Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. I’d thought I’d take a few moments to introduce myself and tell you what this whole thing is about.
I’m a 22-year-old living in the Vancouver area. When I moved out to go to college in Victoria, at the age of 18, I discovered many of my fellow peers struggled with the chore of budgeting, grocery shopping, and cooking for themselves for the first time. Granted, I went to a really intense arts college which had us in classes from 8:30 am until 10:00 pm Monday through Saturday with an hour break each for lunch and dinner, so it was tricky finding time on our one day off to do EVERYTHING that was needed to prepare for the week ahead. Additionally, with the schedule we were keeping, it was near impossible to work, so most of us were living off of student loans, savings, and/or mooching off of our parents.
By some act of God, the area of food has never been an issue for me. I was always really good at cooking really good food and staying within budget. One day during Inner Space (basically a breathing/yoga class we were required to take) I vowed to some day do something to help those poor students nourish themselves in a way that was quick, cheap, and easy. I started a food diary and every week I logged what I bought, made, and ate, and four years later… this blog was born.
I am no longer in college, but attempting to live as an artist still leaves me as broke as ever. Up until recently I busted my ass in the restaurant industry for measly pay and had no time to spare to do what I had spent thousands of dollars training to do – perform. It was time for a change. I now work as a nanny – leaving my evenings and weekends free to commit to projects, but I don’t make much more than I did in the restaurant.
The theme of this blog is SHORT. Those who know me laugh when I tell them because I’m a whopping 5’2, but that’s not the only reason I picked the name. I’m consistently “short” on time in a day and money in the bank, so cheap, quick, and easy is my food-motto.
Of course though, as one of my favorite people used to say “Everything in moderation, including moderation” (Oscar Wilde) so occasionally I sport a recipe that takes a little longer to prepare or cost a little more.
My food budget is $50 a week. So every week I start with a shopping list of what I bought and then include at least 3 recipes as to what I did with those items. I center my week around the proteins. I pick the meat or poultry that is decently priced that week (as the prices fluctuate immensely) and then go from there.
A couple disclaimers:
I don’t cite where I got each recipe from for a few reasons – I didn’t write it down, I forget, and recipes are exempt to copyright laws so I don’t care.
Obviously the prices where I live are going to be different from where you live. This blog is meant to be a guideline. So don’t send me hate mail because your grocery bill came to $58 instead of $49. But just so you know, I usually shop at Safeway, Buy Low, No Frills, and the Superstore.
I don’t always eat three meals a day because I don’t have time to and I can’t afford to. Also dinner is the only meal I actually sit down and eat. So breakfast and lunch are usually eaten gradually between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm. Someone told me once that this is actually a healthier way to eat (something small every 2-3 hours) but that isn’t why I do it. I do it because it fits the most accurately in my lifestyle.
The following items I always have on hand, so I hardly ever include them in my shopping lists. Couple reasons: I buy them in bulk from Costco and often receive them as gifts as well. Also, if I run out of them, I usually buy them right away, like on my way home from school or work, as opposed to waiting until my weekly shopping trip.
– Cream (the smallest one available for my coffee)
– Butter or margarine
Also note, that if I tell you to buy something that I know will keep, like a spice or an oil, I won’t tell you to buy it again in the span of a year. For example, if I tell you to buy cinnamon in Week 3, I may use it in Week 20 without including it on the shopping list, as I assume you still have some.
I welcome feedback and constructive criticism! If something if ever unclear, please don’t hesitate to comment or let me know and I will edit and clarify! I write my recipes assuming everyone has some basic common sense in the kitchen, but there is a large possibility that what I think is ‘common’ sense is really just my sense. For example, when I say you need a can of tomato soup, I mean an undiluted can of condensed tomato soup. Don’t make the soup first. Just open the can and add it to the recipe as is. But that IS basic, right?!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy! Happy cooking!
– Emily Nadeau