Creamy Dill Dip and a One Month Budget Update
All done the month of January and what a month it has been. I have improved my credit score 15 points (yay!), done a MUCH better job of staying in budget and not wasting food, and have made some new dishes that to share.
First let's get the budget out of the way. I have put ZERO dollars on my credit cards this month and managed to put about $500 toward them which I see as a huge victory. It has made a difference not just in my credit but in my psyche. I feel like I have much better control over my spending.
That being said I needed to tweak the $200... I still do the $200, but I also include any cash that has been given to me for tutoring, which usually brings to total up to $280-320 per pay period, which is much more manageable for me. One of my coworkers said she had read my blog post about budgeting and was inspired to try and budget for her and her family (hi Jen!) and said she tired the very tight budget but it just wasn't enough. I think the key is to find the minimum but make it livable. I had to cut out extra trips to the store I didn't need, but I was able to still accomplish my goals and live a happy sustainable existence on slightly more than I originally hoped for. Bottom line I broke myself of the habit of buying whatever I wanted whenever and thinking credit cards were fairy money.
Now onto some dish ideas. Simple. Nutritious. Delicious.
I've started keeping mass quantities of the following staples in my house:
With these I have started making hashes, sauteed greens, and stews.
Sauteed onions started with salt and slowly pan cooked makes the basis for almost anything vegetable. Potatoes and onions are cheap and can be dressed up easily with the following spice mixes:
- Smoked paprika, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper
- Chili powder, onion powder, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin
- Mustard powder, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
I also have been buying any produce that's on good sale. A nice zucchini sale led me to this Mediterranean dish that helped use some olives and marinated vegetables I've been meaning to use up.
The creamy dipping sauce really brought the dish together.
Chill Dill Dip
- 1/2 cup cashews soaked
- 7 oz (half block) of firm tofu
- 2-3 Tbs dried dill
- 1/2 Tbs onion powder
- 1/2 Tbs garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Nutritional Information: Servings 4, Serving Size 1/2 cup. Calories 140, Carbohydrates 8.7 g, Fat 9 g, Fiber 1.5 g, Protein 7.6 g
This sauce worked well with some oily olives and semi-dried veggies along with some grilled zucchini. It could serve on almost anything Greek or Mediterranean inspired.
Bulk staples that can be made in many different ways has helped me keep my budget tight while still being able to enjoy a lot of different flavors.