Daily Archives: January 3, 2011

December Recap

… and can I please have another shot at my first post of 2011?

Like many bloggers, I took a mini-sabbatical during the holiday season as I stuffed my face with yummy food and slept 10 hours a night in between seeing family and friends.  However, unlike all the fabulously cool cats* out there who wrote about goals and annual recaps, and recaps of annual goals, I started off 2011 with a post on roasting a chicken.  Roasting. A. Chicken.

Palm-to-forehead.

Yes, it was scheduled.  Yes, I thought I was smart to schedule a post and buy myself some time, just in case.  No, I completely forgot what I scheduled until my post showed up on my Google Reader.  Now I feel like I was caught red-handed re-gifting a post!

Doh!

Anyway, onto my spending re-cap.  I hope to redeem myself.  If possible.

Income: $6,119.00

Spending: $2,173.99

Nowhere close to my $1,000 monthly budget.  Oh, December, let’s see why.

Here’s where the money went:

Clothes: I budgeted for new casual runners.  Also, once I gave up on coat shopping, I found one.  I haven’t decided I would keep the jacket yet, even though it’s a great price for a long down jacket (retail $275 marked down to $132+tax).

Travel: BF and I decided to enjoy a bit of time away together before the craziness of the holidays.  We took a mini vacation to Niagara Falls and enjoyed some spa, steak and time alone.

Gifts: I don’t usually exchange gifts with friends and family, though I did get BF a little something.  I also gave my little sister money for her travels abroad.

Misc: I bought the business e-books from the recent big sale.  Still haven’t gotten around to reading them, yet.

Here is my net worth:

Summary:

Overall, I am very pleased with this month’s outcome.  I definitely spent more than anticipated, but I spent with a purpose and I’m proud to say that.

My goal was to have a net worth of $60,000 by the end of the year, and I was aiming more at $63,000 since I saw my last networth update.  I really didn’t want to count that VISA bill (which had about $300 of expenses that were reimbursed)!  Oh well. 🙂

Note*: Cool cats = personal finance, minimalism and fashion bloggers.  Please see Blog Roll on the right for my favourites!

How was your spending in December?  Did you meet your budget and goals?

Cheers,

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Filed under Budget, Finance, Net Worth

Frugal Dinner: Roasted Chicken & Sautè Carrots

(Photograph source)

One of my big time and money saving tips for food is batch cooking ahead of time.  I usually cook a big, huge meal once a week for the rest of the weekdays.   Then I package them in tupperware (freeze the extra’s, if any), and eat the portions through out the week for lunch and dinners.  This works if you don’t mind eating the same thing the entire week.  If not, then try freezing some portions for next time.

This week’s dinner is roasted chicken with saute carrots and onions.

The supermarket had chicken on sale this week.  $1.49/lb, and so I bought 2 chickens and they are roasting in the oven as I type.

Total cost for ingredients $10.08
Number of servings: 10 (ish)
Cost per serving: $1.08

The roasted chicken recipe is pretty basic, so I just improvised.  Though I did over cook my chicken, so I suggest you adjust accordingly.

Roasted Chicken Recipe

    • 1lb whole chicken
    • 1 medium onion (sliced in half)
    • 1 handful of dried herbs (I used Herbs en Provence)
    • Olive oil drizzled to coat
    • Salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450F.
  2. Rinse out chicken and pat skin dry – this ensures a nice crispy skin (my favourite).
  3. Stuff onion halves in chicken.  Season with herbs, salt and pepper.
  4. Insert chicken into oven at 450F for about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375F.
  5. Cook for 30 – 45 minutes.

Note: I suggest using a meat thermometer to check for “done-ness”, though I don’t have one at the moment.

The inspiration for the carrot recipe is from one of my favourite food bloggers, Orangette.  As mentioned in my last Frugal Dinner Post, I don’t follow recipes, well.  So here is my version.

Carrot and Onions Saute Recipe

    • 1 lb of carrots peeled and sliced (on a diagonal)
    • 2 medium onions (halved and sliced from root to stem)
    • 3 cloves of garlic (coarsely chopped)
    • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
    • Olive oil
    • Herbs en Provence
    • Salt and Pepper
  1. Set your skillet on medium heat.  Coat the bottom of your pan with olive oil.
  2. Add onions and cook until soft, but not browned.
  3. Add garlic and carrots.
  4. Add more olive oil if carrots seem dry.
  5. Season with herbs, salt and pepper.
  6. Adjust heat to medium low, if too high.
  7. Cover and cook until carrots are soft.
  8. Turn off heat, and add balsamic vinegar.
  9. Mix.  Serve.

Do you like to improvise when you cook?  What’s your favourite improvised recipe?

Cheers,

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Filed under Frugal Dinners