Tag Archives: minimal

Grocery shopping breakdown

The other day I walked to the grocery store and got stuff for dinner. There is something about cooking with groceries you obtained using your own two feet, rather than a car, I think.

I spent $35.92 on the trip. First, let’s deduct anything that didn’t have to do with dinner.

  • Reusable bag refund (five cents per bag): $0.10
  • Orange juice: $4.19
  • Green bell pepper: $0.50
  • Eggs: $2.59
  • Russet potato:  $1.75

That’s $26.79 I spent on dinner only. With that I made four main dishes. (Super Enchiladas that my wife raved about.) My wife and I ate two those that night. The next morning I made huevos rancheros with leftover ingredients. (She said they were the second best she’s ever had.) Then, the next evening, we had the remaining two entrees for dinner. Continue reading →

Minimally opening the door to my fridge

This graph documents my 2011 resolutions kept so far or blog traffic, I can't remember which

So it comes to this, my last so-called “normal” post before embarking on yet another challenge. Effective Wednesday, June 1st, I’ll be back in fighting form for the BlogShorts challenge sponsored by Blogdramedy. This time in the barrel the challenge is to write 30 short stories of exactly 30 words each for 30 days. Stick around this month and read a few. I’m sure it the experience for you, the reader*, will be different.

I pity the fool that reads my blog during the month this challenge is underway. It’s going to be the good, bad and the fugly, only without the “good” part. You have been warned.

I’m actually dreading this challenge quite a bit. I’m quivering in fear. It feels overwhelming. I’m not sure if I can do it and I have no idea what I’m going to do. This may be the challenge that finally breaks me. On the plus side, if that happens, I’ll have something fun to talk about. I love wallowing in my own misery, failures and inadequacies.

30 word limit? Hmmm. Perhaps one of them could be my unabridged autobiography? Yes, that will work!

If you blog, it’s not too late to sign up and undertake the challenge yourself. I’m living proof that no actual skill or talent is required, so click the link to sign up and you can do your part to help make me look like a fool. (Not that I need any help.)

Speaking of undertakings…

Earlier this year in an attempt to increase my P.Q. (pathetic-quotient) I published some New Year’s resolutions. These were key areas where I planned to explore new dimensions of failure. I’m proud to report that things in this regard have been proceeding swimmingly. With each one broken I feel the avoirdupois lifting from my encumbered shoulders.

Some notable examples:

  • Be a better listener – The wife reports there has been an increase of 1% in this area, with a margin of error of +/- 3 points. So this could technically be worse than before.
  • Go out to restaurants less often – Epic, supercharged and legendary fail! Time is the nemesis here! Enough said.
  • Go ovo-lacto vegetarian for the entire year – This one went quickly when I deemed myself a “flexitarian” in January. Since then, I don’t think there are many remaining major proteins I haven’t “flexed” with. My overall meat intake is still markedly down, though.
  • Commence work on my book and produce at least one publishable sentence. Nothing accomplished here, but on the plus side, the year isn’t over yet, so it still could theoretically happen.
  • Successfully complete the 2011 Shutterboo weekly photo challenge – I didn’t last long here, either, but I hold out hope I’ll find time with my camera and get caught up. Naive, I know.
  • Blog once a week on my new blog – Oops! I haven’t posted since the first week in February. Fail monkeys!

My fridge this Memorial Day after five months of minimizing - note the salsa past the date

A bit more about that last bullet item. The blog was called Minimal Fridge that was going to to be a place to document my quest to clean out our refrigerator and keep it clean. Both the blog and quest itself were failures. I closed the blog and opened a new category here in the Abyss to continue to fight the good fight. I won’t give up! Maybe. So it will be a new topic that I’ll touch on from time to time, mainly so you can all point and laugh at my efforts.

Here’s the initial post for this new category to get things going. This is a repost from the old blog.

The first rule of Minimal Fridge is, as my dad liked to say, “Don’t leave the door open. What are you trying to do? Cool the world?”

The second rule is: Keep that thing from getting so full!

When my wife and I cleaned out our refrigerator recently I estimated that we probably threw away about $400 worth of food that was unusable, either because it was past the “use by” date or rotten or both.

Wow, what a waste!

That was really a wake up call for me, and I resolved that if we were careful and applied a little bit of planning and organization we wouldn’t end up in that situation ever again.

My primary purpose here, you might call it a Prime Directive, is simple. To efficiently eat the food that we buy. I call it our “food efficiency rating.” Any food that has to be thrown away because it wasn’t used in time takes away from that rating.

So keeping the refrigerator neat and tidy, with as few as items as possible, is going to be very important. I’m not exactly sure what “minimal” will turn out to be, but that is my goal. Will it be two items per shelf? Three? And how many in the drawers, doors and freezer?

I hope you’ll find this to be an interesting idea worth of exploration. I’ll try to update this category frequently with updates on how it is going and any insights we learn along the way.

Please feel free to participate by sharing your own ideas, observations and experiences. I want to hear from you.


* In the interest of fairness and accuracy, it is the policy of this blog to refer to readers, visitors, subscribers in the singular. For Twitter this policy also applies to the follower. This is deliberate and used to indicate that one person is the upper estimate of my readership. (Hopefully not including myself.)