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Lunch salad

Just thought I’d share what I’ve been bringing for my lunch. I really wanted to concentrate on eating something healthy and easy to make. And usually when I find something I like, I eat it until I get completely sick of it. Why? Because it’s cheaper to buy for just one kind of lunch each week. :)

So this is my salad with organic mixed greens (bought in a big container), 1 serving of peppered smoked salmon (80 grams), onion, cucumber, red pepper, raisins and sunflower seeds. Nothing fancy, I just threw a bunch of things in there and top it off with a low fat balsamic vinaigrette.

I find by adding the smoked salmon, I’m not hungry until dinner. Which is awesome. :) Oh, and last week for dinner one night BF was making steak, so I made my salad and added a few thin slices of the meat into my salad. That was pretty good too! I don’t see myself getting sick of this salad for at least another 2 weeks. And then once I am, I can just switch up the kind of salad that I’m making.

Apple Pie Recipe

A few of you have been asking for my apple pie recipe, so here it is! :) I make it every year for Christmas (along with a pumpkin pie) and it’s always a hit with my family. BF especially loves this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 recipe for a 9″ double crust pie (I use this recipe for every pie I bake)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Peel, core & slice apples. Put them in a bowl and add cinnamon & nutmeg
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, vanilla, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. You can add a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture if you want. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  4. Pour 3/4 of the melted sugar and butter mixture into the bowl with apples. Stir so that apples are covered evenly. Keep the rest of the sugar mixture warm on the stove.
  5. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust (although I usually just use a regular crust – lattice takes too long and I’m lazy). Gently glaze the sugar and butter mixtureover the crust.
  6. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Buying groceries together

Yesterday BF had to work until 7pm, so I picked him up and we went to Superstore to do our weekly grocery shopping. If you’re wondering how we’re doing managing our groceries together (since we eat different things and I was worried about how that would affect my grocery budget and what I eat), here’s what we’ve been doing to cut costs:

  • Buying all of our groceries separately. We buy our own lunch items, snacks, fruit, etc. … and then we split up what we need to buy for weekly dinners. We don’t go crazy and calculate down to the penny (I would if he’d let me!), but it ends up being pretty even. We do a good job of it. My weekly grocery bill usually comes to around $30-35, and his come to around $45-50. Which seems right since he much bigger than me, and therefore eats a lot more.
  • Shopping at Costco. Thankfully my mom has a Costco membership, so I get to be the secondary cardholder. We try to buy all of our meat from Costco, which saves a lot. Superstore is still pretty cheap compared to Safeway, but we don’t eat a lot of meat anyway. We also buy regulars like bagels, bread, wraps, granola bars, etc. Much cheaper to buy in bulk and then store in the freezer if we have to.
  • Meal planning. Last week we organized 4 meals. This week we’re going to plan our meals around what we have left in the fridge to use up from last week. Plus we have a frozen lasagna my mom gave us from a while ago (have to heat it up in the microwave, but that’s ok), pasta, and tons of burgers (meat for him, veggie for me) in the freezer.

The main thing that seems to be keeping our grocery bills low is the fact that we 1) no longer shop at Safeway and 2) have a full-sized fridge now. Safeway is disgustingly expensive (although it’s closer and a lot less crowded than Superstore – which is why we used to go there), and you can’t exactly meal plan if you don’t have a fridge that’s big enough to really accommodate a full week’s worth of groceries.

Before, we were going to Safeway 3 or 4 times per week and buying enough groceries just for dinner that night. There was rarely enough time to cook proper meals. Plus, I hated HATED cooking in my apartment kitchen. The kitchen was old and small and gross and I never even wanted to go in there. So we rarely ever made meals at my house. Not good at all. Lots of impulse shopping and “what do you feel like eating tonight?” … which usually resulted in our meals costing the same as if we had just gone out to eat.

Now things are a lot better. It’s crazy to see how far I got away from my normal grocery shopping habits. It’s interesting how that happens. When one partner’s habits influences the other (my reluctance to cook in my apartment, and BF’s shopping at Safeway), and how much easier it is to control our spending now that we live together.

I know I’m happy about our food situation, and I think BF is too. He seems pleased that he’s saving a lot more money now on food, since aside from his car (which he no longer has), food was his biggest expense. Every dollar we save is another dollar that can go towards our trip!

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