Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Ten Cent Dinner?!

Recently I have been trying to live on $10 or less per week of food. So far I have been successful for 5 weeks. Today for dinner I had some beans and rice that I had made a large quantity of a couple days ago. I also had green beans and broccoli that came from the garden at home so that was completely free. I would have much rather eaten takeout Chinese food and ice cream but sacrifices need to be made so I can save up to buy a house in the near future. I'm interested to see how long I can keep up this minimal food expenditure. Although just the thought of beans and rice now makes me feel ill. 

Here's a picture of my $0.10 dinner. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4th of July Weekend

Since I have a real job now I was unable to join everyone at the beach like I usually do. 

It still managed to be a good weekend though. Mike came to Blacksburg for the weekend. 

Friday night we went out to eat for my uncles birthday with my aunt and my grandmother at red lobster. 

Saturday evening we went to a picnic with some people from Catawba valley. 

Since my dad didn't go to the beach either he came to the picnic and talked with people he hadn't seen in over ten years. 

Later that evening we went to watch some fireworks. 

Sunday after church there was a free fried chicken lunch so we went to that (since I'm up for anything free)

Sunday evening Mike and I went for a walk (my idea). It started out nice and started to drizzle a little bit but we continued on. With over a mile left on the way back a torrential downpour came. It looked like I had jumped into a pool. There were sadly no pictures captured of this event. 
Mike made up for the walking disaster by grilling some of the best hamburgers I have ever had. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fresh Vegetables!

My vegetables are making some progress! 

This is my jalapeƱo pepper plant 

Some promising looking tomatoes

And a red bell pepper (I'm not sure when it's supposed to turn red)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Today's Deal

While shopping at a second hand clothing store today I found a nice dress for me to wear to work. 

It still had the tags on it and would have been $46 had I bought it at a retail store. The price I paid was just $8. A savings of $38! 

It always pays to check used clothing stores before paying full price. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Fresh Start

I have decided to try blogging once again on a more regular basis. The main goals of this blog will be to give details on how I make financial decisions to live a frugal but satisfying life while saving the majority of my salary. 
I recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Agricultural Economics. I have been working at a local bank now for half a month. 
Throughout this blog I will post budget friendly recipes, cheap grocery lists, saving tips, investing advice, DIY projects, book recommendations and the progress on my potted vegetables. (I can't have a garden since I live in an apartment). 

I can't wait until these tomatoes are ready to eat! I don't even like tomatoes all that much but it is so satisfying to know that I grew my own food on my own. 

I recently finished reading this book "The Cheapskate Next Door". I would recommend this to anybody who would like some advice on frugal living from real life "cheapskates". 

And finally, I recently finished listening to Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" c.d.'s. They were very informing and entertaining. I would recommend them to anybody who is willing to try to get out of debt. He has a 7 step "baby steps" guide: 

1. Put $1000 into an emergency fund 
2. Pay off debt using the "debt snowball" 
3. Add 3-6 months of expenses into the emergency fund 
4. Put at least 15% of your salary into retirement accounts 
5. Save for kids college 
6. Pay off house 
7. Build wealth and give! 

The CDs go much more into depth about these steps and there is also a lot of helpful information on the website
I also listen to his podcasts of his radio show daily. I usually learn something new every time I listen. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

I'm Back!

I've decided to start blogging again and hopefully I'll get around to keeping this fairly updated.
As many of you all know, my life has revolved around exercising and eating healthy for a little over a year now. I completed my first half marathon in October. Up to that point, my workouts consisted of nothing but running anywhere and everywhere. I could probably tell you the exact distance between any two points in this town. I took my running a little bit too far though. With all the calories I was burning, I wasn't eating enough to replenish myself so I lost quite a bit of weight. After the half marathon was over I knew something had to change so I decided to stop running and start lifting weights. The first month was tough. I felt so weak only using the 10 and 15 pound free weights. I had the most puny arms of anyone I'd ever seen. I kept at it though. I was in the weight room 5 days a week for 1-2 hours per day. As the months passed, I started noticing that my body was changing from that which probably looked like a 12 year old middle-schooler to one that looks like she might have a chance in an arm wrestling match.
Nowadays instead of having an apple and half a sandwich for lunch (like I used to) I try to eat 6 small meals a day every 2-3 hours. Yes, I do carry around a huge lunch box and eat cottage cheese or a salad in the middle of class. It takes some preparation and planning but it can be done!

These two pictures were during and after the half marathon. As you can tell, I was soaking wet, cold and completely miserable. 

This is after almost 5 months of lifting weights 8-10 hours per week. Believe it or not there is a 12 pound difference in these two sets of pictures. It just goes to show that not all weight gain is bad. It's something I have to constantly remind myself of. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

Tonight's dinner  was Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops. These are very simple to make and are extremely delicious. Here's how to make 'em:

  1. Whisk 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl
  2.  Mix 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese with 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I like the garlic flavored ones)
  3. Dip pork chops in egg mixture then the cheese/breadcrumb mixture
  4. Heat olive oil in skillet
  5. Put pork chops in skillet and fry each side until browned 
  6. Bake pork chops in oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes