until late afternoon. I was worried. So we took a cab. The cab fares here in Israel are atrocious, but in this particular situation, I didn't have a choice. To reach Maya's doctor office we would've need to change buses and I am not taking chances with a sick child. Of course, it was raining.
So, I spent 50 shekels in taxi fares, that's aproximately 14-15 US dollars and for us it is a lot. But again, when it comes to Maya's health, I don't think thrifty. I'll find a way to spend less somewhere else...
Needless to say, I didn't do any inventories...but don't you worry, when Maya will fell better, I am back on track.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mission Impossible Number One

Inventories- the Kitchen Cupboards

All the non-perishable stuff I have it is stored in my kitchen cupboards, as, unfortunately I don't have any other form of storage. But believe me, I have enough food, as my husband said I think that we can live for a month from the cans and pasta and other bits and bobs we have in the cupboards.

So, step number one towards a well organized kitchen that will definitely help you to spend less is to make inventories for all the food storage units you have. The same goes for the refrigerator and the freezer. I intend to start tomorow. I will also make and print me some nice templates for the fridge, frezeer and cupboard doors to write down the stuff I have inside. Otherwise, I won't remember. After I will finish we can tackle another tricky subject (for me, at last) - Meal planning.

Until then, I am leaving you with some words of wisdom: When you start a new project like this one don't try to do everything at once. Start with small, baby stepts and see where you can go from there. Otherwise, you'll burn out pretty quickly trying to do everything at once. Believe me, I tried and failed graciously...

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Hello and Welcome!

India - Sights & Culture - 027 - Chalk & flowe...Image by mckaysavage via Flickr Welcome to my shiny new blog!
If you came from Alone in Holy Land then you know me, if not...well, please go for a short visit on my main blog. This one is kind of a younger sister of the other blog of mine. But why one more blog, I hear you asking....As if there are not enough out there on the World Wide Web. The truth is, I needed a place where to muse about this new avenue of mine: living for one year without spending one dime. OK, one shekel, as I am living in Israel at the moment...Besides the bare necesities needed to survive - for me and my family - husband, 4 years old daughter and the ocassionally visit from the 25 years old son. No books, clothes (if I can help it), no eating out, no make up, no new stuff in the house (only if it is for free or a super-bargain or some household item that would break and couldn't be fixed). No ore wasting in the kitchen , I am going for zero leftovers policy.
I want to tell you that it is a very big deal for me. This kind of experiment needs a lot of planning and thinking ahead and I am no good at that. I am not a good cook, no great homemaker, but I feel that I need this in my life. I am ready, as Spongebob says. I barely know how to sew ot knit, but this is the time to learn it. I am excited about all this malarchey. A new beginning of some sort. And believe me, I need it . I need to regain control of my like and I think this is the way I could do it.
Of course, I cannot do this by myself, so please be by my side, the same way you are on Alone in Holy Land.
Come with me on this adventure and who knows, maybe we'll learn a thing or two on it...
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