Setting the foundations of my resolve

Boy, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Not much is happening, other than being halfway through my third NaNoWriMo and continuing to squeeze the most value from my grocery dollars – you know, the uzhe. It doesn’t matter, since now is not the time for regrets nor recriminations.

Now is the time for planning. Read More


World’s Easiest Baked Beans

I used to hate beans. As in never ate them. They had weird, leathery skins and crumbly, dry insides. So baked beans were never on my radar. I think I’d been convinced to try the merest taste of some as a child, but it was sauce only. It was exceedingly sweet, or perhaps unexpectedly so. In either event, it was a no-go situation. Kids, in my admittedly limited experience, are creatures of blacks and whites; savoury is for supper and sweet is for dessert, and never the twain shall meet. Read More

When less is more

I’ve gone back to thinking about food and nutrition and how these things are spoken of in the public sphere. There was an article in the paper about a school that has pizza days, but limits students to one slice each. There’s also a book coming out whose author is a YouTuber and medical professional. It’s called The Bad Food Bible, and it talks about commonly vilified foods, as well as when and how to eat them. Read More

Follow-up about spices

Just a wee, quick blurt regarding the price comparison between buying spices in bulk versus in the shop.

So, the cheapest readily available allotment of ground coriander they’ve got at one of the grocers I frequent is $3.29 for 28gr. If we multiply that out, we’re looking at roughly $12 per 100gr ($11.75, for accuracy).

Compare that to the bulk store, who charges $14.30 per kilo, or $1.43 per 100gr. So I got 75gr for $1.07. And also, in addition to that, I got to bring my own packaging.

Conclusion: the grocery store charges literally 10x as much as the bulk store for the exact same thing. Neither of these are sale prices, but often the bulk store has a blanket 15% off spices, along with coupons for $3 off $10 (before taxes).

Seek ye the bulk shop! Save a fortune!

$30 Challenge – Week Four

It’s all over, baby! Our experiment is completed, so it’s time to review our progress and draw our conclusions. The hypothesis was that two adult people, living in downtown Toronto, could survive on $30 of groceries per week, along with $50 combined for miscellaneous personal spending. Read More

$30 Challenge – Week Three

Can’t talk… Too hot…

Apologies for the late summary, but yesterday reached upwards of 40C (nearly 100F). If I’d tried to perch the laptop on my legs, as I usually do, I might have caught fire.

The plan had been to limit cooking and make a journey to the farmers’ market. Neither of those things seemed to happen. I even baked bread (!) on Sunday morning, for reasons I will never fully understand. I mean, it’s not unheard of for me to bake bread on the weekend, but it is entirely insane to turn the oven on at any temperature for any length of time during this heat, let alone cranking it to 450F for nearly an hour.

Happily, though the loaf was slightly underbaked, it had a delightfully crispy crust and was thoroughly edible. Read More

Setting up the books

There are those who do not track their finances; who spend every penny (and then some), living for today and leaving little for tomorrow. There are those who construct budgets, carefully arranging and balancing categories of expenditure until the hallowed zero balance is reached. And then, there are those who keep books.

I figure, it’s all well and good to have the budget written down, to know – at least in theory – where the money’s going month to month. And while budget apps are fine for some, there’s really nothing quite like a set of household books for tracking finances and keeping spending in check.

Ready to take your budget to the next level? Read More