Some people are just good cooks. After cutting out restaurant expenses two years ago, Mr. TJL and I are well on our way to cooking the best food in town. We aren’t naturally good, though. We have searched out and tried many new recipes. Some have been complete failures (or maybe it’s just our execution?).
Mr. Tako Escapes has been a mouth-watering source of inspiration. His pho recipe and recently published bacon-shrimp-avocado taco recipe have been amazing culinary additions to our regular menu. Yum, yum, yum!
Go Curry Cracker has provided their recipe for artisan bread for lazy, stingy people which tastes awesome and is easy to make. Nothing completes fall and winter like hot soft crusty bread fresh out of the oven.
They recommended the New Best Recipe cookbook, which indeed seems to contain the best recipes for pancakes, crepes, biscuits and pizza crust! (There are many superb recipes but we tend to be bread-centric). I bought mine for $3 used on Amazon.
We have also learned that the best way to cook meat is to double (or sometimes triple) cook; sear first, oven-broiled second, and finally tent to redistribute juices. French fries are also best double-cooked in oil at two separate temperatures!
All of this newfound skill has come at a price; perpetually and universal disappointment when we do dine out. I haven’t had a good meal at a restaurant for over a year now. The food is not really all that good, just convenient.
The enjoyment of being out on the town has waned, replaced with a lot of waiting and boredom. In the kitchen, you have an active part in creation. When we have guests over, the cooking is even more fun. I wish we would have started cooking our own meals sooner.
Reboot the reduced internet bill
Two years ago, I lowered my internet bill by making a simple phone call. I received a retention offer that lasted 24 months. As of April, that deal ended and I resumed paying nearly $60 per month for internet.
Even though, this rate isn’t terrible, it rubbed me the wrong way month after month. I had gotten spoiled.
After five months of procrastinating, I finally called my internet provider and successfully lowered my bill by $25 per month. The contract is for 1 year at the new price, but that will save us $300!
Although I hate contacting providers, it is totally worth it. This time I was unable to navigate the automated call system to reach an actual human being. So instead, I negotiated via the chat option.
I found a few more blogs this month that publish their monthly expenses thanks to Rockstar Finance . I like to compare my spending to these reports and try to improve where I can. Here is the lowdown on August’s expenses (published in September).
Dividends Down Under (Savings Update)
Trail to FI (New*)
I Retired Young (New*)
Our Quest for Fire (New*)
Done by Forty (re-New*)
Gen Y Finance Guy (New*)