After living on campus for the first 3 years of my university education, I have now moved out and need to cook for myself. This is a challenge in itself as I have lived away from home from the age of 15, only ever cooking when I wanted sweet treats to take back to school. Of course, I made the odd meal here and there, mainly tacos or other simple dishes that are generally reserved for once in a while. Until now, where I find myself needing to cook 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.
On top of that, I’m gluten-free. I’m not going to go into the reasons here, but I changed to a gluten-free diet at the urging of doctors around a year and a half ago. It’s a big adjustment, but I swear I still feel better every day. I’m not 100% sure that the food I was being given when I lived on campus was free of the evil gluten, but I know everything I cook myself is safe to eat. This recent change means many of the recipes I grew up cooking are unsafe for me to continue to eat, so I need to find new ways to get reminisce through food.
Like most full-time students, I’m incredibly broke. I’ve had a number of weeks in the past few months where I have had to live off less than $10, most of which I’ve had to use for parking! I’m actually not sure how I have managed to make it through and can only attribute it to having a well-stocked pantry. Living gluten-free can be really expensive, so I try to avoid bread and pasta where I can because I can’t afford the cost anymore.
For most of the time I have been living in the wide world, I’ve gotten by with lots of leftovers, cooking more than I need and eating small portions, freezing as much as humanly possible. There has also been a great deal of ‘winging-it’. This is a great way to live, but it is difficult when you have limited space which must be shared with others. Of course, it is usually cheaper to cook larger portions.
I’ve made a commitment to save as much money as I can without making sacrifices. I want to be able to feel okay about going out for dinner with my friends and family. I don’t want to hope that I will win the lotto or have to borrow money just to eat a little food. One of the lessons I have learnt is that planning is the key to eating well without breaking the bank.
So here I am. I’m hoping that this blog helps me to plan out my meals and save money. I am hoping that it also shows me where I’m spending too much and that I can re-evaluate.
While this blog is primarily for me, I hope that maybe one day it will help someone else. Maybe you?