The Cult of the Budget

The Cult of the Budget

I think I understand now how easy it is to get sucked into a random idea presented by a charismatic leader. Tragically, my charismatic leader is me. The random idea? The maniacal budget I adopted last week. It worked fabulously, so this week I was determined to continue my success. I made the most crack shopping list, worked out every meal, snack, and miscellaneous item, and with the surplus from last week (an amazing $9.65), even managed to buy my favorite brand of espresso coffee and still have almost ten dollars left over.

So today, my obsession led me to baking. I love bread. Love, love, love it. When I first started working in the fitness industry, I had a job at a women’s gym where none of the other instructors ate carbs. They’d talk in detail about their insane meals, the lack of pasta, bread, potatoes … if only they’d known I was basically existing on giant rolls made from the most wonderful sourdough bread, and would’ve preferred some kind of medieval torture over giving it up.

My initial list had two different kinds of bread, which added up to nearly nine dollars. After crunching numbers, I realised if I baked instead, I could cut my spending by about five bucks. I checked out Stephanie Alexander, found a great recipe for baguettes, which also doubled as pizza dough for tonight’s dinner, and found another recipe for an all purpose bread which I’m going to bake tomorrow (due to several hours rising time which I’d already used up with the baguettes).

There were fifteen minutes of kneading, three lots of rising, and spraying the oven with water while the baguettes were baking, but now they’re sitting on a rack downstairs looking like I just ran down to the local bakery - they’re hefty, crusty - and smell fabulous. I changed my style with the pizza on Stephanie’s recommendation, and let it sit for thirty minutes after stretching it onto baking trays. It ended up crisp, thin and light - everything a good pizza should be. I’ve been a bit “meh” about her Cook’s Companion recipe book, but after tonight, I love it!

Miss M created a great salad, adding apple and balsamic dressing to lettuce, cucumber, celery and tomato, and we ate it with our delicious pizza, and I felt at peace with saving money and being a little more self sufficient.

It’s interesting to take on the mentality of waiting to replenish things. Usually if I ran out of a staple like coffee, I would’ve just gone and bought more straight away. Instead, I waited for five days to buy some, and now I’m going to enjoy it so much more. When I was younger, on supermarket day my brother and I would swoop on the choicest things, and be told when they ran out we had to wait until next week to have them again. Miss M hasn’t ever really known that state of affairs, and she’s slowly starting to get a bit of an understanding about waiting versus just deciding you want something. It’s most definitely a good thing!