Sunday, March 15, 2009

$3.33 a day: A little vent and food

Lasagna

I am staying at my old house (and have been for several days as my X is out of town).. I've brought tons of my own food over to use, but made use of some lasagna noodles he had. Everything else is from my own house. I made a filling of collard greens, tvp, tomato powder, onion, garlic, spices and a bunch of white beans To top it off, I made some sunflower/white bean cheese which worked well. I wasn't sure my kids would like it, but they did.. I didn't tell them it was vegan. That makes all the difference I think.

I have around 2 cups of the filling leftover and I am going to turn it into burgers for the week.

This was just a simple veggie soup. I used frozen mixed veggies, potatoes, tomato powder, onion, garlic, noodles, tvp, kidney beans and kale.

Crockpot Baked Beans

I still have my big crockpot at the house, so I made use of it. First, I cooked the beans on the stove then placed them in the slow cooker with a homemade bbq sauce.. YUM!

I am committed to sticking to my plan of only spending $60.00 this month on food. I want to add the leftover $40 to my bulk fund. (not to mention, the less I spend, the better.. I am trying not to FREAK OUT right now.. it is hard to not let stress take over. I can't believe that BOTH my X and I are out of work)

I digress.... back to my budget.. obviously I am doing this because I HAVE TO. This is not just a fun little project I've decided to dream up and I can go back to my normal life when it's over..

... Do I sound bitter? I'm trying not to be..

I wish people would actually READ what I write and why I'm doing this before sending me insensitive emails!

Sorry...

BACK TO MY BUDGET.. I spent $2.28 today on another huge bunch of collards and 7 LBS potatoes! I got 7 lbs of potatoes for $.99 in the reduced produce bin!!

Spent this month: $45.09

I have $14.91 left for the month and I KNOW I can do it!

Julie of Everydaydish.com sent me a tofu mold and some coagulant! How AWESOME is she?? Thank you so much Julie! I am going to make my own tofu this week!

I've also got another tofu sub in the works right now! I love the blogosphere so much.. every day I learn new things and this method of making split pea tofu sounds awesome! As of now, it reminds me of polenta, so I'd imagine the 'tofu' will be like polenta croutons.. and that's fine! I just want another cheap protein source that I can make at home that is not SEITAN! I have tons of ideas for this.

All in all, as much as I really really want a job cooking vegan (or vegetarian) food, I may have to suck it up and find some shit job that I hate for a while. We'll see what happens..

I am soooooooo passionate about what I do... and love it so much. I just think I'm in a very bad area for opportunities. I haven't hit up Boston yet... it's a bit far to commute for any length of time, but I would definitely consider working there now and moving in June when my lease is up. I want to be in the same town as my kids, but they are much older (15 and 17 and my 17 year old is graduating this fall)... and if I have to move a little over an hour away, then so be it.

I'm still working hard on my E-book and hope to have it up for sale by April 30 at the latest.. (I am shooting for April 15)...

If you're still reading, thanks for listening to me vent!

35 comments:

  1. The lasagna looks amazing... but then again, so does everything else!

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  2. I admire you, Mel. I would have undoubtedly given myself ulcers by now if I had to go through the same thing. I sincerely hope you get to find a job you really want rather than something you'd have to put up with until something better comes along. best of luck to you!

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  3. I'm sorry if people are being insensitive :( I love your blog, and the idea of saving money is on everyone's mind right now. My fiance and I are spending $40/week on food, household goods, and pet supplies (2 cats, 2 dogs) and it is HARD. I really admire what you're doing -- and the variety of your diet on a budget is SO impressive!!

    Best of luck to you, I KNOW you can find something. Even if you have to put up with a not-stellar job for a bit, something you love will come along :)

    (and that lasagna is to die for!)

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  4. I still can't believe people say mean things to you. Again, I say, even if you didn't HAVE to do it, if you COULD do it, it would be a smart thing to do.

    You rock!

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  5. That lasagna...wow!!! Everything you make looks so sublime.

    The best of luck to you.

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  6. You are such an amazing person. What you're doing right now is very hard, and you're doing it wonderfully! It's hard to believe anyone would say mean things about what you're doing.

    Keep your head up and something will come along soon.

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  7. Don't freak out, dear Mel - all will work out, I know it!!! Stay strong.

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  8. I'm sorry people are being horrible to you. Why do folk have to do that? I think you're doing very well indeed. I've just recently found your blog and am very impressed with the wonderful meals you come up with.

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  9. I really commend you as well. I just recently found your blog after searching for cheap vegan food. My husband and I are going to be attending college in the fall and I've been frightened of how to stay vegan (he's vegetarian, I'm a new vegan because of allergies) but I've been a bit afraid of what food budget we will (or won't) have. You have been doing a spectacular job, and extra kudos to you for being a vegan chef!

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  10. Nobody better send mean emails to my Melody! It's not nice, and trust me, neither am I. [I'm a little bit possessive.]


    Grezzo — Boston
    Grezzo — Boston
    Grezzo — Boston

    Hmmm, is there an echo in here??

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  11. That lasagna looks amazing! I can't believe what you're able to create on such a strict budget. BWT I made your chipolte split-pea soup last night and we loved it! Even my super-picky toddler had seconds. :)

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  12. I'm so sorry that people are being asses, however I guess that's their perogative. All you can do is stay positive, remember you're not alone in your situation and remember how much inspiration your amazing recipes and outlook on life provides to people like me. DJ xo

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  13. Venting is good sometimes! I hope you feel a little better :o) I am so sorry about the job market...my job is ending soon, and I am looking as well, and it is NOT a good time for job searching. I feel your pain and wish you the best of luck.

    On a brighter note, would you mind sharing your recipe for baked beans?! I have not been able to find a recipe I like and have been searching for years! I love baked beans, and do like the vegetarian canned brands, but avoid them like the plague as most of them have corn syrup in them :o( I would love to try your recipe!

    Thanks
    Courtney

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  14. The food you post is always so colorful and appealing. I'm really hoping you find a job doing what you love.

    And venting is good. Venting helps to head off a big explosion. It's clear from all of your posts that what you're doing is out of necessity, very difficult and not just a fun project. Ignore the insensitive boors and keep doing the best you can. Best wishes for a good job to come your way.

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  15. You are great, don't listen to any haters. People are so ignorant sometimes! Your meals look amazing! Love that lasagna! Mmm! Cheer up, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

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  16. Insensitive emails??? Boo! You are a budgeting rock star, and the reason doesn't matter!

    We can all learn a little lesson from this, and know that we don't HAVE to spend tons of money to eat well!

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  17. Sorry to hear about all of the insensitive emails Melody. I really don't understand it at all. You have an inspiring blog!

    I can't wait to see your homemade tofu. Your lasagna looks delish!

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  18. Some people are just clueless, and you must ignore them! You're an inspiration, both to others in a similar situation and those of us who actually want to budget voluntarily! I find so many fabulous ideas on your blog. And venting is much, much better than keeping it inside and giving yourself uclers! I think you'd be amazing working as a chef.

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  19. You guys are awesome! Thank you for the supportive comments... I should know better than to let people get to me!

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  20. You are amazing and please don't listen to anyone who sends insensitive emails or comments. When they do that, its their problem not yours.
    I love your food and pictures. Hope you are able to get a job soon...one that you love.

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  21. big bear hugs to you, Melody! and hang in there. things will get better & start looking up - i just know they will! and you can vent all you want - we're here to listen! :)

    your lasagna looks stunning, and i'm all about your simple soup, too! what a great score on the potatoes - and i'd love to see all the awesome you can come up with on the split pea tofu/polenta idea! yay!

    i'm sending happy thoughts your way & keeping my fingers crossed that a rock'n job that you'll love finds its way to you super soon!

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  22. it must be hard...everyone's budgets are tight right now. i've been shopping at less expensive stores and looking at the prices of EVERYTHING i buy. i do have a job right now but it's at a catering company where my work is very sporadic and shared with many other people. so i'm barely making anything. but i do really admire what you're doing, and how you share it with everyone else.

    i'm also impressed with your cooking! so many interesting combinations to make vegan substitutes for non-vegan food. and leftovers are my favorite :)

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  23. See, you're great and everybody knows it! Keep your chin up and keep doing what you love...cooking yummy vegan food and taking awesome pictures of it!

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  24. I love your blog and I love your recipes and I love that you share it all with us. Thank you.

    Try not to listen to the mean people.

    Remember the old saying: Mean people suck!

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  25. I love your blog! I discovered it a couple of weeks ago. Your photos are excellent.

    Instead of Boston, which is expensive and mean, have you considered Portland, Maine (the original Portland)? There's a growing, active vegan scene there, and several vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants that might be hiring. It's only an hour north of Portsmouth (same as Boston), and no crazy traffic.

    Good luck!

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  26. Sorry people are being dicks. Your blog is great and extremely helpful and inspirational to those of us in harder economic times.

    Keep being awesome, and try not to get bogged down in life <3.

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  27. i hope you find some work that you enjoy. your persistence is admirable!

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  28. Sorry to hear about your emails. I really enjoy reading your blog, I love your tips and meal ideas and I am really looking forward to your ebook! I can imagine that you have a really hard time but I also think, from what I can see, you are making the best of it.
    I hope you will find a job soon.

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  29. It's a shame how few people actually take the time to read blogs before commenting or passing judgment... I'm sorry that you've gotten such nasty emails because of it! Really though, I think that they must be jealous that you're proving that it's possible to live so frugally, and they would just prefer to bitch and moan about how terrible their own situation is instead of taking any action to improve it.

    Anyway, enough rambling. You show them how it's done, your food always looks amazing no matter how limited the means to make it!

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  30. Anonymous3:43 AM

    Your meals are awesome. Being compassionate and avoiding waste is what each one of us should be doing. Unemployed or not.

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  31. I'm sorry people are sending insensitive emails! With 3 kiddies of my own and being a stay at home Mum I'm always looking for ways to budget our food intake. To be honest though, I'd never know you were budgeting carefully by your meals! They're wonderful looking!

    I'm glad the split pea polenta worked so well for you, thanks for letting me know you made it :D

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  32. Anonymous8:53 PM

    sorry that people are being insensitive. for what it's worth, I think you're doing an amazing job. I'm sorry about your financial situation, but I'm also ridiculously impressed with the gorgeous, delicious-looking, well-balanced meals you've been able to put together on such a tight budget. best of luck with everything!

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  33. Yep, still reading and still drooling :) Keep up the good work!!

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  34. Anonymous5:08 PM

    I absolutely love your blog. I'm living off of student loans and it has inspired me to take the time to plan ahead and make better budgeting choices instead of going with pre-packaged meals. I can't wait for the e-book.

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