Thursday, January 15, 2009

America is crumbling

John and I have recently made the decision to start being more frugal with our money. No more home improvement projects, no more eating out 2 or 3 times per week, no more impulse purchases online or at Target. Although it feels incredibly good to actually be SAVING money, it is kind of depressing too.

The depressing part stems mainly from the fact that we now have to actually cook dinner. Cooking? Yuck. I hate cooking. Seriously. I HATE it. But nonetheless, I am going to try to pull my weight and actually prepare 2 or 3 meals per week. But because I am lazy, I intend to use the crock pot A LOT. Any good recipes?

The reason we are suddenly so determined to save our money is because my husband is very worried about the economy. He often talks about storing food for "emergencies." He is growing increasingly distrustful of all banks. And he has absolutely no faith in our politicians. Although I don't necessarily agree with John on every issue, I HAVE been disillusioned by our "free market" system. My blood boils when I think about the fact that corporate debt is being socialized, while profit is being privatized. The American people are being screwed. The middle class continues to shrink, while corporate fat cats rake in our tax dollars. And what about the working class? Very little of the bailout money has been used to directly help home owners. Instead, the government is mindlessly throwing money at the credit industry. AHHHHH!

So, we are pinching pennies and eating at home every night. Thanks America!


Danielle said...

it is all very frustrating! i agree. We are down to cooking most every night to save $$. Do you want vegan crock pot? Not sure if I have any but I can check.

Eva said...

We made a great chili with Quorn (that fungus protein) and beans and corn and tomatoes and peppers and whatnot.

Yeah, I don't know what's going on. But we certainly have not stopped with the home improvement! New tile on Friday!

Melissa said...

Home improvement continues here as well, just no other spending.

As for cooking, a great starting point would be some of the Pampered Chef cookbooks. I LOVE to cook, and I scoffed at these, but they have a lot of quick and easy things to make that are frugal, too. But here's something really easy:

1 bag frozen ravioli (meat if you do that)
1 jar pasta sauce
10 oz box frozen spinach
mozzarella cheese

1. thaw your spinach
2. put 1/2 of the ravioli in a 13x9 baking dish
3. spread out the spinach and sprinkle some of the cheese
4. lay out the other half of the ravioli on top of the spinach
5. cover it with the sauce
6. cover it with cheese to your taste
7. bake covered at 350 for 45 min, then uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.

easy peasy...with leftovers! :)

Jenn said...

Whenever I cook it tends to be big and can feed us for a few meals. However I have been bad and not been cooking half as much as I should but I need to start it again, we have no extra money to blow on take out either!

Jiff said...

I just put in a pot roast with some water, flour, and some seasonings. Cook for 8 hours.

Another thing I do is beef stew. Brown stew meat, cut up potatoes, carrots, onions, put in a bag of stew flavoring (with the powder gravy mixes, costs maybe 48 cents) add water and some flour. Cook 8 hours.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I hate cooking too. I used to think it was fun. But that was before I had kids.

Carrie said...

The best Crock pot dinner: I got it from a diet website called and it is soo yummy. We usually eat it with tortias rather than rice, but it's great both ways. If you are worried about the flavor being too intense for the kids, only use half of the taco seasoning.

Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

Nutritional Info
Fat: 3.3g
Carbohydrates: 6.7g
Protein: 24.3g

Add chicken to slow cooker.
Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
Pour salsa and soup over chicken.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
Serve with rice.

Number of Servings: 6

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user CHELLESHOCKED.

Carrie said...

Also, check out these websites, they will help with the stretching of pennies.

They have really helped me with stretching my income to cover everything since the hubby got laid-off.

Misguided Mommy said...

i feel this way every week when i plan my stupid weekly menus. phooey on saving

on my food blog if you click slow cooker on the side i have a ton of crock pot recipes

solo nicole said...

it sucks!

Misguided Mommy said...

but wait shit, you have all those dietary restrictions...uggg

okay well here are a few of my favorite slow cooker recipes

i like to do this as tacos one night and enchiladas another...using corn tortillas so no gluten or flour or whatever you cant have

this makes great taco salad and tacos, burritos, whatever

here is my taco salad

and my favorite one dish meal

Tabitha said...

Beleive me ~ it isn't much better here ~ which is why we are trying to save and spend less too!!
Love and hugs XXXX

Amanda said...

It is an unsettling time ~ you never know, you might learn to love cooking...!
Amanda x

Clare said...

tell me how the saving money thing is going. we are trying to cramp down on the spending as much as possible too!

Midwest Mommy said...

I can say I somewhat agree. What is going on in our country right now is just scary. Even the porn industry is asking for bailout money! Can I just have my share handed to me and if I choose to spend it on porn or cars that is my choice.

dani said...

we have been concerned too, christy... and have wondered for a while exactly what there is that backs up our money. needless to say, our trust is waning:/
i don't know what the future brings, but i do know we should be prepared (whatever that means).
good luck on the cooking and on the saving:)

iMommy said...

I almost could have written this. We just made the same decision - no more eating out (once a week, Sunday at lunch, only- to keep us from breaking our resolve), no more splurge purchases, no more not knowing where our spending cash has gone.

It's a good time to learn, I guess.

Mary said...

I'm doing the same thing: eating out less and trying to spend less all around. It sucks.

I have a list of a bunch of Weight Watcher crockpot recipes that I'll email to you if I can find it.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, sister! Keep hope alive!!!

But you both are absolutely correct....try NONE of the bailout has gone to help the middle class.

Becks said...

Hmm I dont live in America but America's economy effects us big time..boooo! My husband's job is on the brink of surviving. He works for a company that works with real estate and financing. It blows and we are scared that he may lose it. I barely spend any extra money, I am so frugal it hurts!! I am going to be taking in a little boy a couple days a week to get a little extra cash. So I feel your pain on not spending money! Damnit i have to cook every night...blah!! My husband wont eat processed it makes my job tough!! Ok I am rambling. I dont get to vent on my own peachy keen blog so I use yours, haha! Sorry!

MarvelousMOM said...

It is really scary. I found out today my salary is going to get cut 6% for until things get better...I don't know if that is worth working once my baby comes and paying daycare... :(

Jeninacide said...

Ugh we are doing THE SAME THING. We never go out to eat anymore and we used to do it all the time. The up-side to that is that we actually eat healthier... but I SOO MISS my Sunday morning brunch at my fave breakfast spot. Wah.

Oh- and speaking of home improvement projects: I have become addicted to HGTV's Design on a Dime and have decided that that is where I am going to spend my extra "dimes". At home... doing things to my house for cheap. Myself.

Could be a disaster... or it could be cool... I guess we'll find out after I re-do the kitchen cabinets and floors and counters myself...AH!

Lisa said...

Christy, you have to check out this blog: The woman on there used her crockpot everyday for a full year. She has some fantastic recipes. I cooked 4 of hers last week. I am currently crockpot obsessed. I also dislike cooking and I love throwing a bunch of stuff in the crockpot in the AM and by 5pm we have a great home-cooked meal that only took me 10 minutes to throw together.

Lisa said...

One more thing: She has links to crock recipes for people with dietary restrictions. Her family is gluten free so all her recipes are gluten free as well. I am not gluten free, but I just buy the regular stuff.