It has just become May, and May is almost June, and June is high heat summer time. Certainly in California, my cold Wisconsin native blood is positively palpitating under this CA sun! Time to wear as little as possible and nurse my muscle children with cold sweet treats. Problem, I’m on a budget. Tank tops and daisy dukes necessitate smooth skin. Cool, summer friendly meals usually mean tons of fruit. If you have not noticed, both fruit and hair removal are expensive. How to cope?
A while ago I mentioned the shaving/waxing high cost problem. Previously I’d buy a cartridge or so of razors a month, which with four blades cost me $10. Waxing cost more, using my preferred brand of Veet wax strips. Creams and hot wax are less expensive, but once you receive both a chemical burn and a legitimate burn on your face, you become leery of the alternatives.
Two boxes of Veet from Safeway cost $16 a month. That’s $26 a month, or over $6 a week in shaving costs. That’s like four boxes of mac and cheese, my grapefruit, extra kale, or a couple smoothies! In regards to the razors, I never knew that there was a better alternative until my boyfriend (Mr Message Man) told me about Dorco. By buying razors online, straight from the manufacturer, I can spend $35 for a year’s supply. That’s tax reimbursement, I don’t even notice the cost any more sort of savings. With that in mind, and the heat index rising, I went online to try and reduce the cost of my favorite wax strips. My mouth almost fell open when I discovered that with amazon subscribe and save, I could buy two boxes of my Veet strips for $9. Safeway charged me $8 for ONE! That’s almost a savings of 50%! Needless to say, I went in on it. $26/month to about $9 a month and I’m feeling good.
But what about some summertime food variety? In the past I did a lot of baking with flour, since I had it laying around for my break baking habit. I made tortillas, and crepes, and all sorts of things. Now however, I have oatmeal and a limited fruit supply. I want to increase my variety while still using the same foods I often just have lying around. And NO FLOUR! I initially despaired, but after some research I’m feeling quite confident. The first thing I tried this week was overnight oatmeal. It’s cold and can be sweet, a perfect summertime treat. I was skeptical that anything I made with non-instant oats would be slimy and not… cooked. But the results were pleasantly surprising. I had some left over smoothie from my almost weekly smoothie binge at the grocery store, and invented the dairy free PB&J smoothie overnight oatmeal bowl. Quite good. It just goes to show you that with the same money saving ingredients, you can have unlimited variety. All it takes is some creativity, and dedication.
This Week in Updates: Cheap peanut butter and expensive grapefruit
Wow P3BG you spent so much money this week! Now wait, wait a minute here, for your information I still made my weekly budget. Noticed the circled items. They came out of my recreational budget. Yes I have a separate budget for going out to eat and gardening supplies. And I was working this Friday so I didn’t go out. I could have went and bought myself a meal for $8 or so, but I had been craving smoothies all week. So I bought $8 worth and have been blissfully drinking myself into a happy smoothie coma all weekend. I have high hopes for my little tiny square of the planter box my landlord just moved in. I bought a few cherry tomato plants, basil, and (of course) thyme. Kale would be nice, but you need a lot of space to really give yourself a steady supply of kale. My theory is that tomato plants and spices are very space and cost efficient. How much does it cost for a bunch of organic basil for one serving of pesto? My thoughts exactly.
Another thing I did this week was out of sheer laziness, bought my grapefruit again at the co-op. I guess they were a little bigger this week, so my extra $2 turned into an extra $5-$10 for grapefruit!? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, and even if they are more yummy than Safeway, I am NOT doing that again. Luckily the cost balanced out because I noticed that the grind it yourself peanut butter at the co-op was made with American peanuts. Note: a lot of grind yourself peanuts at stores come from foreign countries. Thus, I decided to give that a try and see if I saved any money. I got about a jar’s worth of organic peanut butter for $5, which is $2 cheaper than Safeway organic brand. Not too shabby. It’s amazing how much there is to learn and discover when one is trying to buy organic on debtor’s budget!
The Recipe: PB&J Smoothie Overnight Oatmeal
The rule of thumb with overnight oatmeal seems to be equal amounts liquid and dry oats. A lot of recipes call for milk and yogurt, but I’ve just proved that you don’t need either!
½ cup dried oats
½ cup strawberry smoothie
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons flaxseed
Mix the smoothie and the oatmeal together and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning, mix in peanut butter, flaxseed, and enjoy! It really tastes exactly like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.