There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.
Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….
The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.
For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.
There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials. In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:
- Live in a smaller place. Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
- If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company. All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
- Drive a smaller car. Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine. If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
- Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
- Learn some DIY skills. You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners. It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
- Cut out impulse purchases. On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like. All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
- Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place. A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Don’t try to buy love. It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
- Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies. You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
- Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
- Buy generic brands. Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content. Only the packaging is different.
- If you can, then buy in bulk.
- Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch. Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway. And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
- Don’t join a gym. Most of the people who have gym membership never go there. For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
- Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
- Don’t give to a big charity. (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves? The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
- Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.
And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest. Credit cards are NOT money. Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.
You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own. For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked. Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.
Some say that money can’t buy happiness. And that a fool and his money are soon parted. All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.
you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..
Good food is as welcome as the flowers in May.
It must be a couple of months since I last wrote a Food on Friday post so for today I originally decided that I was just going to choose some recipes that I really like the sound of, rather trying to stick to a theme.
Well actually, there will be a bit of a theme, I wanted to feature dishes which are pretty easy, don’t take so long to prepare, and will taste really good on a warm, early summer day. But, quite by accident there’s a lot of avocado this week. Must be something to do with some Mexican festival that happens tomorrow.
First up this week, from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest, we have these cool baked egg crepes with spring herbs and avocado. You should really make your own crepes, but you can buy crepes at stores like Trader Joe’s, and just assemble the fillings. This 25 minute dish will make a great brunch on any nice early summer’s day.
Baked Egg Crepes with Spring Herbs and Avocado
From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a nice recipe collection; 8 fast pasta dishes for busy weeknights. Here in England we don’t go much on Mac and Cheese, but from this collection there’s this super looking creamy broccoli mac and cheese. Qucik, easy, healthy, and nutritious.
Creamy Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Joy the Baker has this dangerous sounding dish; mango and jalepeno guacamole. I suspect that you’d want to accompany this with beer, rather than tequila.
Mango and Jalepeno Guacamole
Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks has this nice and very easy dish; taco stuffed avocados ~ and you couldn’t get much more Cinco de Mayo than that. (Actually, I’m English and I know damn-all about Mexican food, or Cinco de Mayo.)
Taco Stuffed Avocados
And now for something completely different; Heather Christo has this brilliant idea which should appeal to all American men ~ the DIY guacamole bar. (At least it should keep the guys out of trouble for a while.)
DIY Guacamole Bar
And now, to celebrate National Guacamole Day, we give you 10 amazing guacamole recipes, brought to you by Shape magazine. This collection includes the amazing celery-spiked guacamole with chiles from bon appétit.
Celery-Spiked Guacamole with Chiles
Finally for this week, and realising that for those of you in the USA the 5th of May is a bit of a holiday, with a slight Mexican touch. From Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have 8 ways to show your love of avocados this Cinco de Mayo. Leaving aside a great recipe for guacamole, this collection also includes this interesting chicken posole salad ~ what a smashing idea, and wouldn’t the leftovers be good for lunch at work the following day?
Chicken Posole Salad
Just in case you’re not already satiated with avocado, check out 52 genius ways to get your avocado fix, from delish magazine. This also has lots of guacamole recipes, including BLT guacamole ~ and how cool is that?
Marmaduke is not a big fan of avocado
Is your lunch at work healthy and nutritious enough?
What do you eat for lunch at work? Leftovers, a packed lunch, a burger, sushi, or do you eat out at some greasy Mexican diner / restaurant? You know what? Whether you sit at a desk all day, work in a factory, or outdoors, your working life is unhealthy enough without you adding junk food into the mixture.
Regularly eating lunch out is just about the unhealthiest thing you can do during your working week. If you want to spend less money and become healthier, there’s one easy way to do it: stop eating lunch out. But, never, ever, eat your lunch at your desk ~ it’s disgusting and very unhealthy too.
Even though taking leftovers, or preparing your own packed lunch may seem healthy, nutritious, and good for you, a lot of the time what you’re eating for your lunch at work probably doesn’t contain what you need for optimal functioning. Dietician Susie Burrell has some ideas for what makes a perfect packed lunch, and so do the cooks we follow on this blog.
First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious who offers us 15 quick and easy lunch recipes that you are especially designed to take to work with no hassle, no more ordering out, and no more overspending at some unhealthy restaurant. From Chungah’s list of 15 easy lunch recipes I especially like her steak fajita salad.
Steak Fajita Salad
This is a very healthy, tasty, and nutritious lunch idea from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower: roasted asparagus mushroom quiche. This is easy to make and would be perfect for a weeknight dinner as well as something to take to work for lunch~ to be eaten either hot or cold. You can also freeze a quiche.
Roasted Asparagus Mushroom Quiche
If the weather is warm where you are you may want to have a salad at lunchtime, but don’t buy a pre-prepared salad, make your own. San Diego girl Averie Sunshine has 30 best easy healthy salads on her blog Averie Cooks; including this great looking loaded chicken taco salad with creamy lime-cilantro dressing. And, all Averie’s recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare ~ she says you can make this fabulous salad in 15 minutes.
Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing
There is no getting away from it, a sandwich makes a good packed lunch, and this is a good sandwich. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked harvest we have this Tuscan tuna sandwich, using ciabatta, tuna in oil, sliced avocado, cucumber, egg, arugula, purple cabbage, and feta ~ it should be nutritious enough, and other than the hard boiled egg, nothing needs to be cooked.
Tuscan Tuna Sandwich
If you have a microwave in your lunch room then a good soup is something you can prepare in advance and take to work for lunch. Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats has a recipe for easy lemon chicken soup, that more than fits the bill. If you pick the right ingredients you can have this soup ready in 30 minutes!
Easy Lemon Chicken Soup
Another nourishing soup recipe, this time by Joy Manning at thekitchn.com ; chicken lentil soup. It’s amazing what you can do if you buy a rotisserie chicken.
Chicken Lentil Soup
I have never featured anything from Cosmopolitan before, but there’s always a first time for everything. So, from Cosmo, we have here 17 healthy packed lunch ideas for work. Of this list I quite like #17 the grilled chicken and vegetable bowls, originally from Picky Palate. Allegedly these are less than 500 calories and cost less than $5 per bowl ~ how cool is that?
A big thank you to all the great cooks featured this week.
Cooking can be fun, washing up almost always isn’t.
In my view, one pot meals are the way to go, particularly if you’re busy with work and everything. There’s nothing worse than taking your plate to the sink after dinner, and then realising you also have a mountain of dirty pots and pans to wash up in the aftermath. I don’t know anyone who gets their kicks from tackling a mountain of washing up.
So, why not give some of these great one pot recipes a try.
This is a nice looking recipe for a dish I really like. From No Plate Like Home we have one pot thick New England clam chowder. This is also known as Boston Clam Chowder and it’s a perfect winter comfort food you can make in one pot in under an hour.
One Pot Thick New England Clam Chowder
Another fabulous one pot soup this time from Dana at Minimalist Baker. This hearty chipotle black bean tortilla soup needs just 50 minutes and one pot to prepare, and Dana says it’s very ‘hands off’. This Mexican-inspired soup is also vegan and gluten-free. How cool is that?
Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup
This is a dish I must try, from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have this one pot chili cheese pasta. Looks like a great recipe you can make in one pot in one hour, and while it’s cooking you can prepare some salad to go along with it. Also what a great dish for taking leftovers to work for a nourishing lunch.
One Pot Chili Cheese Pasta
Not only is this a one pot meal from Teighan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, you should be able to prepare this one pot 30 minute creamy tomato basil pasta bake in less than a half-hour. There are quite a few ingredients involved, but I think it would be well worth it.
One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake
This is a more ambitious one pot meal from Simply Recipes, a Moroccan pot roast, originally posted by Sally Vargas. This is going to take you some 3 hours to prepare, so it’s probably not an everyday meal ~ unless you use your slow cooker? But for a one pot weekend dinner for you and your guests it looks fantastic. The spice mixture should please everyone, (almost everyone).
Moroccan Pot Roast
This is a meal I wanted to feature; slow cooker beef stew with dumplings, just because it reminds me of my misspent youth. I eventually found a recipe on the Good Housekeeping site ~ which is worth visiting anyway.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Dumplings.
For those of us who love recipe collections, we have this from Country Living; 33 quick and easy one-dish meals, and there are some great and some fabulous recipes in this collection. Among all the dishes I would like to have featured is this cilantro lime chicken and rice, from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb.
One Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken & Rice
Comfort food is absolutely moving upscale.
Here in England the weather outside my garret is cold, dark, frosty, wet, and very windy. Like a lot of people around here I’ve just got over the flu, and I still feel cold and shivery. What I need to eat most is something hot, nourishing, and comforting ~ like a bowl of home-made soup.
These great soup recipes are mostly easy to make, don’t cost so much, but are absolutely upscale meals you could serve to any guest.
Ergo, first up this week, from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats, we have this silky ginger sweet potato soup. I love the idea of adding fresh ginger to a soup recipe. This recipe is vegan I think.
Silky Ginger Sweet Potato Soup
Another pretty soup, this time from Petra at Food Eat Love; celeriac and cumin soup with watercress. This looks as though it would keep us warm in the cold winter nights. Cumin is an interesting spice with lots of health benefits.
Celeriac and Cumin Soup with Watercress
Chungah at Damn Delicious has this great recipe for roasted cauliflower soup, with lots of garlic and herbs. Looks fabulous to me!
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
From Amanda at Chez Le Rêve Français we have a recipe for fat-free potato and leek soup ~ and I do love leek and potato soup. This recipe is pretty easy, fat-free, and gluten-free. Oh so warming on a cold winter’s day.
Fat-Free Potato and Leek Soup
Dana at Minimalist Baker has a fantastic recipe for a 1-pot everyday lentil soup ~ and I do love one-pot recipes. This recipe uses just 10 ingredients and should only take you 30 minutes to make. If you don’t like lentils you could use white beans or chickpeas instead.
One-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup
Here’s a very interesting and filling soup from In Diane’s Kitchen; Cajun shrimp, hot sausage & pasta soup ~ Wow! This recipe is chock full of noodles, hot Italian sausage, shrimp, and a really great broth.
Cajun Shrimp, Hot Sausage, and Pasta Soup
And last but not least for this week we have a cool recipe from Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks; easy 30-minute homemade chicken noodle soup. I like easy recipes you can prepare in 30 minutes or less.
Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
A big thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday.
Marmaduke’s comfort food is
a couple of soft-boiled eggs
To me, good recipes are priceless
Well, I don’t know about you but I like it when I find a recipe collection post. It means that I can easily find a choice of ‘similar’ dishes to choose from. These posts are like miniature on-line cook books. How nifty is that?
Ergo, with that in mind all the posts featured this week are recipe collections.
To begin, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have 15 quick and easy healthy recipes. What could be better, and I do like the recipes we get from Damn Delicious. Among these 15 recipes is one for honey salmon in foil ~ and just how impressive is that for a quick and easy dish, (you should be able to make this in an half-hour).
Honey Salmon in Foil
Next, from San Diego girl Averie at Averie Cooks we have 15 skinny chicken dinners ready in 15 minutes… And these fast dishes are all healthy and gluten free. WOW! My pick from this collection is Averie’s easy 15-minute ranch chicken and vegetable skillet.
Easy Ranch Chicken and Vegetable Skillet
This is interesting from Heather Christo, who always gives us delicious allergen free recipes; healthy dinner ideas for dinner tonight! There are 10 recipes in this collection, and I have chosen to feature Heather’s grilled steak with arugula and cherry tomato and basil salsa. This should take about 35 minutes to make a fabulous dinner dish.
Grilled Steak with Arugula and Cherry Tomato and Basil Salsa
Sheet Pan Sticky Pomegranate Chicken
Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has given us her 17 most popular recipes of 2017… This includes her peaches and cream steel cut oatmeal, and if I was ever going to eat oatmeal I would choose this dish.
Peaches and Cream Steel Cut Oatmeal
Now here’s a big recipe collection from Jessica at How Sweet Eats; 18 weeks of healthier meal ideas! 126 of my favorite weeknight meals. Fabulous! From Jessca’s long list I just had to feature the rosemary chicken, bacon and avocado salad. I know that in some parts of the world it may not feel quite warm enough to have a salad for dinner, but I know my friend in Orange County will like this dish.
Rosemary Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad
Finally for this week, from Country Living, we have 95+ easy dinners that can be made in 30 minutes or less. Talk about a recipe collection! I confess I almost didn’t make it past the first recipe for stovetop chicken pot pie before choosing a recipe to feature. But, as a change from chicken we have 20 minute honey garlic shrimp from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
20 Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp
nice cook book for you
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