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Cooking on a budget…a really tight budget

A couple times a year I find that I need to cut some fat outta the ole budget. Being as our family budget is already pretty lean, the first place I go is our grocery bill. High times for us are marked by good beer, fancy people snacks, and random sh*t I try once, decide I don’t like, then throw in the back of the pantry. I’m looking at you $12 bag of chia seeds. That was not chocolate chia pudding, that was seedy phlegm.

chia_seeds

Chia seeds help control your appetite because they are so f*cking gnarly you don’t want to eat them.

I find that there are a few things that lend themselves well to being thrifty at the grocery store. One is having a taste for all types of wine (any old box will do), a husband who has a taste for all beers (he liked PBR before it was cool) and a few kitchen gadgets.

I’m going to be sharing at least one recipe a day that works on a budget. They may not be the most sophisticated dishes, but they do the job.

One thing I totally advocate for is a bread machine. I got one for my wedding a few years ago and have used it pretty consistently. It’s bulky and takes up some kitchen space, but I find I use it a couple times a week. I buy yeast by the jar (rather than the packets) and keep it in the freezer so it lasts longer. You will also need to buy some dry milk and bread flour. In my “wealthier” times I buy King Arthur flour, but now it’s whatever is on sale. I have never noticed a difference.

Here’s the machine I have. It’s really worth the investment.

A few of my recipes will utilize this machine. It’s really useful, and you can program it so that you just throw in the ingredients at night, and when you wake up in the morning you have fresh bread. That’s literally the best smell to wake up to!

You can always check your local thrift stores and church yard sales as well, there’s usually one or two bread machines floating around, just make sure that the bread pan and paddle aren’t missing, I think those are expensive if you have to replace them (and may as well just buy a whole new machine).

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What a difference two years makes

Getting back into the swing of things! Trite as it sounds, a baby (now fully formed little guy) really changes everything about your life, good and bad. It’s really impossible to be selfish, but things that I used to take for granted (decently polished toe nails, reading a book with more than 500 words, taking a dump without someone staring at me and handing me toilet paper) are slowly returning to my life.

I have been remiss with my writing, so I’m giving it a go and trying to really get back into it, not unlike many of the pre-baby things I liked to do! The little guy is now old enough where I don’t have to eagle eye every second of the day. I even got to make and can some raspberry jam this week! Granted little guy was at daycare, husband was at work and I actually had the day off work, but I accomplished something delicious!