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    BESTNU   4,884
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Rediscovering a passion!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I've actually been having a wonderful time experimenting with recipes lately! I have ALWAYS loved cooking and I especially enjoy the creation of truly gourmet dishes. Generally speaking though, it seems like everything is doused with a drizzle of oil here or brushed with a touch-o-butter over there! I have rediscovered my original 'true love' over the last few weeks when it comes to cooking.

I began an adventure a few years ago destined to try to learn to make quick & affordable 'healthy gourmet' food for myself and all of the people in my life. The decision to give my lifestyle a makeover really helped inspire me to try to get back on that path. Life gets in the way sometimes and we end up taking the easy route. I have become a fabulous 'self-taught cook' but not the kind I necessarily ever wanted to be. After watching enough cooking shows/reading enough cookbooks over the years, throwing a slab of butter into a recipe to achieve decadence definitely hasn't been beyond me at all!

The history:
There was a time in my life that I HAD to be a stay-at-home mom for a couple of years due to the heavy financial burden involved with paying for daycare with two small children under the age of 5. We couldn't figure out where the heck all of our money was going back then so we decided to sit down and calculate ALL of our expenses together. To make a long story short, we finally realized that even though he had a decent job and I was a shift manager we were only bringing home about $30-$40 extra per week even though I was putting in FT hours! I was 'profiting' only about $1 an hour after we looked at everything!

My husband's job had the best insurance and he made much more money at the time so the decision was logically pretty easy at the time. During the rest of the 2&1/2 year overlap before my oldest went to kindergarten, I would stay home and we would be forced to cut our expenses down even further. Taking 'nothing from nothing' when budgeting is tough but it became one of my chores. I watched my mom have to do the same thing when we were little and I learned saving money can be its own kind of art form in a way.

Needless to say, it became a bit of an obsession and even to this day I ADORE the thrill of the hunt for a good bargain. I had just begun 'couponing' as a hobby before I went back to work and I was sooo excited to get bags of groceries for just a few dollars. I don't have the time to do it now but I can totally see myself as one of the 'extreme couponers' after I retire :).

(to be continued)
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BILLTMAN 5/26/2012 9:21AM

    A couple of things I have learned about cooking. First, if something needs an oil I always try to use one of the healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil. Also, if something requires a pat of butter, use real creamery butter not a butter substitute. those are full of all kinds of chemicals, additives and preservatives.

Now, to your point on thrift. My wife and I have had to cut back on finances recently. She is a great shopper. We buy a lot of our clothing at consignment shops and thrift stores. You wouldn't believe what you can find there. I recently purchased a Hart Schaffner & Marx suit in my size with the store tags still on it for $8:00, this is a $600.00 suit.

It can be really exhilarating to find new ways of saving without a negative impact on your lifestyle.

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