I keep meaning to get around to doing freezer-to-crockpot meals, but I haven't done so yet. Anyone know of any good vegetarian ones?
Do you think it's harder to make friends as you get older? This article about making friends over 30 felt both familiar and alien to me. Ultimately, I think a lot of it boils down to where you live - I did find it difficult to make close friendships in New York, but have not so much in Minnesota. People here seem much more willing to have a deeper friendship than a superficial one, which makes a lot of difference.
I usually love Cate's recipes, so I'm looking forward to trying this one: cheesy tomato risotto.
Funny About Money asks will a credit card surcharge change your habits? A credit card surcharge will definitely change my spending habits. Right now, Peanut and I put pretty much everything that we can on our no-annual-fee rewards credit card, and as a result we get big gift cards once or twice a year to stores like Target and Home Depot. I'm aware that effectively, I am already paying a credit card surcharge because merchants build it into the cost of their goods. But if I have to start paying a per-use fee for a credit card or a lower total cost with cash or debit or some other form of payment, I'll probably start leaving the plastic at home.
If you're still doing the #couponchallenge (are you??), here's a helpful post from Money Saving Mom: I'm So Frustrated with Coupons I'm Thinking of Giving Up. I haven't had a problem using internet printed coupons at either Target or my grocery store, but I'm careful before I print to make sure they're legitimate. I have had a problem using Cellfire and CardStar at my grocery store - both services supposedly make things easy by putting scannable barcodes in your smartphone, but my phone won't scan anything on the grocery store scanners, and no cashier I've ever asked to try it has seen another customer do it. I know that my phone works as a scanned thing, because I've used it as a mobile plane ticket before, but it definitely doesn't work at the grocery store. All the cashiers have been really nice about it, though, so it hasn't been a frustrating experience.
Daily Money Shot is putting up an Aldi Experiment series! My first experience with Aldi's was only so-so, so I'm interested to see how it works for her.
One of the things I am definitely learning from the whole #couponchallenge is that cheap food is not great. The best deals - including the freebies - that I've found are for things like PopTarts, cookies, sugary cereal, and candy. Prairie Eco Thrifter talks about this a little - there should be no such thing as cheap food. Her comparison of paying $4 for a Starbucks drink but balking at a $2 farmer's market tomato really made me stop and think - WHY am I trying to save so much money with coupons? The grocery budget will only get so low, and we're able to afford to spend money on delicious, healthy food. Do I want to focus on savings to the detriment of our health?
Well, of course not. And I'm not scrimping to the point that we're not still buying fresh produce and other things that rarely have coupons. I'm just thinking that when the whole challenge is over, I may just try to focus couponing for things like personal care products instead of food - but on the other hand, I'm getting better at spotting food deals, and if it's something we'd eat anyway, I'll snap it up. I'll just reframe my thinking about organic or local or humane products by comparing them to what I used to pay for junk food without a second thought.
And on that note, I'm off to make kale two ways for dinner.
How was your week? Read anything interesting? Share a link below!