I had to make a difficult financial decision yesterday. (And, if you are the parental units reading this, please DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, offer to buy me a tree.) But, I sadly got my first speeding ticket as I drove home for Thanksgiving. I need to pay that. And with christmas shopping and the furnace and other related expenses, it came down to: pay for the ticket or buy a christmas tree. I could always put one on a credit card….but, I’m no longer using my credit cards until I can get them down to a zero balance. Which, well, won’t be happening any time soon.
Oh heavens, I don’t even wish that I made the irresponsible decision.. My ticket is all paid off and now my house will be Christmas Tree-less this holiday. Which really doesn’t bother me because we typically spend the holidays at the beach house with just a fake pink 1 ft tall sparkly tree. And honestly, I feel more warm and fuzzy inside about being responsible and on top of things. Even if I was willing to charge a tree, what’s the point? I’d rather have financial peace of mind than foliage in my house.
And, in the grand scheme of things, the holidays aren’t about the things that you can throw money at. Aw, how sentimental and Disney-movie of me.
But, even without the tree, I had to do at least a little decorating.
I have a thing for snowmen…and blue and white holiday decorations (I’m just not a big fan of the red and green, even though those were my college’s colors, go wustl).
And, of course, the animals’ stockings are hung by the chimney with care.
Don’t worry, even with my new found fiscal responsibility, Santa Paws will not be disappointing the good little boy and girl in this house (though, it could be debated whether they are actually good little boys and girls).
Aaand moving on. My house is sadly devoid of fresh veggies. I did however stumble upon ORGANIC LOCAL PINK LADY APPLES (my absolute fav) at Earth Fare yesterday and bought 5 lbs! And I bought some squashies, but there wasn’t much else in season there, so I didn’t buy anything. And, when I thought about dinner, my first thought was, fine, I’ll just go to Nacho Mama’s for some yumminess. Instead, I said NO! You have food in the fridge. EAT IT. And, I managed to make a pretty good, healthy and cheap meal.
Spinach Salad w/ black beans, stewed tomatos, green beans, goat cheese, and a spritz of balsamic vinaigrette. The spinach was about 10 minutes from going bad. And all the other veggies/legumes were sitting in cans in the pantry waiting to be eaten. So often I forget about whats already in the pantry. It turned out deliciously light , healthy, filling, and cheap (at about $1.80):
Which brings me to my first Frugal Foodie tip: Plan your meals ahead of time (I do the entire week on Sunday) and prepare what you can. So often, I get home from work and don’t even want to think about what I’m going to eat. I just want to eat. But. this will help stop you from doing the easy thing and getting takeout when you are tired at the end of the day. There are lots of things that you can do on the weekend to prepare for a weekday dinner. Like making soup on the weekends.
In a similar vein, bring your lunch to work. Packed lunch = major savings (both financially and health-wise as compared to eating out). I find that packing lunch the night before helps, just in case I sleep in :).
There will be some extra special big wonderful news at P@P coming up…but I’m going to let the suspense linger for a little bit. And, when there is something a little more definite to show for the news, I’ll let you all know. Until then, go visit my bestest-ever’s blog who is making this surprise all possible.
Does anyone else have tips on how to keep yourself motivated to cook dinner after a long day at work??