Why a food budget changed how i ate — permanently _ kitchn

I graduated from college in the wake of the Great Recession, with a mathematics degree that didn’t easily translate into gainful employment. Cleaning lady pics During a stressful stint as a call center customer service rep (not a good fit for an introvert who hates talking to strangers on the phone), I realized that my best course of action would be to quit my job and go back to school full-time to earn a paralegal certificate.

I was incredibly fortunate in that my husband earned enough money to cover the necessities.


Funny cleaning lady But there wasn’t much wiggle room, so we eliminated discretionary expenses and carpooled to save on gas money.

Another obvious thing to trim? Our grocery bill. Maid cleaning checklist pdf When I studied our receipts, I noticed that a good chunk of our food budget was going to meat. Hotel housekeeping cleaning tips If we replaced the chicken, beef, and pork with something more cost-effective, it would make a substantial dent. Another word for maid of honor Vegetarian options aren’t always more inexpensive, but we wanted to explore this diet to see if it worked for our budget.

Muffin-Pan Spinach Lasagna (Image credit: Maria Siriano) Why (and How) I Decided to Go Vegetarian

Going vegetarian wasn’t a totally foreign idea for us — there were already a couple of meat-free pasta dishes we enjoyed, and my husband lived in a vegetarian household during his teenage years. Clipart cleaning lady And it would only be temporary; once I finished my program and was earning a paycheck again, we could go back to chicken marsala, barbecued ribs, and beef fajitas.

The vegetarian experiment started with a handful of recipes that were already in our repertoire, like tofu stir-fry with peanut butter noodles and my mom’s spinach lasagna. How much to tip cleaning lady hotel Canned beans took on a starring role, in huevos rancheros and slow cooker minestrone soup. Cleaning lady pictures We also added more vegetables to our diet, in the form of store-brand frozen corn, peas, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Cleaning lady resume We ate baked potatoes for dinner probably more than we should have, but they were easy to get on the table when I had to study for a quiz on contract law.

Going meatless had the intended result: We were spending less at the grocery store. Cleaning lady funny pictures But as time went on, something unexpected happened: I became a more adventurous cook. House cleaning list for maid in spanish When we were eating meat, I relied on favorite recipes from my childhood and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Flylady cleaning tips With meat out of the picture, I started trying new things.

I made a batch of vegetable fried rice that tasted better than the takeout chicken fried rice we used to eat. Lady genius cleaning When cheese was on sale, I cooked up an incredible batch of homemade macaroni and cheese. Cleaning lady images cartoons I expanded my tofu horizons, serving it as broiled “steaks” with a jalapeno vinaigrette and in a coconut curry sauce.

Instead of relying on meat, I learned to develop flavor with spices, a spoonful of apple cider vinegar, or a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.

Slow Cooker Minestrone (Image credit: Guy Ambrosino) A Temporary Budget, a Permanent Change

After a blur of research papers on insurance laws, drafting wills, and memorizing legal vocabulary, I finished my paralegal program and landed a full-time position with a small law firm. Cleaning lady photos We were a double-income couple again, and we didn’t need to be as rigid about our food budget—we could go back to eating as much meat as we wanted to.

But the thing is, we didn’t really feel like eating meat again. How much to tip house cleaners christmas Our new recipes — the coconut curry tofu, the huevos rancheros with fresh cilantro, the homemade macaroni and cheese — were tastier than a parade of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Printable house cleaning checklist for maid The sticker shock at the meat department made it difficult to justify the extra expense, and we appreciated how easy it was to eat more vegetables when they played a more prominent role on our dinner plates.

Several years later, our meals are about 90 percent vegetarian. Cleaning lady names Our grocery cart is still filled with lots of canned beans, tofu, and frozen vegetables, although we splurge on a CSA during the all-too-brief Minnesota growing season. How much should you pay a cleaning lady Sometimes I get confused looks when I try to describe my diet (I’ve settled on the phrase “mostly vegetarian” since it’s easy to understand); other times I get lectured about how I should be eating a completely vegetarian diet.

Honestly, I’m not concerned about strict rules or definitions. Cleaning lady family guy meme I just feel grateful to be able to afford and cook delicious food, whether that’s a tofu stir-fry or the occasional pork roast.

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