Friday, May 31, 2013

Easy Asian - Less than $1

This is one of my favorite easy and CHEAP meals. And when I say cheap... 
I mean cheeeeeap!

Easy Asian

I always come across coupons for Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta. I like the idea of eating healthy but whole wheat pasta doesn't do anything for me where Italian is concerned. For only $.50 a pound for pasta - I have to get it! So one day I thought... would a little Asian flare hide the health nut taste? 
Oh.... Yeah.

Now, this meal has no exact measurements. Completely by taste! 

Box of Whole Wheat Pasta
Sesame Oil
Soy Sauce
Teriyaki Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Pineapple Chunks (with a little juice)
Coconut Flakes for garnish

Cook pasta according to box directions.
If you are unfamiliar with cooking with these ingredients, start slow, you can always add more! While the pasta is sitting in the strainer throw a decent amount of sesame oil, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce and pineapple with some juice in the pot and mix well and heat up. Toss in the pasta. Once everything is coated, taste and add more if you need more flavor!
Sprinkle with coconut flakes.
With condiments already on hand: Total cost approximately $.90

*I LOVE using leftover BBQ/Grilled chicken in this recipe. If you are looking for a place to use the leftover chicken from the other night... this is a good place to use it. If it's BBQ'd - even better! Mmmm...
*Change up the flavors and make it taste a little more Thai by throwing in some peanut butter and sriracha! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'm Realistic...

I'm not an extremist in any sense of the word. I am not secretly preparing for the apocalypse to come or for zombies to inhabit the earth (though I have a borderline obsession!). I try to prepare my family for the smaller things that make the biggest impact: loss of income. Been there, done that and I never want to be unprepared again!

Now don't get me wrong - there is a time to buy new and there's a time to buy used. I do buy items brand new and before I buy the first one that I see I always check every online resource to find the absolute cheapest price. The reason for buying certain items new is because if it's good quality and you take care of it then it can last a long time. Usually kitchen items fall into this category. For example, my husband surprised me with a Kitchenaid mixer (I love you Papa Woody!) - Cost $200. *GASP* 
Yes my $13 hand mixer was working just fine but having a much nicer appliance that makes feeding my family easier makes for a happy Mama. And with any luck I won't have to buy a new one... ever! We also had to buy a brand new Range when we moved into our house. Sure we could have bought one off of Craigslist for $100 and maybe it works another year and then we have to buy a new one again. We'd rather spend $450 now (the cheapest one I could find... with free delivery too!) and get one brand new that we can take care of and have us last longer (and avoid cleaning old stuck on food from inside the used oven - YUCK!)

You never know what can happen with a job or the health of someone in your family. Just because there is money left after you pay bills doesn't mean that you need to spend it just because it's there and you're expecting another paycheck two weeks from now. People nowadays can lose their jobs just like *SNAP*. Again, I say... I've been there. Not in my new lovely and wonderful life (*smile*), but in my old one... I was there. That cute little ottoman that you bought with your (unknowingly) last paycheck will come in real handy when you've got your feet up while you read all of your past due bills. The $50 you spent on that ottoman could have bought a couple weeks worth of groceries if you planned it right. Heck, maybe it still can be if you kept the receipt. And that is a scary place to be. Puts a lump in my throat thinking about it. 

The point I'm trying to make is that you should think about where your money is going, especially if there isn't a whole lot to go around. There is a good amount of things that we all spend money on every single day that are costs that we might not be able to eliminate but we can sure hack a little off the bill here and there and I tell ya - it adds ups over the year. Now I'm not talking about the LAME advise that is given time and time again... the Starbucks scenario. If you buy one $4 latte every day of your work week, every week of your year that adds up to $960.00 a year... I just saved you $1000! You're Welcome! NO! Most of us ALREADY KNOW that we cannot afford to drink Starbucks coffee before work every morning so how is that helping me to save money? Hmmm.... oh yeah, it's not! Which is why we all make it at home in a coffee pot. I'm talking about saving money by tweaking the A/C unit in your home when nobody is there, being stingy with your grocery money and the like.

I'll do my best not to be a hypocrite. I don't have money saving down to an exact science. Everyone has homes that circulate air differently and we all have mouths to feed that are hungrier than others. I'm here to simply offer suggestions so that you can see what works best for you and your situation. I could be perfectly happy leaving the air conditioning at 78* during the summer but my husband would be so terribly uncomfortable - we don't. So I do my best to cut elsewhere... hence my coupons!