Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 34- leftovers are better

I finished off the fried rice. The texture was better, and the flavors had mixed more. I nommed it fast. I also realized I'd left something out of the recipe! I put in some almond slivers, and I totally forgot. That'll teach me not to post when I'm that tired.

Here's the veggie mix sizzling away-

I woke up late, ate lunch, then fell asleep before dinner, so that's it for yesterday. Plans today for all three meals, plus snax, but we'll see how that turns out.


I am a huge fan of leftovers. I love the heat and eat benefit, and the low cost. Sometimes I think about trying once a month cooking, but freezer space and motivation are in short supply here. Plus, most recipes are sized for families, so one month of cooking would land me with enough (of the same 4 or 5) meals for months.

But when a recipe is easy to double, or designed to be four servings- that I love. I can eat what I want the first day, then portion the rest out into reusable plastic tubs or baggies or my (only) re-purposed pasta sauce jar. This is a huge time savings for things that take longer to make (like the gnocchi), or that are easiest to make in big batches (like soup).

Just don't try to eat the same thing twice a day until it's gone, you'll come to hate it quickly and you'll either end up throwing it away or never making it again.


I realize a bunch of you are here because you just love food, but there are a lot of you who are interested in saving money, too. Do you want more tips for finding deals, ways to make what you have last longer, substitution ideas? You're getting the food and wacky recipes anyway, but what else would you guys find helpful? Also, I might be able to con a post out of my low-budget, omni eating mom. She works with more of a pantry and about double my budget, would that be of any interest?

Ok, off to finish my breakfast...


  1. I'm here because I'm just fascinated by what you're doing and seeing what you come up with.

  2. I found ya on MSN, like most people. Way to go!!! Great blog! I think people are following you because it's an interesting thing your doing. I don't think you need to worry about what everybody wants you to post, and just post what you want.

  3. I LOVE your blog! It has really inspired me to not only budget better for my family, but to get back to the basics of fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins.

    I would like to know more about your bargain hunting. I'm the type of person who only shops at my favorite go-to store and think's a sale there is as good as anywhere. (Old habits DO die hard!)

    I would also like to know if you plan to start a small garden of any kind this summer to help with your fresh produce budget? And if so what will you plant?

    Keep up the great work! You have lots of people cheering you on!

  4. Out of curiosity, are you planning to try to collect coupons to extend what you can buy?

  5. I'm here because your writing style is fun and interesting. An idea for breakfast or a snack - mix the almond cream you used over the gnocchi with cooked rice and maybe some raisins or other fruit for a rice pudding sort of thing. Is there a vegan egg substitute that would give it a more custard like consistancy?

  6. I did find your blog through MSN as well, and will be following it because I think it is a very interesting 'experiment'. It's not so much about the question of why you have to push yourself to meet this budget (like when people ask you why you are doing this and don't get a job and/or food stamps or aid), or things of the sort... I like this a lot.

    I think tips for finding deals would be a nice addition, whenever you partake on them (coupon clipping, free food/items, food exchange, etc). But I would really be interested in, if maybe once a week or maybe once every other week; you could post how you stand on your goals, budget and pantry. Something to show how much you have left to spent, how much you've paid for the different categories (luxury/cheat items, bulk purchases, veggies, etc), and how you are doing managing your food supplies (the good and bad).

    The thought about your mother’s post would be an interesting one, if it’s once in a while. Just to see a different perspective.

    Keep it up!


  7. I'm really just looking for ideas of things people might be interested on days when there isn't anything "new" or "exciting" to talk about- fruit/ oatmeal/ stir fry kinda days. I want to have something in my "idea file" if I'm running short.

    @Momma Yen- if you're busy or have something that's earn or save more money, sometimes hitting just one store can be best. But I'll keep those ideas in mind for later. 'specially about a garden. I am a superior killer of zucchini plants.

    @crzychick04- Not a whole lot of what I buy has coupons. I'm registered to get them from Silk, but they show up so seldom and it's still so much more than I want to pay that I usually don't bother.

    @SunShadow- That's a great idea. I don't think I have anything to thicken and make it more custard-y, but I'm sure I could find something. Or even just toss it in the oven for a while and let it thicken up.

    @TJ- I'm actually waaay behind on posting receipts- I have a pile of them in my file-folder, I just need to photograph and post them. But progress updates are a great idea- and they'd go great with the count-down/ money progress bars I (still) plan to put up.

    I'm not totally sure I'd want a post from mom, either. She's a super shopper ($55 for 2 people for two weeks, including razors and wine) but... well, I don't trust her not to try and slip in nekkid baby pictures. If I do though, it'll only be once or maybe twice ever. Mainly because she *does* buy meat and wine, and I have friends who buy both and are looking for ways to save there.

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback!

  8. I'm reading your blog because it is completely interesting, funny, enlightening, and... humbling.
    I used to have a budget of around a dollar a day or less for the first year I was out of high school. I'd go a couple days without eating. I was too proud for food stamps and too proud to ask my parents for help because I told them, "I can take care of myself!"
    My economic status has significantly improved since then. Don't get me wrong, I live in an efficiency apartment and drive a ten year old car. But sometimes I think I spend too much. Not on material excess but on things I didn't have access to when I was "poor".
    You're very much inspiring me to cut the gluttony and spend a little less.
    You're only a few weeks into this, but I want to thank you in advance, for the profound effect you are having on me, my wallet, and my conscience.

  9. I got off track. As to your questions at the end of your blog, "yes" to every one.

  10. J,

    you said yesterday that the blog was for you. you're right, it still is for you. don't worry about "entertaining" us. don't worry about coming up with ideas for "boring" or repeat food days.

    the rest of us can fill in the rest of what we want to get out of it by posting our comments. we all read each others comment too, right?

    for folks looking to save money and eat healthy.... check out "clean eating" magazine. all recipes are all 100% natural (not necessarily vegetarian - although there are a lot of vegetarian recipes). but every issue has a different shopping plan for feeding a family of 4 on $50/week for 2 weeks. replete with snacks & creative ways to use your leftovers. i figure that's a little less than $2/person/day. not too bad.

  11. Just found you! Right now, it sounds good to me. I understand about needing an idea file, but I think what you present is interesting and helpful. Good luck. I know that this is not easy and I applaud you for working so hard.

  12. Maybe you could get your roomates or friends to do a post on the "slow" days. Have them share what they see, how they think you are doing. Love the blog!

  13. i love that i can relate to what you're doing. I'm young, single and vegetarian. A lot of blogs or recipes are for families or involve mostly meat which dosn't help. I'm interested to know mostly the budget side of things but I love your recipe ideas since the closely resemble what I would eat and have access to.

  14. Just an idea, on my previous coupon comment, that at times, frozen vegetables can be much, much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and quite regularly there are coupons for those items. I know you've got limited frozen storage space, but it might be worth it to keep those in mind. And, you also end up with off-season vegetables that way at a more reasonable price.

  15. I decided to log what I buy at the store in a blog post today. It's a lot more than you spend...

  16. I think this is fantastic. I applaud the fact that you're trying to make this work. The effort alone is inspiring. I focus a great deal on trying to eat healthy and buy things on sale, but you're taking it to a whole new level. More importantly, it's refreshing to see that someone out there is trying to do this. Because about half the world has to subsist on much less than this. Please keep us's one of the best blogs I've seen in a long time...

  17. @Alyse- Thank you- it's good to know that (eventually) money loosens up. good luck saving a little.

    @Maureen- it's still for me. I'm not changing that. not even changing direction. I figure people will stay if they're interested and leave if they aren't. But reading back through some of my posts I find myself trying to remember how I figured something out, or why I decided on one thing over another. Wondered if other people wanted to know too. And *a lot* of what I know about cheap shopping I learned from my mom, so she's kinda here, even if she's not posting :)

    I hope we're all reading other people's comments- they're the best bit!

    @Eileen- I'm not sure I *want* to know what the roommates think...

    @crzychick04- I'll keep an eye out for the coupons, since there *is* store here that doubles (some times triples) coupons up to 99 cents. I think only the paper ones, and since I don't get the paper I'll have to bargain with mom for them.

    @cheapadventures- Yeah, but you have *beer*. And strawberries, lara bars, salad mix, tomatoes... Wanna trade food?

  18. I think I need to send you money to splurge on sweet peppers because they are really awesome. Put up a tip jar so I can give you $2.69.