Food, Life, Picture Post, Success Dinner, Uncategorized

A New Summer

So, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight over the last few months and I’m glad to say that I now weigh about 255. I started the year over 300 and I think it’s super important to me being healthier that I share with everyone. I’m still not super confident in myself but this summer I’m going to work extra hard to change that. A friend of my mum’s has offered me her bicycle since I won’t be leaving C-falls much this summer and to help save some money. My diet has gone from what the dining hall says I’m eating to what I say I’m eating. Speaking of what I’m eating:

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Mmmmmm…

 

and

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Dem colors…OOoooooo

Now aren’t you jealous? It’s really not hard, but it does take time. Also, where I’m currently at it’s really expensive. Starfruit is the cheapest “exotic” fruit I can afford. Blood oranges are a close second. Both are good though.

I’ve been spending more time in my tiny kitchen (I’ve got a rent free situation this summer in a nice two bedroom) than I thought I ever would. I was going to more Keto stuff but I’ve found a happy place in my diet. Chia seeds keep you so full!

I won’t lie, I have lost steam for this blog and most things lately. I know I say in a lot of them that I’m going to work harder at creating more posts and then I never follow through. So I’m just going to go ahead and say I’ll see you when I see you and hopefully I’m down another 50lbs by then.

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Life, Picture Post

Oh Man I Am The Worst Blogger

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Hey Everyone! So, I haven’t posted since my birthday, which is a little sad because I’ve done a lot with every intention of posting what was happening. I posted a short fiction piece but that is about it.

First off to get this out of the way, I’ve changed majors again. I know, I know! I said I was going to keep with engineering, but as it turns out you can’t just wish yourself good at maths and have that be your one plan. So, I’m changing to English (for the 3rd or 4th time). But with that, it means that I’m not going to be in school for 7 more years, I’ve got a year and a half or so and I’ll be graduated. So that’s super fun. I’ve made a few contacts in my field too, so that’s also good for once I’m done. I know I’m not the best writer on the planet, but hey, it’s what I love to do. So I’m going to do it. It opens up positions in Japan as well, which is nice. I don’t need a teaching certificate, just a degree. I’m excited about that.

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7 classes, ya’ll!

Speeeeaking of Japan, that is where I spent my spring break this year. Could barely afford it, but I made it work. The ticket and hotel was less than 1000$ so guess who doubled down with their tax refund and took a trip? I did. I will save that for another post though, because I took pictures and videos. For those of you that went along the journey (via Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter) I want to thank you all for your support and love while I traveled. Without a lot of you in my life, I wouldn’t have bit the bullet and done it, so thank you.

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The SO and I finally took a trip together too, out of the country. We just went up to Calgary for a comedy show (We haven’t missed a John Mulaney tour since we got together) and crossed the border together. I think it was the first time he’s ever been to Canada, so that was a fun milestone. We got into a huge fight on the way home, but obviously we worked through it. Our hotel was so nice and we had a lovely sushi dinner that I will also be posting about in another post.

 

I don’t have a few fun posts planned for the coming months (granted I remember) and a few adventures planned elsewhere. I’m working on a few creative projects with a few friends, my Twitch channel should be going live soon, and hopefully I get my Youtube channel off the ground (this century). But school comes first. And then when I’m done I get to start paying off all those loans that I love so much.

I’m still here lovelies, and will eventually get back to this blog regularly.

Life, writing

2017: A Year of Almosts, So Far

I’ve been meaning to sit down and post for a while, but adult things got in the way and I couldn’t find the time. And before you go accusing me of watching movies and eating pizza, know that you are right. I have been spending more time just to myself because I think I’ve left part of me somewhere and instead of spending a lot of time going out of my way to find it, I’m just gonna grow a new part. Which sounds super gross if you’ve just watched a certain youtuber play through The Evil Within (Markiplier, it’s Markiplier). Any way, I’ve got a few new projects coming up in the next few months that I am very excited about. I’m not sure how much I can talk about one of them, but the other is pretty cool. We’re putting together a podcast. I think that’s all I’m going to say on that one, specifically because I know I’ll spoil something because I suck like that and I don’t want to do that.

You don’t realize how many people hate you until you update your blog at the library.

One thing that has been really bothering me is people who take creative writing courses because they assume it’ll be easy. That the class will be an easy A and there isn’t a lot of work that go into it. Now I’m not comparing a CRWR (creative writing) course to a 400 level engineering course. But I feel that there are quite a few people that are in my current writing course that are there because they thought it would be easy. That irks me so much. I mean, I don’t care what classes you take, you could take them all, but at least put forth an effort. Especially at university, where you’re paying to be here. If you’re not going to write anything, don’t take the course. I’m in a workshop class right now, and there are a ton of people who never say anything. I’m a little guilty of that, but that’s because there are some people in the class that choose to dominate and refuse to let other opinions stand without argument. Others just try to re-write the story without any actual feedback. Our instructor isn’t the greatest, but he’s not actually a professor. He’s our writer is residence at the college, so he has different ways of looking at the class and our work. I figured it wouldn’t be like the class we took last semester, mostly because of our instructor. But I was okay with that. He tries to lead the class to the best of his abilities, but I feel like there is a dominating force that deserves a punch in the face. Others aren’t going to share what they think as the ass sits smugly at the front of the room interrupting and arguing every point. If the shit he said was helpful then maybe, but it’s mostly just what he wants to hear himself say and I get angry every time he talks. He’s like the guy who joins your DnD session and then tries to be the DM because he’s read all the books and knows exactly how it’s played and obviously you don’t understand what you’re doing. Except I can’t kick him out of the group…

Speaking of DnD, there may be a person I can get a game started with here at school. There is a chance that I’ll get a job here during the summer, which means that I’ll have a place to live and everything, which is super nice. There are a couple of people who seem interested and it would be nice to get into gaming again. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great way for me to release stress.

I’m working on a new short story. This is a lot different than the last one, there aren’t any creepy monsters or white cats. It’s a story about a guy named Draper that gets a job at an amusement park that is run by an omnipotent god that has no idea what he is really doing. Draper is a sad guy with a pretty complex back story that doesn’t get explored all that well yet. I had the SO read it and he said it works, but he inspired the story so he already understands the backstory. I’ve got to find a way to fit that into it without being blatant. There is a writing competition that takes place on campus that I’m thinking about going for. An former professor sent our old class an email about it with the tag line “What have you got to lose?”. I miss her so much, I wish she taught 340. There honestly needs to be more people like her teaching at the university level.

I like how I can’t seem to write when I need to but then I’ll hammer out a post with over 800 words in a matter of minutes. That has never made sense to me.

Anyway, keep an eye out on twitter/facebook for announcements of my upcoming projects, because I”ll probably share there first and I’m always open to feedback.

Food, Food Review, Life, Picture Post, Uncategorized

Exploring International Cuisine In A Small Mountain Town: Dave’s Sushi

Winter Break is here! Woo! Finals are over, grades (that I haven’t looked at) are in, and everyone is leaving campus. The roads are terrible and the weather is negative. The SO and I decided that we weren’t going to try to beat traffic and deal with everyone trying to drive over the Continental Divide at once so we waited a few days for the traffic to die down. We stayed at his place in FGH, as they closed my dorm on Saturday, and I had no where to stay. We didn’t want to kill each other after the weekend was up and that was really great to learn. It was nice to just relax and enjoy each other’s company for a while, and on Sunday night we went out to a local restaurant called Dave’s Sushi.

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We had been here one time before, but it had been a very long time since then. We went back in early 2015 we we first were together. Dave’s Sushi is a very hip eatery. It can only sit 81 people, so it gets crowded fast. In the summer they do have patio dining, but we haven’t had a chance to experience that yet. Just FYI, they don’t accept reservations for groups smaller than 7. You may have a bit of a wait depending on the night that you go. They are open 7 days a week and usually go until about 930-10 on most days. They are a little more on the spendier side, but with this being Montana the prices aren’t that bad for our land-locked, no local fish market scene.

They have a pretty lengthy drinks menu, but no hard alcohol. They have beer, wine, and sake. We’ve had a few of their sakes before and our favorite is the House Sake. Our waitress was incredibly fast with taking our order.

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We started the evening with an order of edemame (blanched soy beans) sprinkled with kosher salt. You can’t really screw up edemame, but the shells were soft and warm; the beans were firm, but cooked.

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We ordered a large bottle of sake, and I got the black cup. Their House Sake is served warm and it was the perfect temperature. I’m always nervous ordering a warm sake because there is such a thing as overheating it and it ruins it. But ours was perfect. The finish is soft and there isn’t that regretful burning sensation in your throat like there is with certain sake. It also isn’t mixed with a fruit which is definitely a plus. I haven’t liked any of the fruity sake that I’ve tried.

Make time at Dave’s Sushi isn’t that bad. In some sushi places they take forever to get your food out to you, but Dave’s is very fast. I think between placing our food order and getting it was only about 15 to 20 minutes in a fully packed restaurant.

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Round one!

They had a great special the night that we went. It didn’t have a name it just listed the ingredients.

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I can’t remember what was in it, because I [s]forgot a notebook to write everything down with[/s] forgot to write things down because I was to busy eating. What is topping it though is something I hadn’t had before. From what Patrick and I could decipher, was tobiko soaked in a habenero-mango juice concoction. It was spicy and delicious and I could have eaten just that with a spoon.

We also had the “Le Possion” (the one topped with salmon) and the “Grave Danger” (the one topped with spicy tuna and black sesame seeds). I picked out the Le Possion and Patrick picked the Grave Danger. Ingredients were super fresh. The cilantro mayo on top of the salmon was different, and was recurring throughout the menu. It was nice on the Le Possion but it accompanied two of our rolls in round two, which I will get to in a moment. The Grave Danger had a bite to it, and I very much thought it was going to be too much for me to handle. I love spicy but can’t take much heat (because I’m a wuss). But once again I was pleasantly surprised. Everything combines so well in your mouth that it didn’t even dawn on me that it was hot until the burning started to build in my mouth. Much water was consumed this evening.

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I would recommend all three of these roles to someone. They are delicious and complex.

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ROUND TWO!

The second round confused me a bit when we got it. I thought two of the rolls were the same. I was wrong when I bit into them, but they totally look alike.

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This round we got what we loving dubbed “The 80’s Platter”. (From left to right) The David Hasslehoff, S’Happening, and Thai-na-mite. The David Hasslehoff is the other roll that came with the cilantro mayo. It was also topped with a bit of fresh lime juice and for me that didn’t work. It was still good, but the flavor fell a little flat for me. The Thai-na-mite was topped with green curry sauce, which was really good. This one had cilantro on the inside, which made me feel a little cilantro’d out. It was in everything. The S’Happening was my favorite of the three. It had the least amount of ingredients but was still very flavorful.

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In conclusion, we left full of good sushi, good memories, and good sake. I highly recommend Dave’s Sushi to anyone needing their raw fix after skiing up at Big Sky. They do have other things on the menu, but what’s the point of going to a sushi restaurant if you’re nothing going to order sushi. 9/10

Food, Life, Picture Post

Exploring International Cuisine In A Small Mountain Town: Whistle Pig Korean

So, We had a date night the other night. I got to go out with this handsome devil:

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He really does not like this picture.

We rarely have full fledged date nights anymore because we are both so busy with class and our regular lives that we usually just have dinner in the dining hall together and that’s that. But the semester is just getting more stressful for the two of us, and with only one of us going home for break we won’t see each other for a while. I start my new job on the 28th which will limit our time together even more, so we picked Saturday and went for it. He wanted pizza, but I was able to convince him to try the little Korean place that we pass all the time and we’ve never been in. It’s a tiny little place off the main road that shares a building with a hair salon and another store called “Earth’s Treasures” (which I assume is a geology shop) and it’s across the street from an auto parts store, somewhere you wouldn’t really notice. I first noticed it when we were out drinking one night about a year ago and kept wanting to go, but wasn’t sure when to go. I’m also a terrible blogger and forgot to take pictures of everything, so I pulled a TON of photos from their facebook page. So here we are.

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The facade of the restaurant, like I said, is pretty nondescript.

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And as soon as you walk in you are greeted by an modern interior. With corrugated tin along the register, mismatched lighting and chairs, exposed brick, and bright green accent paint, it was very inviting.  It wasn’t a place I would call a ‘hipster’ location, even with the aforementioned decor. It was comfortable. Though they do play K-Pop over their sound system (if this is a surprise to you, it shouldn’t be. It’s a Korean restaurant) it isn’t ear blasting terrible, at least for me.

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The employee at the register was quick to note we had never been there before and took charge right away to help let us know where the menus were, told us about dishes that weren’t really familiar to most people (thankfully I watch enough Simon and Martina to have an idea of what I was ordering), and was totally there if we had any other questions. As the SO and I are larger than the average person, routinely needing more leg room and tables are usually on the small side when it comes to a place to put our arms, I appreciated that the tables were very spread out. It wasn’t that busy for a Saturday night, but we were there at about 5pm and Bozeman night life doesn’t really take off until a bit later in the evening (looking at their facebook page, they regularly sell out of food on the weekends, so I’m going to consider us lucky).

We ordered at the register (I ordered the Bulgogi Bibimbap and the SO had the Spicy Bibimbap (no meat), we also ordered a starter of Bibim-Mandu with chicken) and took a seat at a table that was near the door. As soon as we sat down another employee brought over a complimentary side of pickled cucumbers and our silverware. I wasn’t expecting that, and as the SO distracted me with pointing out that the chopsticks were metal and I explained to him that a lot of Korean chopsticks were metal because it saves on bamboo, he beat me to trying them first (which means that I didn’t get a picture of it because that meant it was a fight to eat more than the other, but I found this one on google).
pickledcucumbers2-575x262They were so good. Crunchy and firm, but still tart and vinegary. The spice on was just right for me. Not kimichi spicy (thankfully), but it was a great introduction to the meal we were going to get. Our starter came out pretty quickly, which sometimes makes me nervous, but everything was fresh. Bibim-Mandu is different than regular mandu. Bibim-Mandu aren’t stuffed, you use the dumpling shell like a taco shell and you stack the fillings on, dip the whole thing in spicy red sauce, and tuck it away in your mouth. Delicious. The spice and seasoning on the chicken was really good and was complimented by the spicy red sauce.20161119_171635.jpg

Also, metal chopsticks are heavier than I thought they would be. I found myself holding them a lot further back than I would and it changed the way I ate. So, chalk that up to a fun new learning opportunity.

Our food came out at a pretty decent time after we were done with the starter, and we had some leftover bits from the Bibim-Mandu and we tucked the extras into our Bibimbap (which we had served in regular bowls, next time we are going to get sizzling bowls) and topped it with red sauce and mixed it all together (which is what you do) and dug in.

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The SO was so excited that he dug in before I could get a photo of his, but this was before I mixed all mine together(his looked like mine, but without the beef). There is a nice fried egg in there, Korean beef, and veggies all on a bed of fresh rice. I don’t know what that red sauce is, but it is so good. I didn’t put to much on the first mix up, because I do like spicy but I can’t handle a lot of it. I did get to try him, and I thought it was a little weak for it being the “spicy” option. So I added the rest of my sauce to it and ate it up. And then it happened. The burn starts at the back of your throat, sneaks up into your sinuses and then sounds the alarm. It was such a sweet burn and made everything taste awesome.

My favorite thing in the whole bowl was that chunk dedicated to the beef. It was absolutely the most amazing beef I have ever tasted. It made me close my eyes to savor it and it just sent happy signals through me entire body. It was moist and salty, but not to salty and it just hit all the right spots on my tongue.

I won’t like, it did not take long for us to finish eating, we barely spoke to each other because it was just amazing. I haven’t stopped thinking about eating there since then. I would have gone back for seconds but instead we went to get bubble tea. 10/10, would go again. I love Whistle Pig Korean!

NEXT STOP!

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From what I understand, there is only one bubble tea place in Bozeman, and I wish there were more. I love Townsend Teahouse, but it isn’t really within winter walking distance. Townsend and I have a bit of a history, they were the ones to sell me my first ever bubble tea to me when I lived in Portland. It was a green tea peach with fruit jellies. I remember because it was amazing and now that it was in my life I didn’t know if I could live without it (I totally did, but it wasn’t as fun). So when I found out that Bozeman had a Townsend it scored points when I was looking for a new uni.

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I usually get green tea, aloe jellies, and then a fruit combo. I’m not a fan of tapioca pearls, they just don’t taste good to me. Patrick got them this time. He is a fan of mate tea and fruit jellies. I went for a peach and raspberry combo as it is made with real raspberries. They were out of fruit jellies, so Patrick tried something new without heeding my advice and decided in the end I was right.

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Overall, it was a great night that we got to spend together and we got to eat some amazing foods. I’ll be back Whistling Pig. I know your MSU Student Special now, we’re gonna be best friends. 🙂

Life, Picture Post, Short Post

Life Keeps on Slippin’

So, hello everyone. I am absolutely sore right now. As I no longer work at Teletech, I’m working as a Temp doing what ever it is my agency needs me for. Yesterday I worked six hours in the sun pushing carts during a sale. Didn’t sound hard, I’ve pushed carts before. I wasn’t expecting the sun (I have a vague burn that is running my life), how hot it got (almost 68F, I’m lame I know), and that I am way more out of shape then when I last did it 10 years ago. But, things are starting to look up for me job wise. I don’t want to say anything about that much though, because then it will all go wrong.

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Pushing carts was fun in it’s own way. I got to chat with a bunch of elderly people. Little old ladies who need help getting carts or loading their goods. And then old men. Oh, I love little old men, they are the best. They always seem grumpy, like I do, but you crack a joke with them and their faces light up. I’m probably an old man in a female body. That makes sense.

Onto other news, I’ve started watching what I’m eating again. Healthy foods, lots of fruit and veg. Lean meats, good grains, the works. But tonight I broke and had gizzards. Ooooo, those deep fried bits of deliciousness. My forearms are killing me, who knew you used all of those muscles to type. Lots of water, mostly water actually. I haven’t noticed any of the glowing changes that the internet says I should be seeing, but I don’t really look at myself all that often. I did finally get my housing assignment for school. Johnstone, Large Single, NO ROOMMATE! Woo! The SO was right again, that I was overthinking things. I’m going to see if I can take the COMPASS test up at FVCC instead of taking the MPLEX. It would save me the (probable) separate trip to Bozeman. I’m going to go ask in the morning, see if they can schedule me or if that’s not allowed. Who knows, we will find out! Life is full of adventure!

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The realization that I am a quarter of a century old is slowly setting in. The next time I have a century party, I’ll be fifty. That’s weird to think about.

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My nose and face itch. I’ve already made the mistake of scratching it once and that burned. I’m trying to keep the skin moisturized and cool but to no anvil. Away I go, see if I can score some hours of sleep before I have to go get my tires done!

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This, I need all of this
Food, Life, LiveFrugal, Picture Post

The Half Ginger’s Not So Clear Guide to Cheap Groceries!

My first requested post! Oh goodness, where do I begin (there is going to be math, simple math, but math)! So, in the comments on our facebook page I had a request to write a post about the cheap meals I’ve been making lately and how I go about it. Now, a lot of people I know are on a super fixed budget, and if you’re like me, it’s not always cheap to eat super healthy. You may notice that a lot of the dished I post are pasta, rice, or noodle based. This is because those three things are cheap when purchased in bulk. Take for example:

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$13.79 at the local Costco

That’s 25 lbs.  That’s about .55  cents a pound. Which is fantastic. I’m more than willing to spend $14 on a bag of rice that will last between 3-5 months. It’s cheaper than minute rice, even if you need to put a little extra work into it. A lot of the time, when people make rice, a large portion of it get burned to the bottom. This is where a rice cooker comes into play. It may cost a pretty penny, but it is worth it. Once you wash the rice and the water you are washing with runs clear, less of it is going to burn to the bottom. Lack of that extra starch saves the rice from burning. So, that’s a cool tip, washing rice is important.

Noodles! I love noodles! Mostly ramen noodles. At .20 cents a package, you get 5 meals for a dollar. And then once we jazz it up with other ingredients we’ve purchased, it will only run us about $.85-1.20 depending on what we do. Pasta (not noodles, totally different), is usually on sale. Today there was a great sale, buy six and get them all for .49 cents. So, let’s look at an average shopping trip for the Half Ginger.

So, we show up to the store, coupons and list in hand.

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These are two very important things that I forget all the time (and yes, my list is written on the back of my 1-a-Day learn Japanese calendar). Those are deals I wrote down to keep an eye out for. I follow the online ad for my local Smiths, and write down things I could make into other things. Sometimes when I get to the store, a different brand is cheaper, so I will purchase that. Which happened on this trip. Which happens on a lot of trips.

I will always try my best to get a tiny cart, because when I have a tiny cart I buy less.

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No… not that tiny
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Ugh. No.
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Uh… little bigger (and without the child)
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AH! That’s close enough!

So, when I get a tiny shopping cart (and the correct google search terms) I will only ever fill the top half of the cart. Keeps things cheaper.

At the beginning of my local market, they have their big sale items in bins. Which I find useful. Usually it’s beans, crackers, gummies, stuff like that. I always take the opportunity to browse. This time, it’s where I found the pasta on sale (6 packages cost me  $2.94) flour tortillas (2 for $4, I only purchased one), and some pudding (10 for $10). I didn’t need the pudding, who ever does, but it was 4 cups for $1 and for .25 cents I think it’s worth it. (Not all the time. Just sometimes.)

In produce, they had avocados for 4 for $5. As I had already picked up the tortillas, and I had purchased black beans on a prior shopping trip (.89 cents a can), I figured I could use half of one per some burrito I figured I’d take full advantage of the sale. Since they are smaller tortillas, I can use 1/4 to 1/2 of each avocado for each dish and have some leftover for other meals. Most of the time it’s a quarter, which means I’ll have 16 quarters, when you price it out that’s .31 cents per avocado servings. So far I am under a dollar for 10 meals.

Nothing else in the produce section sparked my interest, and I wasn’t sure how I’d incorporate any other produce into this clever plan (except when I left I thought about tomatoes) and I moved on to the meat section. This is of course after I walked by the bakery to smell the bread.

Meat is always a tricky purchase. Expiration dates, price per unit, and so on. Beef is expensive, but when on sale can be worth it. Pork and chicken are where I usually keep it. Ground pork runs about $1.99 a pound on average where I live, which is awesome, because you can make a lot of meatballs with a pound of pork. Pork steaks go on sale a lot too, so I like to buy them when they do and then freeze them. But also, in the meat department, my favorite thing happens.

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See that awesome sticker? That sticker means that the meat is discounted. Some may be wary of this kind of thing, but play your cards right and you can save quite a bit. With the discount of 1.46, that is .18 cents an ounce. Instead of .24 cents an ounce. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but if I divide the 23.2 ounces that I purchased I can make about 5.75 meals with it. So, that’s super peasy!

I also purchased a pack of chicken tenderloins for $5.41. They aren’t the most economic meat, but given their small size, and that I can divide them up into portions and freeze them. Smaller than chicken breasts, not as much work, and just as tasty.

Near the meat department, there is the discounted produce section. This section is great for a few reason. I don’t buy a lot from there, mostly because I don’t use a lot of produce all the time. Mostly because I’m terrible at remembering it. For .99 cents you can get some good deals. Today I saw organic bell peppers, eggplants, turnips, potatoes, just to name a few. It was great. I didn’t pick anything up, like I said, but it’s definitely a good place for bargains.

These are my main two departments that I hit up. For the burrito idea, I grabbed a bag of cheese that was on sale for $3.50 /lb ( the one on my list was tiny and I didn’t want to have to buy six of them). Jumping down the tuna aisle I grabbed 4 cans of Starkist Tuna for $2. I’m not a fan of tuna mac, but it does fill the stomach and I can make a huge batch of it and eat it over time.

I grabbed a loaf of bread on the other side of the store, some sour cream, and a bottle of frank’s red hot. That was not originally something I usually buy, but I used the last of it in the house. Guess what? It was on sale, and I had a coupon. WOO!

Got through the line (after leaving my wallet in the truck again), bags in the truck, drove home, AND BAM, I found this:

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FORGOT MY COUPON!

DAMN! Maybe next time! But, check out my receipt!

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