Celebrate the Small Stuff

One way to stay positive making progress on goals is to get excited about the small stuff. For me that was signing up to take test #4 of my architecture registration exams and make major inroads on paying off debt. How is that going? Well last year I started using mint.com to track how much my husband and I spend on everything. Once I had the benchmarks established we realized we were spending way too much on food. The changes didn’t happen overnight and there were many days where someone runs out of the house without their lunch, but 99.9% of breakfast is eaten at home and 4 out of 5 days a week lunches are brought into work from home. The last hurdle was dinner. When this process began we were eating out whenever we were too tired to make something  or whenever we forgot to defrost something to make. This was clearly a problem. Last year we purchased a chest freezer for the basement and have kept it well stocked with everything from meat to veggies to prepared meals. If it’s on sale we stock up. Part 2 of a good pantry is the grocery storage. At the new house there are 2×4 shelves the entire length of one wall. This is the perfect depth for 2 cans so I never forget what I have buried in the back and enough length that you can get some serious storage!

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Armed with a crock pot and dutch oven meals are a lot simpler to prepare ahead of time, easier to make in large batches, and I am happy to say we are down to take out 1 night a week, just as a treat. This saves a significant amount from the joint pot and means that our individual spending money isn’t all gone by the next paycheck and can be saved.

Bulk chicken for the week

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Stuffed Peppers

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Another small victory is the compost pile. In the old house we had a compost pile out back but the carbon/nitrogren balance was completely out of wack. It took years for anything to degrade with all that carbon! Once of my joys was getting my little composting container ($5 Marshalls) out on our porch and I fill it with all the kitchen scraps, especially coffee and egg shells. This weekend I’ll set up the “green machine” and start putting my compost in progress together. It feels really good to get a fresh start on that project!

 

Next hurdle: find some time to exercise

 

Meditations: What small step did you make this week?

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Celebrate the Small Stuff

  1. I hope to get as good as you are about cooking food at home!
    Great work.
    I took steps this week to get a better apartment, one that will finally give me the resources to dominate in the kitchen, so we’ll see!

    • That’s great! The nice thing is just to be creative with what you have, granted having a pantry in the city is a challenge too. I had some cooked chicken in the freezer. Add some egg noodles and a couple of cans of cream of mushroom and chicken and instant chicken casserole that will last the rest of the week. Allrecipies is one of my favorite places since you can search by ingredients. It creates some awesome combinations that use things in the pantry, no store required. Best of luck with the new space!

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