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Thursday, July 30, 2015

One Week P1,000 Meal Plan for Four

“Ano kayang lulutuin ko?” – This had been my usual dilemma every afternoon.   Actually, thinking of what to cook is really not a chore for me.  Anything connected to cooking is fun.    So,   I thought there was no reason for me   to create a meal plan.
That was until I realized that I was wasting so much food and I was spending so much on food.   One meal would usually cost us P150  on the average, and I would incur P3,000-4000 on groceries per week (baby’s milk excluded).   Such realization made me decide to whip up meals  which are cheaper but healthier than our food choices then.        I have decided to  create a weekly meal plan with a COST LIMIT.   It’s actually challenging but the following reasons pressed me to carry it out:   First, we are not getting any younger. Eating too much meat and junk food is definitely not good for us. Second, I need to cut our expenses.  Windfalls have stopped from falling and our financial status is not at its best.  We also need to save for Baby C’s education.  Lastly, I need to expose Baby C to eating vegetables and to simple living. 

So, here’s my meal plan for the week.

Oo. Fan ako ni Daniel Padilla at wala kayong pakialam kung PABEBE ako! lol

I have   stated the corresponding (approximate) cost of the  meal (rice not included).    I have also posted it on the fridge so that my husband would know what to expect and so that our househelp would know what to cook for breakfast.  And it also serves as a  “HINDI UNLI ANG BUDGET NATIN” notice. Lol. Seriously, I believe that every member of the household should be aware na hindi pinupulot ang pera. 

Together with this meal plan is a food shopping plan.

Wet Market for fish and seafood – Twice a month (It would be too tiring to go to the wet market every week. Although Farmers Market is relatively near to our place, I find  commuting stressful.   Besides, weekends are for resting.)

Puregold for canned goods,  meat, baby’s milk,  toiletries etc.  – Weekly  (Actually, I could go there as many times as I want since it’s just a few blocks away from our condo.  There is also a Puregold near my workplace.)

Sidewalk for vegetables/fruits – Every day or as needed (There are sidewalk vendors near my workplace who sell vegetables such as broccoli, lettuce, squash,  malunggay and all the veggies in bahay kubo.  The veggies there are way cheaper than those in Supermarket or Farmers.

S&R – Once every two months (S&R has been my happy place. Hahaha. However, it has also been my temptation place. Haha.  I really find it difficult to resist the Buy 1 Take 1 muffins/cakes, chips and cookies in giant bags, pizza and even the bedsheets on sale.   Hence, the imposition of S&R trip limit.)

We can’t live without food.  It’s definitely a NEED.  However, delicious and unhealthy food is a WANT.  In household financial planning, knowing the difference between needs and wants is crucial. 

But you know, I don’t plan to eradicate eating out or eating greasy and extremely delicious food.  I want to live the present as much as I want to prepare for the future.  My objective is to live a simple but balanced life. 


Monday, July 20, 2015

Electric Bill Update

I posted here about our electric bill concern and how we could minimize our electric consumption.  I found out that the new electric meter has nothing to do with our electric bill.  Nananahimik siya. Wala siyang kasalanan! Haha. Yes. The blame should be put on us, the “feeling rich” kids.  

I enumerated  the things that we should do to lower our electricity usage.  We’ve been doing Numbers 1 and 3.  As per suggestion of Jill of Frugalhoney, we’ve stopped using the hot and cold setting of our water dispenser.   And after a month….Tadaaaaa…..

Our electric bill was reduced by P1,000.  Yey!  We could have reduced the bill  further if we had just stuck to the plan of decreasing our AC usage.   Anyway, at least we've become more inspired to do Numbers 2 and 4.   We bought two electric fans for the living area and master’s bedroom so, we could limit our AC usage.   Last night, we set the AC timer to 3 hours and turned on the fan.   Though our windows were closed, our room was surprisingly not that warm.  It was not warm at all. Thanks to our brand new electric fan! Haha.      However, my baby complained. She was uneasy.    So, before she throws a fit, I turned on the AC.  Ngek!  Pano ba naman she was using a long sleeved onesie and  a pair of pajamas.  Tonight, I will let her  wear a short sleeved onesie.    I think she will get used to a  non-ac room very soon.    By the way, I  bought  sandos for my baby’s  pambahay. They’re not as cute as  Carters onesies, but they’re very presko, apt for Philippine weather.   

My husband and Ate (baby’s nanny) assembling the electric fans

I am very mindful with our expenses nowadays. The prices of commodities are insanely high that my income cannot keep up with them anymore.  Since I have no concrete plan on how to increase my cash inflow, the least I could do is to do good on my cash outflow.   Next time, I will blog about our food expenses and meal plans.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Planning Baby C's COC themed birthday party


Yes. You read it right. The theme of my darling girl’s first birthday party will be Clash of Clans (COC)!  Any violent reaction? Haha.   Actually, my friends and relatives shared the same reaction when they found out about the theme.  “But, your child is a girl...”  Yes.   My child is a girl and I want her to be a WARRIOR!  I want her to be brave, smart, confident, kind  and hardworking.    I don’t want her to be frail, shy, self-centered and dependent.   I want her to focus on her skills, talents and attitude not on physical beauty.  I want to raise a warrior.     And…hmm…my husband and I like playing Clash of Clans and we think that a COC themed party is going to be FUN!!!  Anyway, first birthday parties are for the parents, right? Haha.

We already have a theme. So what’s next? Honestly, I am not good at planning a party (at planning in general).  But, I can always learn, right?  For a beginner like me, a checklist is a must.

Budget:   I like parties and celebrations. They are venues for chika chika with relatives and close friends. However, I don’t want to spend a fortune on  an impressive birthday party.  I find it impractical. Besides, I don’t need to impress my relatives and friends.   Hence, the party is going to be a simple one. I set the budget at P15,000, buffer included. 

Venue: We are choosing between my parents’ house and our townhouse in Naga City. My husband wants to hold the party in our townhouse but I’m not quite sure if it can accommodate our guests.  Let’s see.

Food: I’m planning to cook spaghetti, fried chicken, spring rolls and hotdogs – the usual simple  birthday party food.   

Birthday Cake:  I asked my sister-in-law to look for a cake supplier in Naga City who can bake a COC cake.

Candy/Dessert Bar and Styling: I will be the one to do the styling with the help of some friends and nieces.  I already asked my nieces, Francine and Baba to make pompoms and buntings.  I will also go to Divisoria to buy cloth, jars, candies and  other party stuff.    

Invites: I will not send invites.   Sending invites might suggest that I’ll be throwing a grand party. Haha. 

Photographer: I will ask my goddaughter  who has a DSLR camera to be the official photographer.

Entertainment: I’m considering to hire clowns.

What else?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Where to Buy Paintings in Tagaytay

My husband and I have always wanted a minimalist home. We’ve always wanted a home which does not house a lot of  knick-knacks.    Actually, it’s my husband who’s fussy about the stuff we bring into our home.     It should always be worth the space.   

One of my husband’s dreams is to hang paintings on our wall.  He is not that artistic but he appreciates art.  For me, artworks are all the same. Haha. So when I saw a painting in a department store which price was slashed by 50%, I became so giddy and immediately alerted my husband.  My husband’s response was “Ah okay…but I don’t like mass produced paintings” and cut my excitement just like that!  Ah ok…My search for paintings ended right then and there.  

Then last February, destiny brought us into a coffee shop  with an  adjacent art gallery.  It was not our intent to go to that place.   Our plan for the night was to dine at Josephine’s.  However, heavy rains pressed us to enter a small coffee shop near the hotel we stayed at in Tagaytay.  It’s  a coffee shop with a really great ambiance. It’s not the usual coffee shop in the metro where people are busy doing something in their respective laptops or reading  thick medical or law books.     It’s  more  laidback.  It’s like, you go there to sip coffee and relax (not to work and drink coffee).  I also like the province-y vibe.  It somehow brought me to my summer years in the province.     While waiting for our food, we busied ourselves scrutinizing and appreciating the paintings displayed. I even interviewed the staff.   According to him, the artworks were made by students of a particular Fine Arts school (or school offering Fine Arts)  in Tagaytay. And  he added that the  artworks  are   for sale!  
He led us to an adjacent art gallery for more artworks.  

However,  our eyes were fixed on these pieces.

They were painted by Allana Santos.  We like her works. They somewhat tell a story and they are somewhat filled with feelings.  Honestly, I don’t know how to describe artworks.  Haha. Basta, parang may puso.

So, we brought them home. My husband was so elated. Hindi ko maipinta ang kaligayahan sa kanyang mukha. Haha. 

Excited much? lol

If you are looking for a painting, visit Java Jazz Coffee Shop.  You might find a gem there.     It’s located at Calamba Road, Sungay West, Tagaytay City. It’s near T-House Tagaytay. 

By the way, we got the two paintings for P8,000.  They were originally priced at P10,000 or P5,000 each. However, the owner gave us a discount since we got two.     

Thank you for reading.