Austerity and cooperation unrelated to ‘The Fiscal Cliff’.*

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My finances are a mess, so it’s gonna be a pretty austere 2013. Which is really fine, because I have been living beyond my means for far too long, and have lived on far less. As I just had a holiday, and have (some) clothes to get me through the coming months, this’ll mostly come down to cutting down on entertainment and food. The latter, I’m pretty good at. Or was.

In my poorest days, in grad school, I almost ate best, because I was very careful about getting nutrients I needed, tracked my caloric intake, and made very sure that I got enough protein (I was about 95% vegetarian back then). I also, because of monetary constraints, walked everywhere. And ate a lot of Penguin biscuits because they were always on sale. (I have noticed in the last couple of years that I am now nearly immune to the multiple aisles of sugary snacks in UK supermarkets. I’m not that interested in sweet treats, unless they are homemade. I’m more a salty snack person, but even then, I’m not really one for chips/crisps most of the time.)

Anyway, despite the work involved, I’m a little excited, because I actually LIKE menu-planning and suchlike, as much as I can be incredibly lazy about it. Why? Well, the time element is part of it, but largely it is frustrating, because my food tastes and my brother’s are pretty disparate (yes, I live with my brother, but it’s only a little weird); he survives largely on dairy products and starch and meat, whereas I eat salads out of big bowls and most of my workday snacks are fresh fruit or nut-based. He doesn’t eat fish. I do not eat red meat. I was going to make falafel the other day and he thought it was a side dish. He doesn’t dig quiche (though he makes a fine omelette) and doesn’t like soup (!!!!). He’s not really big on homemade bread that isn’t a plain white loaf, but I’m making a rye one tonight anyway.

What that means is that it’s tricky to make big batches of things, because, generally, I will be the only one eating them. And I get sick of things quite easily. There are worse problems to overcome, so I’m willing to get experimental. I love spending a weekend afternoon doing food prep for much of the week; it means losing hours reading food blogs and cookbooks is actually bettering my life, instead of just making me drool. Which covers some of the no-budget-for-entertainment problem by being free.

Of course, on the first work day of the year, I left my lunch salad at home. Ah well. It’s undressed and will keep until tomorrow.

* I hate this phrase so much. Almost as much as I hate the politicians who proudly proclaim that they aren’t going to compromise or work with the opposing party. Goodness knows that governments shouldn’t have kindergarten levels of helpfulness and cooperation down, eh?

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