Getting Ready for Winter

Let’s start out with the fact I am really dreading the possibility of another Polar Vortex. It seems like yesterday we were routinely having days below zero. Last year it seemed like all of the sudden winter was here…I was completely caught off guard. The result was no great way to exercise and runs to the grocery store at not the most ideal times. This year I am getting ready for winter…now.

Here’s how I am making this winter a little more bearable now:

1. Stocking up on stuff that doesn’t expire/go bad until at least 2016. Since we are trying to eat cleaner–i.e. no processed food–this is a little trickier for stocking up. We are beginning to stock up on things that don’t go bad such as Ziploc bags and toilet paper. Other items like chicken stock and canned goods I am also starting to add a few extra each week. The idea isn’t to have supply for a year or two, but just enough so grocery store trips aren’t mandatory and we don’t resort to eating out in the dead of winter. Here’s why this is a great time of year to stock up:

  • Energy bills are lower with the a/c off and the heat not on yet. We have an extra $50-100 in the budget.
  • We are eating in season-farmer’s market and from our garden food. This also helps to keep the grocery bill lower, more room in the budget for tin foil and trash bags.

2. Finding a way to get exercise. Anytime of the year, I find the more exercise I get, the more I get done. This past week, I checked out several gyms in the area to get a jump start and avoid the winter weight gain. After crunching the numbers, it looks like a home gym is the winner. Why?

  • We have enough room in the basement for weights/bike trainers.
  • The gym enrollment fee/monthly dues would be better spent on a bike.
  • No excuses when you don’t have to go anywhere.
  • I won’t go if it’s below zero.

Is anyone else dreading the possibility of another Polar Vortex?

What is the Purpose of Creating a Goal?

If you are like me, creating goals is a piece of cake and something you might even look forward to writing. In the past year, I have noticed that I have been really good at creating the goal and getting amped up to complete it–then the excitement wears off and the goal is forgotten. Perhaps it was a budget goal or income goal–then a week or so in, the excitement is over. Don’t worry another goal is just around the corner to get excited about again.

This week I have been thinking about why I create goals. Is it just to write down something on paper that sounds cool to achieve? Or do I really want to move in the direction of the words on the paper?

Commitment to the goal was missing. It could be there are too many other goals or priorities so there is no room to commit. Another reason is that the goal is not realistic.

This month I am reevaluating what I want to accomplish the rest of this year and some longer term goals for next year. The first question now is if I am ready to commitment to the goal.

Shopping at CostCo Wholesale: The Giant Bag of Limes

I love shopping at Costco–it’s something that has saved us a ton of money. However, it you are not careful, it can turn into a giant money pit. All those tempting samples and new gadgets. That’s one way it can cost more. Another way is food waste. I hate food waste. It’s not only money in the garbage but completely avoidable.

Limes are one of those items that are so much cheaper at Costco than in the store. It’s a no brainer. The danger is now using all of them. Here are some ways that I make sure and get my money’s worth and avoid waste:

1. Tequila Bars by Guy Fieri. These are to die for and are great with any cookout. I highly recommend making them.

Tequila Bars

2. Guacamole. Think giant bag of avocados meets giant bag of limes. Making a batch of guac takes a few minutes and tastes so much fresher than the store bought.

3. Limeade. This is like lemonade’s cousin.

4. H2O enhancer. Add a slice or two to a nice tall glass of water.

5. Chipotle style rice. Add lime, butter, and cilantro to white rice with your next Mexican dish.

6. Search “lime” in If all else fails (or if I have been of no help), searching by ingredient can turn up some new ideas.