Wednesday, July 1, 2015

When Wednesday is Thursday...

It's a four day work-week for us this week so I wanted to be sure to make dinner.  We are getting ready for camp and TBG suggested take out a pizza.  Instead, I picked up marked down meatballs and used up some frozen spinach and cheese raviolis.  I've to got a big jar of Ragu to finish but still cut the sauce with chicken stock just so it wasn't so thick.

I actually dropped some extra cash at the super market because Andoullie sausage was on sale as were large scallops.  We're splurging on scallops wrapped in bacon one night this weekend, then half price grass fed Angus steaks another night.

I also had to stock up on adult beverages.  I finished my box-o-wine last weekend.  Luckily, Tops receipts have coupons on the back and I used a 10% off at the liquor store on my way home.  Consumer Beverages is another couple of blocks away (still directly on the way home), so I went in there to get a 24 pack of Yeungling lager -- our camp beer of choice.

TBG has loaded up the car.  I have to finish packing clothes and those bags can go in too.  Aside from packing perishables tomorrow night, we should be ready to go relatively quickly.  It has been well over a month since TBG was able to get away to camp, so we are looking forward to it for sure!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Seven Dollar Dinner

This picture doesn't look all that appetizing but who has a food stylist in real life?  My meal plans are based on a few simple principles... buy what's on sale and in season looking for discontinued and clearance items at all times.  I peruse the aisles -- yep, just walk up and down looking for stuff that is at least half-off on clearance.  If it doesn't have trans-fat, sky high sodium or high fructose corn syrup... I'm game!

The bag of organic, heat and serve (from a pouch) brown rice was about two bucks.  The flounder is on sale for a buck a piece.  Asparagus is in season for $2.49 per pound.

I like being able to serve breaded flounder with broiled asparagus and wild/brown organic rice on the side for $3.50 a plate.  Not only do meals like this taste good, they give me a perverse pleasure for doing them cheaply. 

It might not seem like such a big score to make a meal that would have been seven dollars a serving for half that, but it's a challenge I'm always trying to meet.  We ate healthy fresh food again for much less than the price of a bag-o-burger chain take out.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lunch Discipline

I am very strict about not buying lunch and breakfast during the week.  The only day I buy lunch is on Friday, when I meet friends/colleagues.  I manage to bring something all of the other days and I always eat at home before work -- and bring a long snacks in case I get hungry in between.

This picture doesn't look too appetizing but it will taste fine.  Right now, Tops has a sale on individual portions of seafood -- scallops, flounder, salmon, tilapia, etc.  Regularly $2.19 per pack, right now they are a buck a piece.  That's when I grab them up.  They are perfect for lunch or to throw in the freezer at camp.

This container has the remaining quinoa and brown rice from dinner, two packages of frozen scallops, one small container of "On the Go" kalamata olives I won a free coupon for playing "Monopoly" at Tops.  Last week I picked up half price sale bags of double serving grains so along with the quinoa there is a package of a wild/multi grain brown rice plus one back of discontinued mixed Mediterranean Green Giant frozen veeggies .  I tossed in some left over feta cheese for good measure and stirred it up with a bit of Simply Dressed lemon vinaigrette dressing.  This cost less than seven bucks to make and I think there are three to four servings.

I brought a "healthy wrap" in the cafe on the second floor of my building one day.  It was seven bucks and I think there may have been two slices of turkey deli meat, some lettuce a slice of tomato and some sort of light dressing.  My solution makes more sense.

Tops has frozen waffles on sale this week but there have been none of their Whole Grain variety -- so I grabbed a rain check.  They make for a good quick breakfast too.

Along with eating breakfast at home and a homemade lunch at work, I bring in fruit.  Cherries were on sale at Target this week and strawberries are also cheap.  Bananas are .49cents per pound or less everywhere, thanks to Wegmans.  TBG buys a bag of apples at Weggies almost every week too.  This week I picked up frozen peaches so I can use them in smoothies at breakfast.

If we were buying lunch and breakfast for convenience, there is no way we'd be getting the necessary servings of healthy fruits and veggies.

And as for healthy... TBG used his new Fitbit to track his steps today.  Just a normal work day and he hit 11,000 steps before he came home!  He is also going to start tracking his food in their database but suspect he'll wait until his peanut-butter brownie birthday cake is gone...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up

I spent a wet and muddy weekend at camp.  Knowing the weather would be so horrible still didn't mean I could cancel. Teddy had to be groomed and my Aunt wanted me to visit.

While I was away, the tile was re-grouted.   We're set for now and will have Jimmy Jam give us a quote to pull out the tub and put in a stall.  We never bathe, we always shower.  We'll pick larger tiles with thinner grout lines when we get around to doing it too!  We'll also pick some kind of cushy shower/jet set up and one of those uber-flush toilets.  Getting that stuff at cost has it's advantages...
TBG's birthday is/was today.  I did not buy him a specific gift. I had thought about a Fitbit or something like that but wasn't sure.  I suggested he pick out something since I didn't know what to get him.  I did spend some time shopping for items he's wanted me to get for him in general just so I wouldn't be empty handed.  Here are two loungers and a set of sheets I picked up for him to use at camp.

When I got home, I found he'd ordered himself a Fitbit on his own!  My part of the gift was to register and download everything.  Then we went out to dinner.  The meal was good, but the restaurant was too loud.  Some places try to have both restaurant and bar traffic and the bar part generally ruins the dining experience.  The food was really good, but I'm done dining there as we could not relax and talk.

I did come home to the smell of chicken stock in the crockpot so I am very proud of him.  He started it this morning so I drained it tonight and mixed it with a box of broth, jarred it up and made slurry for the pup.

I get to sleep in a bit tomorrow since I have a morning dentist appointment.  I'll try to be better about posting this week.  Time just gets away from me!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Helpful Husband

Do you know many married couples where the husband never cooks or cleans?  In my circle of friends, the answer is no.  But now that I am working around a lot more people, I hear a lot of that.  Thankfully my guy is a "partner" and helps out a lot.

Last night, he roasted the bird for me.  It was my night to swim and it was thawed in the fridge.  So he made me a roasted bird, green beans in foil and yellow rice. 

Part of the issue is that he knows that pitching in helps both of us.  It meant I had something to make into lunch today.  The rice and chicken were the basis for burritos tonight.  There is one breast left and I'm headed to camp.  He knows that he must eat that while I'm gone.  If he doesn't save the bones for me, he'll take care of them himself by putting them in the crock pot with water.  He understands that mixing homemade stock with store-bought means a lower sodium broth.  That's good for everyone.

Since I made the burritos tonight, he is going to do the dishes.  He helped me clean while I was cooking (and drinking) because he's a good guy -- and because he wanted us to have a chance to sit on the patio and have some (more) wine while dinner was in the oven.

I don't get women who tolerate a husband who won't help around the house, doesn't cook and expect those things to be wifely duties.  The fact that a guy does the grocery shopping doesn't get him off the hook (I've been told it does).  IMO, if both spouses work, then both people need to carry the load.  I figure it's not only fair, it means he's self sufficient and I won't have to worry that he'll be adrift if anything ever happens to me.

Maybe that's tough love... or maybe it's just teamwork!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Yet Another Use for Duct Tape

There are plans for Jimmy Jam to come in Thursday evening to re-grout the area in our bath that is leaking.  We are just not ready for a full renovation and just fixing the worst of it should help.  It's something we don't feel like doing ourselves.

Our short term fix seems to be working.   The offending areas of missing grout are being covered with duct tape.  It's looks sorta violent -- but it's doing the job!

We don't expect perfection.  I just want to seal the area until I feel we have enough saved to rip it all out and put in a new shower stall.  I think we'll need to save around 10K and be prepared to live without a shower for a week or so.  I am hoping we'll be ready to tackle this in the spring.  Until now, this will have to do!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Rest of Sunday (Not Really a "Rest"...)

After a long day of cleaning like I had on Sunday, the last thing I want to do is food prep -- who wants to mess up what you just got clean?  Then there is also the fatigue factor.

We ate dinner and then I set about getting some work done with fruit.  That meant cutting up a whole small watermelon -- when they are $3.99 for a five pound melon this time of year, you gotta get them.  I'm just as likely to eat this in the place of a salad before dinner or lunch and it makes a great sweet, cold snack before bed. I also love to add it to my morning smoothie.
Once I get the pieces cut for us, I chop up the rind to use for the dog.  We had asparagus ends, strawberry hulls and one head of romaine lettuce.  The pup will enjoy this for the next week.  My batch yielded two and a half big jars.  Teddy loves watermelon and that includes the rind.  I just make sure to wash it well with a veggie cleaner to remove as much wax and pesticides as I can. This gets whizzed up in the food processor.
Here's TBG getting lunch ready in our clean kitchen.  We had a late meal of tuna fish and then took the pup for her second swim and we fit in a walk.  The weekend just goes so fast -- and that's often why I'm too tired to post on Monday night!

One great free indulgence is going to bed early.  After a work-intensive weekend, I think it's well-deserved.  The next time you work hard on something and want a treat... go to bed early the next day!