Recipe: Egg muffins
Source: Kalyn’s Kitchen
Time: roughly 45 mins
Ease: super easy!
Cost: roughly $0.27/serving
Starting out the day with some protein is great but it can get a little time consuming. Enter egg muffins, which you can keep in the fridge or freezer and just reheat! I recommend serving two with toast and yogurt. Note that my time and cost may be a bit off – it took me extra time because I was chopping up sundried tomatoes and I might have overestimated the cost of the cheese.
Photo credit: Kalyn’s Kitchen
Thanks to a lack of student jobs and a love of shopping, I held a variety of retail positions throughout high school and undergrad. The list includes two clothing stores, a beauty store/salon, and a fine jewelry store. These experiences not only helped pay for tuition, but they also taught me a lot about shopping and style.
One thing I learned was the idea of cost per wear. It’s a simple calculation: cost of the item divided by the number of times you’ll wear it. I think that cost per wear is most important for wardrobe staples and sale items. A wardrobe staple, like classic black trousers or a flattering cocktail dress, will get a lot of use. It’s worth paying a bit more up front for fit and quality because you’ll be wearing them often for a long time, so cost per wear is low. Sale items may not seem like pieces where cost per wear matters but if you’re buying an ok item just because it’s on sale, you’ll wear it a few times and the cost per wear will be high. Like with any item, you should only buy sale pieces you love.
Of course, cost per wear doesn’t work for everything so you have to use your discretion. A relatively low cost per wear for a purse, for example, doesn’t always justify an overly expensive purchase. Let’s say you’re deciding between two purses. One is $40 and the other is $80. Assuming you use the purse roughly 4 times per week for two years, that’s about $0.10 per use or $0.19 per use, respectively. Really not a big difference between the two but you’re paying double up front when you probably don’t need to. So long as the first purse is well-made, you may want to buy that one then save the rest for groceries.
Do you use cost per wear as a rule of thumb? When has it worked or not worked for you?
Recipe: Butternut carrot sweet potato soup
Source: Multiply Delicious
Time: about an hour
Ease: reasonably easy, but switching from pot to food processor took some forethought
Cost: roughly $1.01/serving
The weather has been all over the place and today it rained, so soup was a good choice. I enjoyed how creamy this soup is without actually having any cream in it. Next time I make it, I’ll cook it until the carrots are more tender as they weren’t fully blended. Would do this again though!
Photo credit: Multiply Delicious
Hello lovely readers,
Time to change things up on the blog. Starting next week, regular posts will be on Thursdays. Plus, I’ll be introducing a new series: Test Kitchen Tuesdays! This year, I’ve decided to turn cooking into more of a hobby because I enjoy doing it and I enjoy eating well. I also have a passion for finding quick, easy, and inexpensive meals…ones that are also yummy and healthy! I’d like to share my culinary adventures because I know how hard it can be to find meals that suit grad student life. Please feel free to share your feedback and favourite recipes!
The temperature can drop pretty dramatically during Canadian winters and I’m already finding that my apartment feels chilly most of the time. Unfortunately, I have no access to temperature control because my landlord controls the baseboard heaters, and even if I did, money is pretty tight…I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation. Here are some ways to keep warm in a wintery apartment.
- Warm food and drink: Cooking a warm, hearty meal for yourself is not only healthy, but it will warm up your kitchen during cooking and warm you up when you eat it! Look into delicious some soups, stews, and chilli (pro tip – make a huge batch and freeze individual portions). Don’t forget about warm drinks! I prefer drinking tea, which I typically by off-brand and on sale.
- Bundle: Layering is really important for keeping warm, so throw on your comfiest sweater and some long johns for under your sweatpants. Make sure that your clothes are dry – for example, if you briskly walked home from school, you may have worked up a bit of a sweat (yay!), which will make you damp and chilled (boo!).
- Blankets and heating pads: I like to put a blanket over my legs for when I’m working at my desk. Heating pads are also great not only for warming you up, but also for loosening up any tight muscles from all the sitting and stress.
- Move around: Moving gets your blood flowing but it can be hard to do if you spend a lot of time sitting while you read and write. Take any opportunity you can; do a bit of yoga as a study break, walk around while you’re talking on the phone, etc.
Here are some more resources from Small Notebook, Apartment Therapy, and Get Rich Slowly.
I’m happy to announce my new side project: Noms for Nerds, a photo-blog full of food inspiration for grad students. It’s really hard to eat well in grad school because you need to find recipes that are healthy, inexpensive, quick, easy, and delicious. I’m hoping that by sharing photos of my meals, along with a description/recipe, I can help others improve their eating habits.
I would love to have others contribute to this blog so that a wide variety of tastes and diets can be covered. Please let me know if you’d like to submit anything!
Food may seem like a funny thing to include in this series but trust me, organizing everything food-related is key. You want to make sure that you’re getting filling and nutritious meals so that you’ve got the health and energy to be successful in your program. You also want to minimize food-related costs, both monetary costs and time costs, and you’ve gotta be organized to do so. I rely on meal planning and freezer cooking to keep organized.
Meal planning: Every Sunday, I plan out my meals for the week. I base my plan on what I already have on hand (especially stuff that may expire soon) and what is on sale at the store. Not only does having a plan help me save money by planning to buy sale items, but also because it helps me use up perishables like produce. For example, let’s say I’m buying spinach because I want to have spinach-stuffed chicken breasts on Monday. I will then plan to use up the spinach throughout the week; say with a spinach salad with Tuesday’s dinner, spinach in my lunch wraps on Wednesday and Friday, and spinach in my morning smoothie on Thursday and Saturday. It may sound like a lot of one thing, but it’s used in different ways and spread out between 21 meals. Meal planning also saves you time because it makes your grocery shopping more efficient and it saves you from taking forever to make a dinner decision at the end of the day.
Freezer cooking: Preparing meals in advance can truly be a life saver, especially for those days when you’re running around with a million things to do. Some meals (such as Refrigerator Oatmeal and Chick Pea Curry) can be fully prepared before freezing then thawed/reheated when you’re ready to eat. Others are prepared up until the point of cooking, such as marinated meats. Freezers are also really handy when it comes to buying meat in bulk – I separate meat into individual portions to be wrapped and frozen until needed.
We all love quick, easy, and inexpensive meal ideas. I like using Pinterest for culinary inspiration. Where do you like to find recipes?