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Old 02-11-2013, 06:27 AM   #194
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Naples, Italy
Posts: 2,517
Originally Posted by slimy72
I really need to do the pantry challenge. I think that's been part of it this month. With some encouragement from my family (dh and extended) I am getting ready to start a gluten free recipe blog. I've developed a lot of really good recipes and they want me to share them. So I've been doing a ton of testing and playing that I wouldn't normally do, and things like frozen blackberries for a cobbler so I can retest my sourdough biscuit cobbler topping again add up. Last month I had blackberries in the freezer but this month I was out and wanted to give it one more tweak. I need to buckle back down and eat out of the freezer. We've got so much food in the house it's nuts it's just not always what I want or need for a new recipe I'm working on. So, I need to re focus. I still have tons of stuff in the freezer to use but we're down to all the stuff I don't know what to do with or don't like. I need to force myself to use it up. I'm just being lazy is what it's really coming down to. I think of this yummy new muffin flavor I just have to try so instead of using up the oranges and cranberries or blueberries to make a flavor of muffins I know works I"m going out and buying lemons and raspberries to try a new variation and get the measurements right in my recipe. I mean my family is still eating the food so it's not like it's going to waste, it's just not focused on what it should.
I hear you. I should have focused more on clearing out our pantry and freezer before we moved. I didn't buy anything except eggs and minimal produce (mainly apples' bananas, and onions) for the last month before we moved. I'm disgusted by how much was still left that we threw away and gave away. I'm going to make a conscious effort to keep our pantry minimally stocked.

AFM: surprisingly, we're doing okay. I've been walking to the commissary once a day to get what food we need for the day. It's really kept down the impulse buys, which surprises me. I just think "I'll be back tomorrow, I can grab it then if I still want it" but I never do plus I have the kids with me, so I don't want to carry more than I need to. We arent really seeing a money savings right now, since we had to start from scratch (olive oil, salt, pepper, etc), but once we have the basics, i can definitely see us saving money by daily grocery shopping (plus i could use the exercise ). daily shopping is also making me meal plan around what ingredients i already have.

I did go to the nex and buy a booster seat, but we have been planning on doing that anyway. ODS's high chair converts to a table and chair, so we think we'll put that in the playroom to save room in the dining room. We hear Italian housing is smaller than American, so we'll need to save space where we can yesterday I also bought the Wheat Belly Cookbook. Complete impulse buy but I hope it will help with learning more gluten free recipes.

I've been trying to come up with a reasonable budget, but since we don't know what some things will cost (gas, Internet, insurance, etc), it's hard. On the bright side, dh's phone is only going to cost 20 euro a month (about $27usd) for 350 min, unlimited calls to 1 number, unlimited texting, and 1gb data. We didn't plan on me having a cell at all, but that is so much cheaper than we thought it would be! If I can find a cheap used phone, I may get a more basic plan. We're still looking for a car, and I have no idea how we'll fund it if our van in the states doesn't sell. We have tax return money coming, but that is earmarked for credit cards and savings. The cc probably have higher interest than getting a car loan... I know DR would say pay cash for the car to avoid new debt, but tax return money will wipe out the CCs completely, and the car loan would be a lower amount than the CCs are, so financially it seems smarter to pay off the cards and have a smaller, lower interest loan. Or we could not fund the bef and tef (travel emergency fund--in case we have a family emergency and need to fly back to our parents), but that idea really makes me nervous... We'd save in interest, but I know me, and I won't pay "us" back as quickly as I could/should
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