Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fit, Fed, Frugal Round-up

Fitness round-up:
Week one: I ran only twice this week, and one was much more of a walk because I was sick. But I still did get on the treadmill two times. We were talking with friends who are trying to get us to sign up for a 5K, and that sounds like a reachable goal. These friends say that they run about 10 minute miles, which I have not done since high school. So I think that’s my nebulous new goal: be able to run 3.1ish miles at a time, and trying to see if I can inch that time down to 10 minute miles. I don’t think I’ll do a strict training program, as those get boring and I fall off the wagon when I don’t have time to do an exercise as dictated. But maybe I should lest I give up altogether.

Food round up:
Two nights of leftovers this week, which is great. I also brought lunch every day from what we had in the fridge left over from dinners this week and last, so that was frugal as well. We had two nights without meat, one of which was Big Salad night (lettuce, blueberries, peppers, tomatoes, homemade dressing, sprinkle of goat cheese). I love big salad night, but it doesn’t make for a good lunch the next day. My body refuses to acknowledge that a salad is enough food for the hours it has to last me, regardless of what I put in it. The other was Pasta a la Food Guy, which is a pasta he creates out of whatever we have—this week peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and probably a few other things. It was delicious.

We also had Loaded Baked Potato night (and lunch the next day), with topping choices of butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, baked beans, scallions, and bacon bits. (Bacon made it non-veg but oh so tasty. Not a healthy meal, although we could make it so with fewer high fat additions.) Guinness Beef Stew (a la Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook) is awesome, with a few Food Guy tweaks (the bottom layer of crust isn’t necessary, we decided), Chicken Piccata was a fun late lunch made with friends, and Leftover Night. All good! Not as many greens during the week as we should, though, other than salad night, so I’ll keep that in mind when making the next menu.

Thanks to a Trader Joe’s gift cert from my parents for Christmas, I think we’ll save some money this week on food and be able to put a little extra into the Dream Fund. I had the thought of splitting any extra money we save or make between the Dream Fund and a yet-unmade Vacation Fund, so we have a short-term goal as well as the much longer term goal. But I also hate feeling like a house recedes farther and farther into the distance.

My 401K: This will automatically be bumped to 11% this year unless I unbump it, which I may do. I don’t get a match until I’ve worked at the company for a year, and unless they change it, that’s a match up to 6%. But with the other things to which I’d like to allocate my money, that extra percent makes too much of a difference. I think that auto-bump is really for people who are either getting a raise (and raises in publishing are pretty much frozen right now) or who aren’t paying close attention. I like the idea of helping people to save who might not otherwise, but since I am paying attention I don’t think I’ll feel guilty for not taking advantage.

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