Thursday, April 30, 2009

weeks 14, 15, 16, 17, and month three wrap up

I apologize for the blogging hiatus. It was finals, you see, and I decided to give up the interwebs in an attempt to increase productivity. It worked. I, Katherine Elizabeth, passed physical/organic chemistry all by myself. All. By. My. Self. Seriously people, do you know how awesome that is? Don't get me wrong, I didn't do shit hot, but I friggen passed, and not too bad. A solid pass, and I'll take it.

Okay, so you know when you go on a diet and you reach your goal weight and you feel invincible and start eating anything you want and gain a bunch of the weight back? Month three wasn't quite that bad, but it was up there. The money diet me knows that I should have waited until I had the cash money to pay for the new laptop, rather than assuming I would have the cash money and just going and buying it one day. I'll have you know though, that the laptop rules. I spent a little crazy month three, but I didn't acquire any debt, so I think I came out okay. The mastercard bill is hefty due to the laptop (which rules) and the trip to Calgary (which ruled hard!)

I set myself a cash budget for the trip to Calgary, and I'm pleased to report I stuck to it (thanks in part to easy access to Tim's debit card . . . heheh) and managed to come home with $20 still in my pocket (I stole that from your sock drawer). It was my adorably pregnant sister in law's 30th birthday, so I took my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook with me, and told Cam she could pick any cake out of the book, no matter how elaborate, and I'd make it for her. The winner was a devil's food cake with mint chocolate ganache, henceforth referred to as ganny. Soooo much ganny was consumed. Plans are in the work for future ganny creations . . . raspberry chocolate ganny, triple chocolate ganny cake, just a plain ol' cup o' ganny . . . Luckily we did a stairs workout and two killer abs workouts over the weekend as well - well I did the abs, Cammy watched. It was my punishment for getting to drink more than 1.5 glasses of good wine over the weekend. But I also got an incredible hot (stone massage from a wizard named) Carl. I mean Curt. If you're ever in Calgary you should go to the Oasis Spa and ask for a hot Carl. Curt, I mean Curt.

So now on to month four and I'm back on track. I'm working an insane amount over the next two months, but if everything goes according to plan (which it surely won't) I should be able to squirrel away a good chunk of money. My goal is to have enough to pay for the other half of my wedding dress (plus alterations), the photographer, inevitable extra wedding expenses I haven't yet thought of, and tuition for September.

Week 17 went okay. I made a stupid excuse to use my credit card for a dumb $10 purchase, which I won't do again. Otherwise I stuck to cash - I did dip into my $100 monthly money already, but hey, that's what it's for. I think week 18 is going to go much much better. My fingers are crossed.

Monday, April 06, 2009

week 13

Remember that $10 I was trying to make last over week 13? It was still in my wallet on Sunday morning when week 14 begun. Natch I blew it on treats on Sunday evening, but still, it lasted the week! Being off the hooch is such a money saver - but it is harder than I thought. I think because I'm depriving myself of it, I'm thinking about booze constantly, but I'm glad for the challenge. We went out Saturday evening and I volunteered to be designated driver. Not only did I get all the free soda and lime that I wanted, I stayed out not unreasonably late, had fun, had a decent sleep, and had a productive Sunday. Not the way it would have gone had I been drinking.

This week isn't going to be quite so frugal. With the long weekend coming up we plan to hit the Sunshine Coast for a relaxing weekend (packed full of organic chemistry studying, but still) which always entails extra treats and extra spending. I've set aside $100 cash for the weekend, and I plan to stick to it.

And can I just tell you all how awesome my new computer is? I just finished transferring all of the files over from my old clunker, which I'm about to send the way of the neighbourhood hobos. I'm currently downloading music from itunes and working at the same time, and it hasn't slowed down any. Duo processors rule! Money is going to be a bit tight this month due to the purchase, but it was totally overdue, and totally worth it.

Currently downloading: Chambermaid Swing by Parov Stelar. Check it out.

Friday, April 03, 2009

home cooking

This money diet tip should be super obvious - cook yer own darn food! You can cook fabulous meals at home for a fraction of the price you would pay going out, and have fun too! Paul and I eat out a handful of times a year - typically on our anniversary, and maybe one or two other times. We really love cooking together, and lately we've been on a kick of trying all kinds of new recipes and building a bigger repertoire. Last weekend on Sunday we made a delish and healthy lentil soup with kale and tomatoes, and as an accoutrement we made these awesome baked polenta fries, and whipped up a chipotle lime sauce for dipping them in. OMFG were they ever good. One of our neighbourhood watering holes has polenta fries, but these home made ones were thinner and crisper and healthier being that they were baked and not deep fried. And they were so easy! I made the whole batch of polenta but we ended up making only about half of it into fries, and freezing the rest for future polenta fries emergencies. I'm sure the recipe could be easily veganized, but I did use the milk and Parmesan as specified. Try them out! Easy! Tasty! Gluten free! And polenta is cheap cheap cheap!

C&T - these are soooo going to make a hockey night appearance in your pad when I'm visiting!