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Perceptions and Progress

December 14th, 2014 at 07:45 pm

We are what, a third of the way through the month? So far I am doing well tracking all of my expenses even though some of the numbers are a little surprising. For example, going out to eat or for drinks has cost three times what I have spent on groceries so far. Some of that going out is laziness or being social, but when I looked more closely at the receipts I noticed something else. Often I am going out for ethnic food which I do not know how to make at home and a number of the ingredients used are not found in standard grocery stores. There are tons of specialty grocery stores around, but perhaps I am wrongfully assuming they are more expensive.

Skipping ethnic food completely is not an option, so I have been researching dishes that can be made in a crock pot to hopefully save time and money. Of course I have to buy a new crock pot since mine broke awhile ago and I did not have the funds to replace it. Recipe searching has actually been a lot harder than I expected. Do the makers of ethnic food not think using a crock pot is a good idea? So far I have found a few Mexican and Indian recipes, but not many Ethiopian or Moroccan ones. That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cuisine I eat too. Regardless this is worth a try and I do actually miss cooking.

Other observations? This was the first month I paid rent in full and on time in I have no idea how long. Before I was so underpaid that I was dividing my rent over a few checks which meant getting a 3-day notice each month even though the landlord was aware of my situation and said it was ok to make payments. The notice was really for their documentation in case I did not make all my payments and actually needed to be given an eviction notice. Paying rent in full and on time should not be a problem going forward, YAY!

I also wanted to get my hair done last week and decided to try a local beauty school. It took a little longer since the students had to stop for instructor assistance, but overall I paid half of what I would have at a regular salon and they did an excellent job. They also do manicures and pedicures for far less than I pay elsewhere. I can see myself returning, but I do not think I would do something that required any kind of chemicals like coloring since you do not have the same recourse you do at a regular salon.

7 Responses to “Perceptions and Progress”

  1. snafu Says:

    Your assumptions are flawed...Cosmetology students give excellent value for money but you exchange time as their lack of experience and instructor checks all take longer. They do excellent manicures/pedicures but you're best to take your own polish as the choices are limited.

    You can easily,simply adjust nearly any recipe to crockpot unless it requires a 'crisp' exterior. Reduce liquid and boost spices, milk/cream is usually added near the end as it can curdle but check on-line. Phone any nearby Goodwill or Thrift store and ask, as they usually have some type of CP very cheap. If cooking small batches, those cheap, small Rival type units suffice. Best thing is the cheapest cuts of meat benefit from braising and a TBP of vinegar or wine makes it even better.

    Ethnic food stores are often less expensive than the big chains for vegetables and spices. Guess it depends on the area. Dried beans, lentils need one extra step but just soak/CP overnight.

  2. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    Oh yes I did notice the extra time spent at the beauty school while they consulted with the instructor, but I didn't find it to be significant and I wouldn't have tried this if I were in a hurry. The amount of extra time may vary based on what is being done though. As for their nail polishes I did find their color variety plentiful (and I lean toward wilder colors anyway), but I can still bring my own polish if I want.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat): http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2010/10/ethiopian-chicken-stew-doro-wat-slow.html It is so good. And look around her website. She did crock pot meals for a year. There is a lot of good recipes available.

    Actually this is the best link as it is to her free stuff: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2009/01/2008-flashback-entire-year-in-order.html

  4. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    Thanks for that link!

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    When I was doing my 60 day no eating out challenge one of the things I missed the most was takeout Chinese ... my bf and I had been eating that a lot....

    Fried rice I can possibly do on my own, but egg foo young??? Maybe ..

    Good job on tracking and seeing where your money is going!

  6. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    You are really doing a great job. Ignore the perfectionists - follow your own path and it will come. Well done!

  7. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    LOL I haven't eaten gotten to Asian food yet. Fried rice I can actually make at home and love it, the trick is to use day old rice not freshly cooked. I too went 60 days without takeout when I was doing a cleanse a few years ago and it was hard.

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