Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Whoa! Link Spam

For some reason all my digged items have been published to my rss feed. I'm really sorry about that, the offending service has been deleted and it won't happen again.

Once again sorry about that!

Moral Dilemma: donate or make a profit?

On October 2nd Ms. KR and I will be flying from the UK back to Florida. After two years of living in the UK we have decided to move back to the States. Read more about that here. As you can imagine we both have built up quite a collection of "stuff". Besides selling half my book collection on Amazon we have yet to get started on the "Great Stuff Purge".

Last night we were discussing our options...

  1. Sell everything, even the junk stuff for £.50 - £1.00 ($1-2) and donate nothing. We both know that if we sell 10 plates for a dollar each we will be $10 better off. Sometimes the small amounts make the big difference. However, my conscience is nagging me because some of the stuff we would be selling, for example
  2. Sell the items that we bought (TV, Gaming systems, coffee table, etc..) and donate the other stuff to the needy.
I'm a bit stuck on this one and am looking forward to your comments.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Frugal Travel Part Two

Following up from my previous post how can one survive in Paris for 3 days without breaking the bank. We are specifically speaking about Paris, but these tips apply to all trips.

  1. Research Research Research. I used a great wiki called WikiTravel which is essentially a free travel guide in the popular wiki format which allows open editing, keeping content fresh and pertinent. Using this valuable resource I found out that buying a glass of wine in the restaurants costs more than buying a bottle of wine at a supermarket in Paris. We'll save the wine for the Hotel and drink water (the free kind) at the restaurants. Another good website to check out if you are planning a trip is
  2. Eat at the right places. Eating in France can be a very expensive affair. However there is a cheap option. Like most cities there is some very good street food. The street food in France is especially good and quite cheap. The most popular street food in France is probably Crepes. For about $3 you can get a crepe and a drink. If the city you are visiting doesn't have very good street food you can always try a supermarket. Supermarkets are much cheaper than eating out and you can sample the food the locals eat. Last year in Italy we bought some delicious deli meats and a baguette and made sandwiches in the park. However, eating out is very much part of the Paris experience. I've allocated about $90 for a meal for two at a Michelin Starred restaurant. Most restaurants offer a good set meal. You don't get much choice, but you get good food inexpensively. $90 sounds steep, but for a 4 course meal for two (including wine) it isn't too bad. Needless to say we will only be doing this once.
  3. Guide yourself. In this day and age the frugal traveller doesn't need to dosh out on expensive tour guides. The Travel Podcast Directory offers a podcast for almost every city on earth. Save bundles and guide yourself around.
These are just 3 tips to save you money on your trips. If you have any other tips feel free to let me know in the comments.

Frugal Travel Part One

In a few days Ms KR and I are going on a 3 day trip to Paris. Ms. KR has never been and recently told me that it would be disappointing if she lived in Europe for a year and never saw Paris.

Paris, if you don't know, rivals New York City and London in terms of cost of visiting. It is one of the most expensive cities in the world....Great.

So far here's how much Paris has cost me

  • Flight - £85 ($167.00)
  • Transport from home to airport and back- £14 ($27)
  • Hotel - £124 ($246.00)
I booked the flight a few months ago and got a great deal $167.00 is buying us 2 return tickets to Paris. I used the website skyscanner to find the best air deal. I strongly suggest that you use skyscanner if you are planning a trip anytime soon.

Luckily the flight is from the airport quite near to my house. This saves me a drive up to London and parking costs. We catch a local bus that drives us right to the airport and takes us back when we return for £7 ($4) each. Most cities have these buses, i recommend you look into them. Bargain.

As for the Hotel, i splurged slightly. The cheapest hotel was about £70 ($140) but was much farther from the parts of Paris that one would like to see. For slightly more money we are guaranteed a location that is walking distance to all the sights. Paris is a very flat city and we are quite avid walkers, this should save us the need to use public transportation. Offset that against the cheaper hotel and we probably only ended up spending a few dollars more. Plus, in the hotel I chose, we get a private bathroom. To find the hotel i used hostelworld to find the cheapest accommodation.

In part two I will share how to survive three days in Paris without breaking the bank.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

How chicken can feed you for a week

Keeping with the theme of eating well on the cheap I want to briefly talk to you about my favourite frugal food. Chicken.

Boy do we love chicken in the KR House. Just yesterday I posted a recipe for a nutrient packed lunch which guessed it... Chicken. Buying a full chicken is relatively cheap and if used wisely can be used in a wide variety of meals for cheap.

On Sunday Ms. KR roasts a delicious roast chicken with carrots, parsnips, and carrots (all cheap garden vegetables). A leg and a thigh is enough to satisfy me and a leg is enough for her. The rest goes into the fridge.

On Monday for lunch (and maybe dinner) we finish off the leftover vegetables with a few more pieces of chicken.

On Tuesday I use a few pieces of chicken for my super food lunch. Ms. KR uses some chicken for her fabulous chicken chili.

On Wednesday we have left over chicken chili for lunch and using the some of the remaining chicken create my famous chicken soup for dinner

On Thursday I use the last of the chicken for my super food lunch and have leftover chicken soup for dinner.

On Friday we finish off the chicken soup (I make quite a big quantity of chicken soup)

On Saturday we take a chicken break.

You may be wondering if I ever get tired of chicken. Well yes, yes I do. However, for £2-3 ($4-6) we have a week's worth of meals for two. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to achieve your goal, in this case the sacrifice isn't that bad, it just involves a lot of chicken.

Using this method of critical meal planning we are able to usually keep our food bill down to £40-60 ($80-120) a month. For two people (that enjoy eating) that is very good.

If you're interested in the recipes used for this chicken fest then please feel free to comment and I will write them up for you.

What is your favourite frugal food? Let me know in the comments

New RSS Feed

Just a quick note to our readers that I have updated the 6 Month Project RSS feed.

You may need to add the feed to your reader again. The feed link can be found here

If you could, please update your readers.


Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Beating the mid-day slump

Keeping with the theme of eating right for cheap I want to share with you how I beat the dreaded mid-day slump. You all know the time of day. Breakfast is wearing off, your stomach is starting to growl, you begin to get drowsy, and you have 4-5 hours until you get to go home. How do we beat this nuisance.

Eat a good lunch
I want to share how I create a killer lunch that effectively gets me over the mid-day slump, and increases my productivity. Warning, this may not be for everyone. I recommend you at least try it, you'll notice the difference immediately.

KR's Superfood Lunch
You will need:

  • Green Lentils (they can be canned or you can cook them yourself)
  • Broccoli
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • Chicken breast
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil

  • Drain the lentils and throw them into a bowl or your lunch container.
  • Boil 5-6 broccoli flourettes for no more than 2-3 minutes so they retain their nutrients and add them on top of the lentils.
  • In the broccoli's water hard boil an egg. When the egg is done, slice it up and place on top of the broccoli.
  • Chop one avocado into cubes and throw on top of the egg.
  • Add your chicken breast (left over chicken breast is even better!).
  • Squeeze the juice of one lemon on top.
  • Drizzle some olive oil over the top.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with sunflower seeds.

Whoa Whoa Whoa...that sounds expensive
Wrong. Yes this might be a little more expensive than a ham sandwich, but you should never ever compromise what goes into your body because of money. Ever. If you are a clever shopper, you can find those ingredients for very cheap. Remember, there is no reason why you need to avoid store brands.

Feel free to try out the recipe and tell me what you think. If you have any other recipe idea's that beat the mid-day slump please share them with us!

Starting your day the right way.

We all know the benefits of waking up with the sun. I do it on a regular basis and my days are more productive and less stressed. Leo from Zen Habits has a great article on waking early that I won't even try to compete with. What I want to talk about is what to do after you wake up early. It's a step that many people ignore. Breakfast

We all know the benefits of a good breakfast. I don't need tot tell you that when we forgo breakfast our bodies are running on fumes until we eat lunch. If you're anything like I am, I hate breakfast, I'm just not hungry and the thought of food at that time isn't very appetizing. Within the last couple of weeks I have come up with the perfect mix of grains and cereals that don't disgust me and leave me full until lunch time. And of course, in keeping with the theme of this blog, it costs far less than your average boxed cereal.

KR's Super Breakfast Mix
You will need:

  • Store brand corn flakes
  • Store brand bran flakes
  • Store brand (or cheapest) wheat germ
  • Store brand oatmeal
  • Store brand raisins (about 250 grams)
  • Agave Nectar
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Linseed's
That should all total up to around $5-6 (much cheaper and nutritious than a store brand box of cereal by it's self). Plus this should last you close to 2 months.

When you have all your ingredients go home and empty them all(excluding the agave nectar) into a large airtight glass jar and mix it up.

When serving, chop up some strawberries, bananas or any fruit you have lying around add them to your bowl with a little agave nectar and serve with milk.

Let me know if you have any other super breakfast suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Up next: Beating the mid-day slump with a superfood packed cheap lunch!

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Wheres all the good posts gone?

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I was called away to a conference for work and didn't have enough Internet time to keep up posting on the blog.

To make up for lack of posts, i have some great ideas planned out for this weekend.

Stay tuned


Monday, 16 April 2007

Progress Report Monday

Every Monday at the 6monthproject is Progress Report day.

Today was a positive day, for the first time since the blog started the progress bar has moved. We have saved 6% of our goal of $10,000

I made £310 ($614) in alternative income so far this month through tutoring and freelance. That money goes directly into my savings account.

In terms of budget, we're right on track. I drove a bit more than I've wanted. But I still have 1/2 tank of gas left, that should last until the end of the month.

Electricity is still our best performer on our budget. 18 days ago we put £10 ($20) on the electricity account. Today we have £2 ($4) left. That will last us 4-5 days. Our initial budget for electricity was £40 ($80) ! Needless to say we will be saving some money on this expense.

In 3 weeks I get paid. Income to savings target this month is £400 ($800).