Friday January 20, 2012: The TGIF edition

Everything is expensive at the moment. We’re in the middle of a recession and prices/taxes/insurances are going up but salary doesn’t grow equally. Especially gas for my car is very expensive at the moment.

I’ve been thinking a lot how I can save money. I don’t really want to buy cheaper food but I can make some changes. I often throw away food, either because I made a bit too much (and I don’t eat it the next day) or I bought it and then don’t use it.

I’m organizing all my cook books in Excel sheets categorized on ingredients. If I make something with, for example, zucchini and I only need half of it, I can look in my zucchini file for another recipe. That way I won’t have to throw away the other half.

The other thing is that I printed a fruits and veggies calendar, sorted by month, with all the fruits and veggies that are available and cheap in that month. I never really thought about buying season products but am going to do that. Although I never buy strawberries in Autumn/Winter because that’s a Summer fruit and way too expensive outside the season.

Monday’s dinner was minced meat rolled in ham and cheese. I put that in an oven dish with on the bottom leek. I put some tomato sauce and cream on top and cooked it in the oven. It was a new recipe and we both liked it, which means it’s a keeper.

Tuesday we had minced meat and potatoes. Vegetables were Brussels sprouts. I cooked them for a few minutes and after that stir-fried them with leek, garlic, sesame seed and some soy sauce, it was delicious.

I’m going to experiment with the time I workout in the morning. Right now it’s a bit too early for me because getting up at 5 am means being in bed before 10 pm. Personally I find that too early, I hardly have an evening left that way. My job has flexible work hours, I can start between 7 am and 9.30 am. About 2 years ago I started working from 7.30 am till 4 pm because at that time I did my workouts after work. I’m not working out after work anymore and I can work a bit longer. What I’m trying first is that I will get up at 5.15 am for workouts/run longer than 45 minutes. Under 45 minutes I will get up at 5.30 am. Going to see if this works good for me.

Wednesday another new recipe: stir-fried rice with chicken and pineapple. It was okay but not something I’m going to make again.

Thursday was such a long day. I had to take notes at a meeting that was supposed to last from 9 am till 3 pm. It was 6 pm when we were finished and the last 3 hours took so long. When I got home I was tired and did nothing more than lay down on the couch with my feet up and watch TV. R. wasn’t home when I got home and I made an omelette with herbs for dinner. Didn’t want to cook.

Today the lovely miss Bella had a haircut. She’s too cute now, I love that dog.

Have a great weekend.


16 responses to “Friday January 20, 2012: The TGIF edition

  1. I don’t have Excel sheets but I do the same thing with my food. I’ve really worked on not buying too much, not making too much and definitely have really cut back on what I’ve thrown away. I’m fortunate to have a full size freezer so lots of times I just freeze leftovers for another day which has worked out well.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. That’s a great approach to cooking/eating. I am guilty of making too much and then not eating the leftovers, I admit. Let us know how your new approach goes.

  3. First of all, Bella is sooo cute!
    I am guilty of buying too much food, and then I end up throwing some away too. I have started to meal plan for the week, and it has really helped. I know what I’m going ot make for the next five days, so I only buy ingredients for those meals. Then I take leftovers to work for lunches. Food has gone up so much in the past year, and my pay hasn’t gone up in three years. No increase at all. We are feeling it. I like your idea of the excel spreadsheets. You are so organized!

  4. I started buying frozen vegetables for during the week as I was constantly throwing things out. Today I bought some fresh vegetables, but they will get used up on the weekend.

    Pretty Miss Bella!!!

  5. I am like you and hate wasting food. I try to make things last over a meal or two without getting bored with the food we are eating. I love the ideas you shared.

  6. I know what you mean about making recipes with everything you have. When my hubby asks for potato soup you bet I am making stew that week also to use all the recipes. I hope your new time to get up works for you. I don’t get up until 630 & leave the house at 725. I am not a morning

  7. I agree with you about cheaper food: I don’t want to buy it. On the other hand, since 2009 we have thrown away less bread and vegetables (I gave that food to a friend who had turkeys). Now we haven’t wasting food.
    Moreover, I drive my car only if it is necessary! I always go walking along the town and sometimes I go cycling. I think that in Italy gas for car is more expensive than Germany or Netherlands because taxation climbed sharply.

    Nice photo of Miss Bella 🙂
    Have a beautiful and relaxing weekend!

    P.S.: Stefano and I are running 25 km training on Sunday! We need it because on Sunday, 29th, we are running a half marathon.

  8. We buy stuff that is in season or on sale. We get strawberries year round at a good price for whatever reason, so I eat them a lot. Blueberries have now come into a winter crop and so I have been getting those as well.

    I buy frozen veggies because they would go bad otherwise. As much as I eat broccoli, I always still buy it frozen.

    Bella has such a sweet face 😀

  9. Thursday was long long long and stressful for me!

    I was thinking that chicken and pineapple sounded good but if you aren’t going to make it again. I do have a chicken, pineapple and red pepper sweet and sour thing I make in the crock pot. Although it has been awhile since I made it.

  10. How nice that you have some flexibility with your work hours!
    I know what you mean about the cookbooks – somehow it is difficult to think about using them sometimes. I need some kind of a system too!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  11. I like a lot the first 2 dishes and …. that haircut, she is a lovely lady!
    I cannot stand the work meetings: boring and usually pointless ( talking for myself and my kind of job).

  12. Your food looks delicious as usual and is making me hungry. Sweet, Miss Bella. So cute with her new haircut.
    I tagged you in a post on my blog. I was bored, but feel free to ignore it if you’re not interested. 😉

  13. I hate throwing out food for a variety of reasons and have learned to buy less and use it all.
    You are so organized. I could learn something from you because this is one of those areas I am really not good at.
    Bella is cute and she knows it.

  14. I like your Excel/ingredient/recipe project! I try very hard not to throw away food, but it can be challenging. For the last few weeks, we have worked on “eating through the cupboards and freezer.” It’s so easy to forget about things…

    I hope your workout adjustments will work for you. I get up at 4:45 every morning, and I do not enjoy going to bed so early. It usually means I have to go to bed shortly after the kid goes to bed…

    Have a great week!

  15. Oh my you are super organized! It is so nice your work allows you to flex your hours. Sometimes I wish I could work a four day week…. your brussels sprouts look yummy. Paige hates them so I never get to eat them.

  16. I love your organization idea. Since I’m still not working I’ve been trying to find ways to save money too in the food dept too. I’ve been doing a lot of crockpot meals — since I can cook a lot of meat and it will last a few days. But I like your idea of even using half a zucchini for something else. I could work harder in that area.

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