Monday, April 28, 2008

Taking it down...

We've had a set budget for a while. $50 cash for the grocery store, $80 to divide between Target (diapers, cleaning supplies...) and Costco. This is every two weeks on payday, and gets us through the couple of weeks just fine. When we added the CSA, we kind of just made the money come out of thin air, out of my income or something. POOF! We have veggies. Those veggies cost $20 a week that is not really accounted for anywhere.

In the interest of healthy, green, frugality, I have talked to Sam about slowing that spending down with a crunch to our food budget. We will curb the normal kinds of Costco spending, and add things like milk and cheese to the Costco budget instead; this will come out of the same $80. Then we crunch, smoosh, and squeeze the grocery budget. Yup, I want to reduce grocery store spending to $10 or less every two weeks. We will buy things like pasta occasionally, or ingredients for my veggie recipes, or even some orange juice for Sam. That's all...

So while I make a career move that may leave us income-less for up to 5 months, we're going to keep this ship tight! Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

More Green Stuff!

Almost all of the green (and other natural stuff) is familiar this time.

Carrots, went into baby food. Mmmmm
Spinach, yum! I wish tomatoes were in season for salad, but I may have to do with just munching the green stuff alone
Mustard Greens, went into the trade box for extra lemons
Strawberries, need I say more, here?
Leeks, I'll be making more leek soup soon
Lemons, either Greek lemon soup or random applications. I've been using lemon as salad dressing and in recipes
Rapini, Green stuff. Sam likes it on his burger instead of lettuce. Cool!
Salad, going to my mom. Sorry, but I've got spinach anyway, and my mom digs salads.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 2!

I'm quitting soda again. It's sort of like quitting smoking for people who smoke, I think. I've never smoked, but I've heard from friends why it is so hard. I have friends who offer me a Pepsi. I have parents who keep the fridge stocked with Dr. Pepper, my favorite. I am surrounded by sodas when we go out to eat. IT IS EVERYWHERE! I am strong willed, but there is only so much you can take when you are fighting addiction and peer influence.

So last week and the week before I took a long, rolling tumble off the bandwagon, and now I am trying to climb back on. The nasty chemical taste, shakes, and lack of energy weren't quite enough to propel me up into the wagon bed, but then there is my son... 7 months old, he wants everything we have, and he was reaching, reaching for every sip of soda I took. I can't get him attached to this crap, too. Not to say I will ban soda; I think that I should teach him to make a good choice on his own. But my son does not need to see me downing a liter or two a day. *gag, shudder*

I seriously don't even LIKE it, but I want it. Yesterday I had immense cravings and a headache. Today I am exhausted. I could hardly get out of bed, and even though I've been up for hours, I still want to go back.

I really don't even like it, I swear! It takes away my appetite until I don't eat anything, it makes good food taste like crap, and it wreaks havoc with my body. I used to drink it all the time as a kid... I would have 5-6 cans EVERY DAY, and hardly eat anything. A doughnut for breakfast, no lunch, and some chili that was probably MORE THAN 50% cheese for dinner, or ramen if we ran out of cheese. I ate like that for months. No wonder quitting is so hard.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is a dirty house a green house?

I am trying really really hard to justify the fact that I have not vacuumed since before the baby was born. At least I'm not using energy, right? And you could argue that the cat hair that coats everything is insulation... and the baby is less likely to be allergic because he's being exposed...

Ok, or maybe I'm just too lazy to vacuum the darn house. Green cleaning chemicals are low on my "to buy" list because cleaning is so low on my "to do" list. I have work to do, Tarot to study, and a baby to love... who cares if the toilet doesn't quite sparkle?


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Things I want to Add in Life:

In order, they are:
Cloth grocery bags (organic is even better, but for now I've settled for the cheap, reusable nylon bags at Safeway. I have 4.)
A Moon Cup (It replaces tampons and pads. And it is reusable. If you're not running screaming yet, look it up!)
Cloth napkins (I got an idea to cut up an old shirt. Brilliant!
Dryer balls (to replace dryer sheets)
Organic or Green Cleaners

This is just so far, but if you have eco alternatives to something that we use and toss all the time, please let me know! I'd love to add it!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Veggie Boot Camp

Baby Carrots, getting roasted with the turnips

Baby Turnips, for babies, these are huge! They're getting roasted, and the greens will be reserved for cooking greens.

Cabbage, Can anyone say corned beef and cabbage?

Mint, Not sure yet... mint tea?

Salad, Going straight to my mom!

Navel Oranges, Yum! These will be eaten plain, and I may make my orange breakfast rolls

Strawberries, eaten plain, maybe some whipped cream. Mmmmmm

Friday, April 18, 2008

Going the Distance

Apparently my new driving skills are really paying off! I ran out of gas a few months ago, and my car was at about 420 miles. Luckily I ran out of gas as I was about to pull into a gas station, so it was a quick push and then we were refueled and on our way again.

On Easter, we were heading back from my Grandmother's house when I looked down and realized that the mileage was at 418 (my gauge is screwy, so I always go by my mileage). In a slight panic, I started looking for gas station signs. 420. 425. I promised myself that Sam would push when we broke down. 430. 435. At last! A gas station! We were at the gas station, and my trip odometer read 438 miles. To my shock and delight, the car only needed 11 gallons (and change, you know how it is). In fact, just this week I ran out of gas (second time in my life) at just under 500 miles. Apparently my slow and patient new driving style is really paying off!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Matches or Lighters?

Which is best? It is really hard to know. There are varied opinions about this subject, and there is really no clear cut conclusion. Matches produce more frequent instances of solid waste, however the lighter waste is less biodegradable. Lighters burn cleaner, and you are much less likely to start a wildfire with a lighter than with a match (or, even more likely, a cigarette).

This is something that is of interest to me because I am the kind of person who loves candles, and I have books of matches and lighters all over the house. I'm not sure which is best. Perhaps a reusable lighter so that there is no solid waste?

The argument of Which is Better is all over the place, with arguments on cloth vs. disposable diapers, mail order versus malls, and more. Candles or electricity? That one seems easy. :)


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Veggie Boot Camp

I joined a CSA! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which essentially means that local farms grow food for local people. I became a member by paying for my first 7 weeks, and then all I had to do was drive to the drop off point right here in town to pick up a box (yes, a big, huge box) of veggies. It feels like veggie boot camp, and it is slightly scary trying to figure out what to do with all of that green (and not green) goodness. The best news? I have rarely tasted food so fresh and yummy. I am totally excieted about each new week and all of the wonderful new foods that I can try.

This week:
Carrots, Salad, Arugula, Radishes, Leeks, Fennel, Agretti, Strawberries.

The carrots will become baby food. The salad was used as salad, along with a few of the radishes. We ate some ourselves, then donated the rest (about half) to my Auntie, who loves salad (I really don't like lettuce, actually). The arugula is a cooking green, as are the radish greens, so those will mostly be sateed with garlic to make a side dish (ok, a lot of side dishes - there's a ton of food!) The radishes, leeks, fennel, and agretti are a little puzzling so far, but I WILL come up with ways to eat them. The strawberries were dessert, and they were some of the best EVER.

Last week, since I was down for the count:
Celery, Parsnips, Mustard Greens , Purple Carrots, Spinach, Cardoons, Salad

The celery got traded out for more parsnips. I don't like celery, thanks. The parsnips were ok cubed and boiled, but they really shone in a scalloped potato/parsnip dish. I wouldn't mind more of that. The mustard greens were sauteed with garlic, and enjoyable that way. I added local honey once, but Sam liked them plain, better. The purple carrots were going to be baby food, but they were overlooked for two long and kicked the bucket. The spinach, on the other hand, was terrific, sauteed with the mustard greens and also as a salad green. The cardoons tasted like artichoke heart soup when cooked up for cardoon soup, which was to die for. YUM! Not bad for a veggie I had never heard of before. The salad was half consumed when I gave up and donated the last half to my mommy, who was thrilled. She will be getting more.

It is exciting and a little scary to be cooking all of these new foods. Veggie boot camp ROCKS!


Friday, April 11, 2008


It has been WEEKS, and I have so many post ideas, with so much going on in my life! Blogger locked my blog an it took a mammoth effort to unlock it again (and then they didn't even email me to tell me that I was ready to roll), but here I am, back in action!

To start out with: I bought two nylon grocery bags that fold up into a teeny little package. I can just pull them out and go! I have used them twice now, once to save the CSA a bag, and once to get groceries at Safeway. Guess what? You get three cents back for every bag you bring and use. How cool is that? I really want nice, cloth bags eventually, and I can use these as emergency supplements (since they fold up so nice and tiny, they live clipped onto my purse right now.)

I'll be back tomorrow for a nice entry about veggie boot camp, so stay tuned!