Now that I’m all moved into my new place that actually has a working kitchen and I am able to use all the small appliances that were packed away for months. I’ve been making quesadillas on my panini press and mini cakes in my (totally necessary) mini-cake maker. As you might remember, when I was living at my mom’s house her husband ripped out the kitchen so I couldn’t cook for about 5 months. I was spending over $400 a month eating at work and eating fast and heavily processed food. I hated it, but what else could I do when I didn’t have the necessary things I needed to make my own food?
Moving out has given me so much more liberty to experiment and cook. As I’ve written about before, I’ve gotten way into juicing fruits and vegetables. While it might not taste that great, I am definitely feeling the help benefits. I’m taking dumps like a true champion and my skin is looking healthier. If you follow my instagram, you can see the trial and error I’ve been having with my juice pulp- the fibrous leftovers from the juicing process. My favorite thing to do so far is to make veggie crackers. I love crackers way too much and I missed the crispiness and the salt. Also totally contributes to my magnificent poop. (Recipe on the bottom.) I also found out how to turn my fruit pulp leftovers into fruit roll-ups, which are delicious but are probably easier to make without the juicer.
My focus is to use as much of the food as I can so that nothing goes to waste. I buy my produce a few times a week in small quantities so I can use them right away and they don’t have time to rot. I mostly go to Sprouts instead of King Soopers because the variety is so much wider and the (produce) prices are better.
Since moving I’ve started to focus a lot more on sustainability and producing less waste. I’ve been interested in trying to create a more sustainable lifestyle for a long time but I was also put off by the initial costs. Like, I would rather spend $2 on a roll of paper towels than $5 on dish towels. That mentality started when I was in college and I spent all my money on booze and thought that $20 was way too much for a shirt but easily spent $15-20 a day on food (specifically bagels. I had a really huge bagel budget.) I was very caught up in the moment when it came to my money. I never saved for anything and I didn’t really worry about bills since I was rolling in that financial aid money.
Now that college is over and life is shitting on me, I do spend a lot more time considering where my money is going. One of my new favorite hobbies is to budget everything. I seriously spend about an hour every week looking at my purchases and figuring out what I can save, what I should spend, and figuring out how I’ll ever pay off my student loans within a reasonable time period (never going to happen.) When I started doing this, I realized how I can reduce my spending and my waste. So instead of buying one roll of $2 paper towels a week and throwing them all away, I bought a set of 5 dishtowels that will last much longer and produce far less waste. When I bought them I thought of it as an investment instead of an expense. That mentality is really getting me places. I still have paper towels because it’s not like I’m going to clean up dog shit with the same thing I clean my dishes with but I use far fewer of them.
I also like the idea of sticking it to the man (capitalism) because it’s exactly what corporations do not want. They want to keep us buying cheap, low quality products that don’t last so that we have to buy them forever. Fuck that! While it takes a little time to see the value of sustainable products, in the long term you save so much. I’ve started to make my own cleaning solutions to clean up basic messes and it usually costs less than a dollar to make them and you can choose to use natural ingredients.
On that note, I won’t buy antibacterial products anymore because I’m very convinced that corporations are exploiting our fear of germs to make a profit. Germs are necessary and they are going to be around forever. I think it’s more important to teach our bodies to fight these germs rather than to be always sanitizing. I’m not dirty, I still clean myself and wash my hands and I think everyone else should too. Also not advocating for not cleaning up after yourself and keeping things clean around your food. Please keep your food areas clean.
In a nutshell, the idea is to live like it’s 1899 with modern conveniences. Everything marketed to us has an untold cost- food that makes you unhealthy, drugs to make you less unhealthy, false advertisement, dishonest marketing. It’s all part of a grand scheme to make you spend more money and make you think you need things that you either don’t need at all or wouldn’t need if they hadn’t created the problem for you in the first place.
Let’s start making things again. Let’s make our own potato chips and window cleaners. I’m definitely not swearing off buying things because I still love to buy things but I would like to be able to afford the things I want and I can do that by not buying the things I don’t have to buy. We can all cut back on waste just by thinking ahead and making small investments like reusable grocery and produce bags.
It was hard to change my mentality, but it’s so much easier and more rewarding to focus on the big picture: challenge big business, buy from local companies, make things yourself, stop throwing money away.
Also the bonus here is that when you do cook start cooking for yourself, you will get healthier. Maybe not if you’re boiling bacon in butter, but if you’re making your own french fries you’re saving yourself from a load of preservatives and other things that are not potatoes, oil, and salt.
Also also, I’m starting to transition into only buying products from ethical companies. I’m now only buying cosmetic and toiletry products from companies that are vegan and cruelty free. I’ve started in the bathroom and I’m going to work my way around my house until I don’t own anything that was developed through the torture and exploitation of animals. So when I get really soapboxy and high and mighty, you’ll know I’ve made it,
Also also also, I’m not judging anyone who is not making the same lifestyle changes as I am. I just want to challenge myself and challenge the system and I’m inviting you to do the same.
If you haven’t already, feel free to add me on snapchat! My username is kekekosse, the same as all of my social media accounts. I tried to put it on as many as possible in case I ever get famous. I don’t want to end up in an intellectual property dispute.