The Good Kind of Dorky


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Randy's Recessionista Recipe

Your recessionista tips are fabulous--keep 'em coming! It seems a lot of your ideas are centered around how to cut back in terms of food costs. That is a big place where we could improve too. This year I have been making a concerted effort to eat out less and to be smarter and less wasteful when it comes to buying food and making meals. I thought I'd share the yummy, cost saving way I turned a package of $5 Wal-Mart ground beef into three meals. One meal was soft tacos with all the fixins. The second was really just Edgar's meal--a bunless burger with sweet potato fries on the side--because I was having some frozen meal and he wanted a burger. After dinner last night I decided to use the rest to make homemade meatballs since I had all of the ingredients already in the house. Preparing them last night saved me a ton of time after work tonight. All I did was cook the spaghetti and then throw in the sauce and meatballs. It was a really, really easy and yummy meal. I thought you might like the meatball recipe. To give credit where credit is due, I got it from a Martha Stewart Everyday Food that randomly appeared in my mailbox. I'm sure Martha is just trying to lure me in, but I will resist you Martha...I will resist you. But really, there is nothing like a free "cookbook." Possibly better than free panties. So totally recessionista chic!

(Oops, I think I accidentally jumped the gun and hit Publish. I had a spasm! I wasn't done with this post--WTF!)

So the meatball recipe is as follows:


coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I only had dried, so I used what I had and it worked fine)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1 pound ground beef
1/4 plain dried breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

In bowl, combine Parmesan, parsley, garlic, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add beef and bread crumbs; mix gently. Form into 16 balls.

In a pot (or pan!), heat oil over medium. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally. I think it took 10-15 minutes until they were done. At this point I put them in the fridge, but if you were going to eat them immediately, then make your pasta and add the meatballs to the sauce! I decided to mix everything together, but of course you can make the sauce separately to pour over the pasta.

It's just the two of us, so we had a bunch leftover too. I hope you try it and love it too!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Are you a recessionista?

I work in a retirement community and it never ceases to make me smile when I see a resident toting her things around campus in an old gift bag instead of a purse. Many of these residents lived through the Great Depression and don't want to waste a thing. I've even seen one lady carrying her things in one of those small, sturdy pink-striped Victoria's Secret bags. Save Everything because you never know when it could come in handy. Maybe these ladies are onto something.

Growing up, the Great Depression Era always fascinated me. My peers often wanted to write their history reports on the roaring twenties, but I was always so much more intrigued by the '30s. Grapes of Wrath anyone? I never imagined that I might one day live through a depression era all my own. My generation has trouble relating to the mindset of the older generations because when we want something, we get it, and we get it now. Times they are a changing and we're having to learn to make do with a little bit (or a lot bit) less than we're used to. I've been coming up with little ways to save money...little ways to be "recessionista" chic! I know this is a play on "fashionista," but I love it and I plan to use it loosely and often. So how fun would it be to share with each other the things we are doing to live on less? Way fun, I say!

Today I bring you...

Recessionista Tip #1: You know you took the soap and/or mouthwash, etc. the last time (or ten times) you stayed at a hotel. So when you run out of soap, don't run to the store. Pilfer through your linen closet instead. It's amazing the things you'll find. I bet you won't have to make a store run for these everyday items for at least a few weeks.

Recessionista Tip #2: It's winter and my hair gets dry very easily. I started shampooing my hair every other day rather than everyday. My hair is less frizzy and I'm totally making my expensive shampoo last longer!

Recessionista Tip # 3: When you get a coupon for a free pair of panties at Victoria's Secret, use it. Go into the store, don't look at any other tempting merchandise. Go straight for the freebie, check out, and leave. You'll totally get your shopping fix, you'll have new undies and you'll totally be sticking it to the "man." Take that, man.

So, what are your fabulous recessionista tips? Let's keep a running list. Let me know whenever you come up with something new! This will be so fun. I promise.