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After two weeks of no spend months, I am starting to notice a few positive things.

  • I am figuring out how much food our family goes through in a week. This is helpful in that it will allow me to do better planning in the future.
  • Our trash out put has dramatically decreased. It is perhaps 1/3 of what it used to be. This is also helped by being more diligent in composting and recycling.
  • I am making a mental list of things we need. This doesn’t seem so good on the surface, but in reality it is much better than thinking of things I want.
  • I am more appreciative of all that we have. If we were starting with nothing and did not have the resources to purchase items we would still have nothing. Everything that we have has come either from gifts or past purchases. I wonder what we would or would not have purchased had we not had the resources to do so.

Now for the weeks’ review…

Food

Spent: ~$70. My blood sugar issues have gotten worse as I have been eating more starchy grains and beans. This has forced us to purchase proteins in the form of grass fed beef and free range chickens. This is mostly for me as both my husband and toddler feel well eating lots of carbohydrates. I didn’t want to have to do this, but we both agreed that health was too important not to make these purchases. If I had to do it all over again I would have stocked our freezer with more meat. Everything else has gone fairly smoothly, except for the amount of work I am putting into meals. In order to keep a variety of flavors in our meals I have been spending too much time in the kitchen and am feeling burnt out. When I feel burnt out the best thing to do is simplify and that is what we will be doing with our menu this week.

Car Mileage

We spent $12.50 on gas this week. That seems crazy after such high gas prices, but I am not complaining. We drove maybe half as many miles this week as we did last week so we are on target for our goal.

Other Expenses

Spent: $73.50

We spent $40 in online purchases, $13.50 in mailing services, and $20 in health supplements.

Laundry

Total loads of laundry hung up this week: 0. I haven’t made this a priority. I haven’t given up on it yet, but I am also trying not to obsess about it when there are more important things or people to attend to.

Wrapping it up

Total spent: $156.00.

I don’t feel that any of the expenses we had this week were out of line. My husband and I seem to be keeping each other in check for the most part. “What about no spend months?” seems to be in our conversation weekly and it is a blessing that he is as interested in this as I am. I am excited to see how this will affect our loan payments over the next two months.

We begin week three.

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Most people have had pumpkin seeds. If you buy a whole pumpkin to cook for the flesh, then you also can roast the seeds and eat them. Did you know you can do the same thing with butternut squash? I am assuming you can do it for any squash, but butternut is the only kind that we have on hand and so the only squash I have tried it with.

This is a great way to stretch your squash even further as well as get some great flavor and nutrition. There are probably many ways to do this, but I will simply give you the method that I used. It is much more so a method than a recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

Butternut squash
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
pinch of salt

When you are cutting up your whole squash simply remove the seeds from the pulp and set them aside in a bowl. This takes a bit of time and patience, but it was fun to do with my toddler. When you are ready to deal with them (that same day) rinse them in a sieve or colander. Lay the seeds out on a sheet pan in a single layer. They will be pretty sticky so do the best that you can. Then leave them to dry overnight on the sheet pan. You can cover the pan with a towel, but don’t let it touch the seeds otherwise the seeds will stick to it. The next day, when the seeds seem pretty dry, drizzle the olive oil over the seeds and sprinkle with salt. Roast them in a 250 degree oven for about an hour until golden and crunchy. You could also dehydrate them if you wanted to eat them raw.