Home economics.


It’s smart to not live beyond one’s means. I have not been smart. I need a budget. As the actual ‘You Need a Budget’ app is not available for Chrome OS, I am working on my own small steps.

Biggest investment/success into this new frontier: A laptop lunch kit and a set of extra containers. Total cost: $34.

Give me a toy, and I will use it. It’s like a puzzle of food! Who doesn’t want that?

First day’s attempt from last month:

Not every day is a success, of course. Sure, it’s all well and good and noble to make one of the big containers a celery receptacle, but woman cannot live by celery (and some chili) alone. Last weekend’s falafel experiment was more or less a crumbly bust. Onward and upward, though.

I think that next weekend I will pretend that we’re in full autumn cool, weather-wise, and make maple-y baked beans.

Until I got this thing in early August, I probably bought two lunches a week, at a cost of $8-15 a pop, so it’s already paid for itself. I bought three lunches in the last three weeks of August. My goal for September is to bring my lunch every day.

To that end, yesterday, I made two kinds of slightly whatever-the-South-Asian-equivalent-of-gringo curry (a disappointingly soupy (added too much vegetable broth), but still tasty, vegetable korma and chana masala with spinach) and a big batch of rice/quinoa that’ll get me through the four-day workweek (plus today’s lunch) at a total cost of about $12. Might boost things with a kale salad like 2013’s best hipster wannabes.

This is nearly dull to me, even though I am thrilled, so it can only be unbelievably boring to you.

I have also delved hardcore into the world of flyers in the last few weeks, so I might be quickly turning into my droning, bargain-hunting-obsessed redneck uncle. (“Marg was only $2 at the Giant Tiger! Can you imagine?”)

(Seriously, though, why haven’t paper towels been on sale anywhere?)

Long ago, I promised to post budget-y recipes I have used. Maybe this will come to pass soon. Stay tuned.

Speaking of food, kinda, fell into an internet rabbit hole about Soylent this morning, starting with this Vice video/article. I’ve been reading about this stuff for more than a year in a casual observer way, but the deeper one goes, the more it becomes clear that the culture is ridiculous. The future is a pasty, lonely, and allegedly potentially lead-poisoned place.

But, good news: If you’re on a budget, there is a plethora of DIY Soylent recipes, most of which generally seem to involve grinding a Costco multivitamin into a mix of oil, oats, protein powder, and stabilizers. Mmm.

(I will smugly pretend that my near-daily smoothies don’t contain some, and occasionally most, of those things.)


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