Frugal Lunch Ideas: Tortilla Snacks

I had never thought of using tortillas like this until I got served them at my mother-in-law’s house. They are easy to make, use up leftovers and/or things that are generally in stock in the pantry/fridge, and are surprisingly filling!

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Frugal Shopping: Fruit and Vege Co-Ops

One cheap way to get your fruit and veg for the week is by getting in touch with your local Fruit and Vege Co-Op. The way they work is through economies of scale – a group of people will get together, usually pay in advance, and they will go get the best deals through markets and other connections – then each person who has paid will get a share of the spoils. Usually they will ask for an hour or so of your time as well, but each co-operative works to their own rules so it’s worth getting in contact with them even if you can’t spare the time.

I just joined my local F&V Co-Op in Christchurch, and this is what I got for $12:

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Frugal Lunch Ideas: Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad is an extremely easy meal with four core ingredients. It can be eaten hot or cold, can easily be bulked up for extra people, or turned into a dinner with an extra ingredient or two. It was one of my main forms of sustenance as a student, and I’ve kept making and eating it through into my adult years.

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Frugal Fish n Chips! $1.50 per serve!

We are kiwis through and through, and love our good old fish n chips! This is my homemade version on a cultural classic!

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Frugal Chicken Dinner – <$3 per serve!

This one wasn’t on my original meal plan, but I saw this chicken at such a good price I couldn’t resist. Overall the price for this whole meal was probably close to $5.30 (being generous) but could easily be cheaper as we use Fair Trade rice which we estimate at about $1 for this quantity (50c per serve) and this is a lot more meat than we’re used to. It’s way higher than the cost of the cheapest rice available, but this way it tastes of freedom. We buy our rice bulk in 5kg lots here, and always have some in the cupboard for meals like this. Our peas we got at $3 for the bag (what you see here is shy of about 50c worth) and I use them A LOT for meals for ourselves, or baby food. Its our favourite budget green.

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Frugal Apple Crumble!

Even when living frugally you still need some treats – but rather than buying or making extravagant meals, sometimes the humble apple crumble is enough to satisfy your cravings.

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Monthly Groceries For Less Than $350 A Month

We have been budgeting for a while now, and one thing that I have found to be true EVERY month, is that where a lot of our money disappears to is frivolous spending on food. When we first got married we would go out and buy salmon and other extravagant things, which meant our monthly food budget was as high as $800 a month – once we reigned ourselves in and got used to spending out of the same account this easily reduced to $5-600 a month. And at our best we were managing between $60-$80 a week (which if we could have managed it consecutively would have been $320 a month!!)

Enter the $350 a month challenge – This relies utterly and completely on forward planning, and self discipline!

Here is the first draft!

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Frugal Soup! Less than $1 per serve!!

In theme with my frugal meal plan I have created an example of a frugal soup. Much like in my stew recipe (link here), the main concept is putting in cheap ingredients that add BULK. By cooking in bulk and freezing serves for later, you can not only save yourself some precious time later on, but make the most of whatever cheap digs you find at your local veggie store.

Here is my ingredient outline:

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Frugal Stew – $1.38 per serve!!

My personal challenge at the moment is to keep our monthly groceries $350 or less. It’s a bit of effort to work out, but once you start it actually kind of runs along by itself. The main trick is planning in advance – and over my next few blog posts I’ll show you how I’m doing it. As I live in New Zealand, these are NZ prices, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find something similar wherever you are!

To start us off, here’s recipe number one: Frugal Stew!

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The Cretaceous Tortoise and Hare

Himmapaan

[Cross-posted at Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs.]

Once upon a time, in the autumn of 2011, I submitted an artwork requested by one Scott Persons of the University of Alberta via Art Evolved

Three years later, the resulting set of three illustrations — a race between an Olorotitan and a Tarbosaurus — was finally published in the press release for a study of hadrosaur locomotion by Dr. Phil Currie and Scott Persons, which a few readers may already be familiar with, either independently or via the Chasmosaurs Facebook page. There is also a podcast about the research. Here, for your delectation and privilege (or indeed indifference and ennui, so please you) are the illustrations at a much larger size, which can be opened out in a new tab/window for full-view if you wish. Much of the comic expression in the dinosaurs’ eyes are missed in reduction…

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