Saturday, January 28, 2017

New Habits, New Savings

I love a good, hearty, spicy chili. It can be economical, particularly vegetarian versions, if made with rock bottom priced ingredients. I included my pantry chili recipe a few weeks back. Kitchen Quick and Convenient With the addition of meat, the cost doubles. In our house, it gets devoured fast as we eat in bowls, topped with cheese and sour cream, and saltine crackers for dipping. I  see others though post serving chili either as a topping for baked potatoes, or with a heaping portion of rice in the side. Rice and potatoes are pennies a serving, also good and hearty, so I imagine the cost per meal of chili is stretched farther. We like rice and potatoes; there's loads of protein in the chili already so looking at it as part of rather than the meal, makes sense.  Serving chili that way was never part of my habit and I've been missing out on the savings. Always serving a meal a certain way or not veering from my shopping habits, not only might be costing more, it deprives me from thinking creatively in the kitchen when funds are tight. Suddenly that leftover bowl of chili is dinner for three on top of a potato instead of merely lunch for one in a bowl. 

Lots of my habits, different but not necessarily better for me, are probably keeping me from maximizing my budget. I'm a very independent person, and married a very independent man. It's hard for either of us to reach out for help, even when we know it's not putting anyone out. Taxiing  DD2 is a good example. We'll jump through hoops arranging getting her to and from, not wanting to inconvenience someone else. Often, I'm  picking up and dropping off other kids. How hard, once in a while, would it have been for her to catch a ride with someone else? We have when really stuck, but a rare exception. Her friend's parents are all good  folks, and like us, would never let a kid be left behind, and are going the same place anyway. Independence is great, but overly self reliance might be a habit worth breaking. 

Transfer this example to other experiences such as buying or renting an item someone might just loan you use of. DH hates borrowing things, and we have several one or two use items in the garage because of that. I'm hoping in 2017 I'm much more intentional about being part of a sharing society, from ride shares, to household items, to talents.

Other spendy habits to break include automatically using my clothes dryer instead of hanging up items, running less than full dishwasher, throwing towels in laundry after one use (DH and DD2), only filling up tank when running low instead of cheaper gas days, and long hot showers (for my back). I'll pay attention to what else I do, just because I've always done it that way, and look at alternatives. Anyone else ditch any habits in return for savings of money or time? Is there a new way you've found to do something that works even better?

17 comments:

  1. This post rings so true with me too so thank you! It especially hit home about the driving the kiddos around. I do 99% of the driving of my youngest and friends but tend to feel badly if I ask someone else to bring her home. Like you said, all the parents are good people - I just don't want to inconvenience anyone. Moving forward, I'll have to change this once in awhile - particularly if I am having a "bad MS" day.
    I'm like you with the chili too! I was thinking about making chili tonight and am inspired to pull out some homemade chive waffles and try the chili and fixings on them!
    Thanks for getting my old brain thinking! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't blogs great for that? Half my posts are because something I read got me thinking differently. Chive waffles? They sound pretty darn upscale and delicious!

      Delete
    2. They were super easy actually! And, mine are pretty thick because my husband got me a Belgian waffle maker for Christmas. I think the chili would work perfect! I'll let you know! ;)

      Delete
  2. We like chilli in a Yorkshire pudding. Can you get such things in the US? It's like a large bowl made of batter!! Jx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny you should mention Yorkshire pudding. This is one of the recipes I've seen that I would like to make, but get confused with the UK measurements. Great idea.

      Delete
  3. My hubby is like that with borrowing too, except he will borrow from family, that is about it. I hate one use items. Even worse is when you have two of that item because you couldn't find the first one use item when you needed it a second time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DH is better with family, but very infrequently. HE also is very generous with his own things,his own hands of helping others, so it's not like he doesn't want to share.

      Delete
  4. You make many good points in this post. Some things I have already put into action - we only do a load of towels once a week and I keep my eye on gas prices every day. Tomorrow for dinner I'm digging out the frozen container of veggie chilli and throwing a couple potatoes in the oven! I don't know why I never thought of this before :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? Such a simple way to extend a meal, and so satisfying. We really need to get better on breaking some bad habits.

      Delete
  5. I try to save my "I need help" stuff for when I truly need it, because our lives are so unpredictable with work & my travel & my unreliable nanny. But, I'm with you - there's a lot of graciousness in both asking for & receiving help, and it's something I struggle with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I thought it was just our MN nice and aloofness! good to know others struggle, but yes, there is something nice in being needed, and I guess I don't give people the credit of when they offer help, they really mean it.

      Delete
  6. I haven't made chili for ages; I may remedy that in the coming week. I've always served it with rice, a baked potato or chips ( french fries)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, even more ways to add to the meal-the chips or french fries. It is probably your blog that I got the idea.

      Delete
  7. It's funny you talk about the clothes dryer. I'm a Brit but have lived in France almost 30 years and I don't know anyone who uses a clothes dryer. I have one but I can't remember when I last used it - I think my ex' cousin came over about 15-20 years ago and got soaked so I washed his clothes and put them in the dryer. In fact when I rang the electric company to see about lowering my monthly payments the first thing she asked was if I had a dryer "because they really push your bill up". I dry everything on racks (ok you have to have the room to do that) or outside on a whirligig line (not visible from the front of the house) and there is nothing quite like getting into bed with sheets that have been dried outside! Bliss. Oh, I am loving your blog by the way, I just haven't commented before. Anna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting and commentin-Your so nice.I live in a cold place but still no reason to not line dry when I can. I'm sure I waste energy and put more wear on clothes. Time to change.

      Delete
  8. I neither borrow or lend. My friend asked to borrow my new and very expensive loppers. I told her I would buy her a pair at the Dollar Store for $5 so we could stay friends. She had a creek and 1/4 mile of driveway filled with privet hedges. Two times she borrowed other things and never returned them to me. Well, she borrowed 12 pink plastic forks and returned six after promising me she would retrieve them from the trash if necessary. She borrowed a piece of pink fabric to fold for a runner on a party table. She returned it to me cut in squares and asked me to hem them for napkins. I knew she would destroy my loppers or leave them in the rain.

    So many things are never returned to me or are destroyed that I just don't lend. I refuse offers to lend things to me. Buying a one-use item is cheaper in the long run than losing things that must be replaced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Sorry that has been your experience. I guess my motto is return better than when borrowed and must have people in my life with same as have not had that problem. Other than in my own house with my scissors and Sharpie marker-rarely get out back in same place.

      Delete

Join the conversation. Your respectful comments are welcome. Spam and advertising products or services without permission will be deleted, as will anything deemed hurtful to others. A change, I moderate comments older than three days to be sure I read them all and stay ahead of the spam. If you're a blogger, feel free to include your blog URL.