Walking on Sunshine

Posts tagged ‘Thrift’

BookFinder.com: Search for New & Used Books, Textbooks, Out-of-Print and Rare Books

BookFinder.com: Search for New & Used Books, Textbooks, Out-of-Print and Rare Books.

I’m not entirely sure how I found this – just be grateful that I did!  It’s basically a price-comparison tool for books.  And only books.  You can specify your location and whether you want new or used (or either) and then it trundles off and works out the cheapest option.  It even takes the shipping cost into account.  Who said bookishness isn’t frugal?

What’s Cooking?

Cooking is healthy, thrifty and fun.  Plus you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour (ask me why I need to slim …)  I’m in a transitional phase of my dieting efforts and will be making a post on the subject in the near future.  At the moment, I have a thumping headache and am rapidly losing my language skills in the way that only a fellow migraine sufferer will understand.  But moving swiftly on …

I really enjoy cooking.  And it’s not just because I like eating, honestly!  I enjoy the process, from picking out a recipe to finding ingredients, preparing them, watching the oven, presenting the food and, yes, I do enjoy the eating.  The washing up is less fun.  For a while there, I was eating only out of packets but I’ve managed to move beyond that and am cooking regularly again.  I’ve just done my menu-planning and online shop for next week and thought it might be fun to incorporate a cookery thread on this blog.  I tend to cook lots and freeze it and then eat from the freezer until it’s about empty before doing another shopping and cooking and freezing … you get the picture.  I don’t always shop or cook every week – it depends what’s in the freezer which depends on how hungry I am(!), how many portions a recipe made, whether I like it, whether I’m home, etc.  So I’m not going to promise you a regular thread on this one (and you all know how reliable I am, anyway!)  But, each time I menu-plan, I will let you know what I’m planning to cook in the week ahead and invite you to do likewise in comments.

Here’s the first instalment:

  • Sweet Potato Soup
  • Chunky Minestrone Soup
  • Cream of Tomato Soup
  • Mixed Vegetable Skinny Soup
  • Quorn Penne Bolognese
  • Smoked Haddock Gratin
  • Kofta Curry
  • Butternut Squash Pappardelle

Now, if that little lot doesn’t keep me fed for a week or two I shall want to know the reason why!

What’s cooking in your house?

Virtual Vegetarian?

I wasn’t going to write about this.  In fact, I told another blogger when I commented on her blog that I wouldn’t.  But then I went out in the wind and the rain (library trip, pharmacy trip) and thought:  Why not?

I’ve been virtually vegetarian before.  And I did quite well.  I lost weight, saved money.  Both of which are good.  But I was eating some really weird things.  I’m used to cooking from scratch but with meat and I know roughly what goes with what so I can throw together a chilli without too much thought.  Vegetarian cooking was a closed book to me, I didn’t know what went with what and I had some real disasters.  So, eventually, I gave up – I was throwing too much food away and eating out of packets which, in my opinion, defeated the point.

So now I’m back at SlimmingWorld and I sat down last night to make a menu plan.  And I thought:  Gosh, meat’s expensive.  And:  I wish I could afford organic/free-range.  And then I thought:  Why not go veggie?  You’re doing a menu plan anyway so you could cook from recipes (and thereby avoid the weird and inedible), save money and lose weight.  So I made a veggie menu plan and shopped today.  I’m planning to cook tomorrow and Sunday and then stick it all in the freezer to eat as ‘readi-meals’ through the week.  And, hopefully, by this time next week I’ll have lost a pound or two.

I do have two caveats to announce, however:

  1. I am not going fully vegetarian.  I prefer ‘Virtual Vegetarian’ which, to me, means I can eat meat/meat products if I want to.  So, while I wouldn’t go out and buy 1lb of steak for dinner, I will eat steak at a family dinner if that’s what the hostess serves.  I’m also not reading my food-labels to check for the animal additives that lurk at the end of the list.  According to The Vegetarian Society, I’m a ‘meat reducer’ rather than a vegetarian.  I don’t really care what you call it.  If I say ‘I’m never eating meat again,’ then I’ll be at Burger King before the hour is out.
  2. I am not putting a time limit on the change.  If I like it, if it works for me, then I may be virtually veggie forever.  If I don’t and it doesn’t then I could be going to the butcher’s in the middle of next week.

Blogging Without Obligation

Blogging Without Obligation

Blogging Without Obligation

Once again, I’ve neglected my blog.  I’m a great believer in Blogging Without Obligation but I’m still rather disappointed with myself.  My general idea for this site was that I’d always be busy with one of the areas it covers and, therefore, I’d always be updating at least one part of it.  But sometimes life just gets in the way, doesn’t it?  What I’d really like is to set up a posting schedule where each topic would be updated on a specific day of the week (or month) but I’m just not there yet.

So where am I?  Well, I’m still sick.  The Cold from Hell is just lingering.  I have a nasty cough and a tire very easily.  But I don’t have a chest infection and don’t need anti-biotics -I saw the Dr last week to check.  So, at the moment, I’m drinking cough medicine and waiting for it to get worse and need anti-biotics or go away.  I have a nasty feeling that I may be coughing all winter …

Crafts

My friend Liz and I finally made it back to the Glasgow Central Stitch’n Bitch on Sunday and it was really lovely just to hang out and knit.  We went up to Buchanan Galleries afterwards to look at crafty stuff and kitchen stuff and Christmas stuff.  I was delighted to find a Christmas gift for my parents but I’m not telling you what it is!

Today, I finished a cat blanket using two skeins of Rowan Little Big Wool in cream.  It then metamorphosed into a baby blanket for a friend who had a baby boy a couple of months ago.  Cat, baby, what the heck!  And I’m working on another blanket for another baby.  Bearing in mind that I don’t like babies and children I seem to be doing a whole lot of knitting for them just now …

Slimming

When I saw the Dr for my non-chest-infection, I asked him for some help with weightloss.  He’s started me back on Zenical and is doing an Exercise Referral for me.  And I’ve started back at SlimmingWorld.  Tonight is my first weigh-in but I’m not expecting great results as I’m still eating my way through the contents of the freezer and it’s not all diet-friendly.

Studying

This is a problem area.  I’m behind and have an essay due in on 3rd November.  Meanwhile, my mother’s not very well (she has cancer) and my concentration’s gone AWOL.  I’m also having problems with anxiety and will be phoning CPN D tomorrow (she’s not in the office today).  She will either tell me to grit my teeth and put up with it or prescribe Diazepam which will make me feel better but do nothing for the concentration.  Also, if I take that then I won’t be able to drive.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do about this situation.  I still want to go ahead with my Ten (or Eleven) Year Plan but I’m thinking that now might not be the time to pursue it.  If I can get the anxiety under control, I’ll phone my tutor (who seems lovely) and see if he has any words of wisdom.

Reading

Basically, I haven’t.  And I’m also now reminded that I haven’t renewed my library books and shall have to pay a fine …

Thrift

It is because of Thrift that I am making gifts for my friends’ babies rather than going shopping.  And it is because of Thrift that I am eating what’s in the freezer even though it’s not diet friendly.  Other than that, I’m dreading the arrival of the credit card bill.  Must try harder.

Sarah’s Baby Blanket WIP

Sarah's Baby Blanket

Sarah's Baby Blanket

This is a Crafty and a Thrifty posting – don’t you love 2-for-1 offerings?

My friend (LH) and I often get together to knit.  She’s a master-crafter and is always encouraging me to try new things.  I generally resist but, with my new Thrifty hat on, I’m going to be more receptive.  This, however, is another blanket project for my upstairs neighbour (DB) who has just become a Gran for the first time.  Mother and baby are both doing well and I’m knitting little Sarah a blanket.

Why is this Thrifty?  Well, LH and I decided to visit a new Stitch’n Bitch group on Sunday.  The group meets from 10am – 1pm downstairs in Borders, Glasgow and a very friendly group it is.  LH and I were warmly welcomed and spent a very pleasant couple of hours stitching (cat blanket for me, baby cardi for her) and singing along to The Beatles.

While we were working, the Organiser asked everyone to clear some space on the table and then produced a huge bag of stitchy goodies which had been donated to the group.  There was yarn-a-plenty, patterns and embroidery and cross-stitch kits, many of which hadn’t even been started.  Many thanks to the lady who provided them – I’m so sorry I don’t know your name.  My share of the goodies was eight balls of pink, 20% cashmere, 80% extrafine merino wool yarn, some of which is going into Sarah’s blankie.  And that’s why it’s a such a Thrifty gift – what I’m actually giving is a few hours of my time and no pennies.

According to the ball-band, the yarn knits to 14st and 20 rows for a 10cm x 10cm swatch with 6.5mm needles.  I’m a loose knitter (which sounds terrible!) and I’ve put it on 7mm needles so it’ll be light and airy for little Sarah.  I’ve cast on 42st so it’ll be +30cm wide.  There’s a 10 row band of garter stitch to start and then it’s stocking stitch but with the first and last seven stitches always knit (surely there must be a better way of writing that?) so that it’ll have a garter border all the way round.  I’ll work till it’s big enough and then finish with another 10 rows of garter.

So far, I’ve only worked on it for about two hours and I think it’s half-way done which is good since Sarah was born a couple of weeks ago.  It’s wonderfully soft and I’ve managed to keep it away from the cats – always a problem in a house full of blankies!

What are you working on?