Video Recipes – DIY's – Island Life – Travel – Natural Living – Minimalism

Realistic Resolutions

To begin, I’m sorry to say that I won’t be bringing you any weight watcher tips on how to look like Jessica Simpson.  Someone asked me the other day if I’d rather give up food or sex.  Too easy.

A new year typically punctuates the beginning chapters of good intentions, all the things you fully intend on achieving throughout the year but too often, the full throttle sprint diminishes to a faint memory until you’re greedily grabbing at that 3rd croissant you know you shouldn’t be having (don’t look at me, I’ll only tell you to eat more).  So, for a girl who’s never even seen the inside of a gym (shame on me, I know), I gravitate more towards realistic goals.  Ok, so only eat 2, not 3 croissants and let’s save money together because there are two things off the top of my head that I can think of that are great to have more of than less, money and food.

Saving money is immediately gratifying, and hey, with all the money you’ll be saving, you might even be able to visit a real pâtisserie …in Paris!

If you spend most of your days in the kitchen like me, you realize just how much money passes through in the form of food and products (not to mention electricity/gas/water)!  If you’re not careful, you’ll unknowingly allow extra money to go down the drain along with the dirty dish water.  It may not work for everybody, but here’s what works for me.

For more info on coupons

One way we reduce waste in our household is by:

  • Eliminating paper towels.  I have a stack of tea/dish towels that I wash only when I have a full load of laundry going in.
  • Investing in a washable, bpa free water bottle and avoiding as many “disposable” products as possible.

One way we reuse is by:

  • Using brown paper bags to drain bacon.  Brown paper bags + twine = cute (free) wrapping paper.
  • Washing plastic food containers for other use.  My good ole’ yogurt container holds my homemade brown sugar.
  • Carrying reusable shopping bags to the market.

One way we recycle is by:

  • Taking our used coffee grounds (Starbucks also gives them away free) to use for our plants to stimulate the soil.
  • Composting.


  • Purchase brown bananas on clearance and freeze for smoothies or thaw later for muffins/breads.  They also help ripen Avocados/Persimmons/Apples/Figs/etc when left in a brown bag together.
  • Purchase foods that are “freezable.”  When my favorite bread goes on sale, I know to buy double so I can freeze one loaf while I enjoy the other.  Bread freezes beautifully!  Experiment with what freezes best for you.  I personally dislike previously frozen milk but different things work for different people.  Think about investing in a deep freezer.  Ours has saved us thousands in just storage.  I love going “shopping” in mine.
  • Make your own (economical and eco-friendly) cleaners.  I use Baking Soda, Vinegar,  and Lemon for practically everything!
  • Make a double batch and freeze for later.  This way, you don’t have to turn on your stove twice and next time you’re craving stuffed shells, half the work is already done!
  • Garden and grow your own food, even “window sill” gardening is a start.

{Just submerge the fibrous roots into a couple inches of water, replacing the water every few days}

  • Learn how to can.
  • Make your own spice mixtures (pumpkin, taco, chili, etc) and dry your own herbs.  Buy high ticket items like vanilla beans online vs in store and make your own extracts, brown sugar, Greek yogurt, and bottled teas.

{Pumpkin Spice}

{Buy a larger, economical tub, double line another container with thick paper towels and scrape in your yogurt.  Cover and allow it to drain in the fridge for a a few hours and tada!}
photo48-300x225{Homemade strained Greek yogurt}

{Refill individual juice bottles with tea to sip on throughout the day after disinfecting.  I keep a bottle of brewed, unsweetened white tea with me in my car}

{I use about 5 beans/cup}

  • Buy in season, stick to your list, and freeze excess.
  • Don’t always assume that buying in bulk automatically saves.  It pays to scan/compare circulars, check individual policies and stack coupons.  Most of my markets here accept competitor coupons and host double coupon/super double/triple coupon events.

This is an ever expanding list and I will add to it as it occurs to me.  Until then, I hope this proves to be another handy little helper in your kitchen.


Your Squishy Monster ^.~

, , , , , , , , , , ,

54 thoughts on “Realistic Resolutions

  • Natalie says:

    Some really great tips! Making a double batch and freezing for later is something I need to start doing more often!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    I like YOUR resolutions

  • EverydayMaven says:

    There are some really great ideas here – I need to do more of this!!

  • Always Maylee says:

    Great ideas and tips! My mom always saved plastic containers and I used to think it was weird until I owned my own house and had to pay bills. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so weird!

  • Alex says:

    Great ideas! Living in a country which is under a heavy recession – Portugal – we all are re-learning how to spare things we were used to having in abundance.

  • bldp says:

    I am big on reusing containers. Especially love your yogurt tip .

  • bldp says:

    I am big on reusing containers. Especially love your yogurt tip.

  • yummychunklet says:

    I’m making my own vanilla extract as we speak! Great ideas!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    it occurred to me one day, that it was silly to dish out double for not even a fraction of the yogurt and now love loading it into curries and pastries, too.

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    I hope to travel to Portugal one day and hope it returns to its former abundance soon =)

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    That’s where I got the idea from…Mom’s really do know best, huh? =)

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    I figured you’d appreciate the Greek yogurt bit =)

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Thanks, Kayle.

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    It got a little crazy in my kitchen for awhile and I had to slow it down because I felt I had to overcompensate by eating more, lol.

  • The Squishy Monster says:


  • cakewhiz says:

    those are some excellent tips! i make my own yogurt and i buy those over-ripe bananas too

  • Veronica says:

    Great tips girlie! Also, I love that you have a pink mixer. And you have a piggy spatula that matches! I <3 your kitchen in all ways.

  • hui says:

    i like this post! thank you! ^^

  • All That I'm Eating says:

    Totally agree with all this, interesting post.

  • honeywhatscooking says:

    great tips. happy new year!

  • elena-sweetlife says:

    Good tips and totally agree with all of these!

  • Joanne says:

    I’d much rather make realistic resolutions than ones that I’ll never keep. Loving all the tips in this post!

  • Eva Taylor says:

    Great post SM on how to save here and there. Another suggestion is when you make cookies to line the cookie sheet with parchment paper (not wax) so that you don’t need to wash the cookie sheet, saves hot water.

  • Joanne says:

    These are some really great tips! I love the idea of making more realistic resolutions than ones that you’ll never stick to.

  • Lester says:

    I try to live better each day. So no yearly resolutions Angie.I know ( Friends, long hapily married, when asked would they give up food or sex the y both say COMBINE the two!! Lol really, They are great cooks both of them I did not ever ask them to elaborate on that comment,lol

    Great tips here! Question Angie. Are there companies that still MAIL out coupons? More of the ones I , friends, relatives PRINT OUT are not accepted, or are expired when one tries to print them I have no smart phone YET with a coupon app.

    Great post as susual . Have a great week end Angie!!



  • Lester says:

    For those that have not seen this Angie. This brave and STIll in EVERY WAY( LIKE YOU) Beautiful Lady well we cn all learn something from this video. Hannah Is courageous to do this. Thank God she was not injured worse or killed. Careful ON ANY out door grill!!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    You can email specific vendors and they’ll mail it out. I typically collect Sunday inserts + printables and gather in store specials to stack.

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    I think the statistic is around 10-20% maintain their new resolutions. If I could only eat 10-20% of what I’m accustomed to, I’d be very sad indeed…not delicious statistics at all, lol

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Great tip…I myself am in love with my silpat thooough, it’s definitely seen better days.

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    I can never bring myself to “diet.” It seems so cruel!!!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Happy New Year, Elena!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    thank ya =)

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Much appreciated, Hui!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Awww, shucks!!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    I love watching the reaction of other shoppers when they pick up the brown banana bag at the market—it’s a mix of confusion and disgust and there I am right behind ’em to swoop them up…thanks for your bananascrimination is what I say.

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Happy New Year!!

  • Lester says:

    The ones in the news paper seem to be dwindle to a precious few. Thanks Angie. Have a great week end!!

  • thehautecookie says:

    i sooo agree,d i love your diys~!!!! xO!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Thanks, Unni!

  • Suzie says:

    I never make resolutions, I believe people should change things in their lives at any time, not just once a year and then not stick to it anyways. I too, have never seen the inside of a gym and I’m much older than you. I don’t plan on seeing one either…lol!! For one thing I would never pay for something I could do at home…kinda’ goes with your money saving tips…which are great!! xoxo

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Sometimes, I feel bad about it…or at least until something delicious distracts me. I’m not quite sure how I’m not a million lbs, Suzie…you and I are magicians, haha

  • AG says:

    sexy food forevers!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    I second that!

  • Amelia says:

    Hi Angie, excellent posting, I love it.
    Thanks for all the wonderful tips, you’re really great.

    I’ll will not tell you to go diet cos I love to eat and munch snacks when I got nothing to do. But I do various kind of exercise, weight lifting, skipping, running on treadmill. So what about you? Not necessary go to the gym, you can do it at home or walk at the park. Start exercise while you’re still young to stay healthy and zest your youth.
    Have a great weekend.

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I love to learn great tips, and it’s nice to start a new year with positive thinking! I stopped making resolution for “exercise” because every year I fail. So this year I decided to make more baked goods (I normally don’t) instead. Thank you for sharing yours!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    I’m totally on board with that idea!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    I know I should, but I can’t ever seem to bring myself to actually do it :/ Credit will be given all to you when I do though =)

  • LinsFood says:

    Happy New Year! Great tips here, I must say! I say the spring onions thing last year and have been doing it since or rather my kids do. I think double batches are a great idea, I do it more out of a necessity, having 4 kids, it’s all about saving time! I haven’t done NY resolutions since I was an impressionable teen and found out it was a recipe for disaster! As for the exercise bit, I’m lucky I love it and that it’s a big part of our lives.

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Happy New Year, Lin! I will have to try and incorporate more exercise this year….(maybe) lol

  • Simply Life says:

    oooh, I love your “green” tips here!

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    Thank you =)

  • Paul Anthony Prince says:

    Being certified in sustainability I have to tip my hat to your green practices. Very good advice indeed One more year and I should be complete with all my classes, it has me so excited! Last semester I learnt that you could regrow celery and pineapples in my horticulture class. The teacher didn’t mention green onions, thanks for the tip^^

  • The Squishy Monster says:

    That is just too cool, Paul, one of my baby brother’s best friends is a sustainability major. I intend on regrowing pineapple soon =)

  • Paul Anthony Prince says:

    That’s awesome! I always enjoy hearing about and meeting other proponents of sustainability. I feel that we have a duty to leave the world better of than it was when we inherited it, for the sake of future generations.

    I can’t wait to start regrowing some pineapples and green onions too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *