Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

New year resolution in February

January is the big diet and organizing month. January means making resolutions to get organized and to lose weight which usually fade by February. I decided to skip January and start in February hoping to bring myself luck keeping my resolutions.

Transitioning from a working parent and being the neighborhood Nanny to becoming an empty nester with no one to feed but myself most of the time has been difficult. The pandemic lockdown made things worse for me in my weight and my health. Being old, overweight, and unhealthy is not the life I want to live. Well, dang it, I can’t do anything about getting older but I sure as heck can do something about my weight and my health. (I’m thinking positive here.) Getting healthy will happen only if I change my eating and loose weight. Doesn’t every new diet tell us that exact same thing? Actually I’m not going to start on a new fad diet plan. Restrictive diets are temporary solutions and I need a whole lifestyle change. I sure do hope this is one resolution I can keep.

This may look like a large skillet but its actually only 6 1/2 inches across. Perfect size for one person with leftovers

Seriously, for the last six and a half years I’ve lived the same way I did when I fed a whole neighborhood at my previous house. I’ve shopped big, cooked big, and ate big. That included the canning, dehydrating, and freezing large quantities of food. Ok, I haven’t done a lot of shopping but what few things I did buy I bought in large quantity. The foodbank also gave large quantities as if for a large family. All that food was actually way more than I could reasonably eat by myself. I sure did give it a good try though. I ate and ate because I don’t like wasting food.

Not anymore!! (Showing my determination.) Actually, I had already decided to downsize back in January 2020. That’s when pandemic threw my life off kilter the same as everyone. My downsizing never really had a chance to get started.

So here’s my idea. Empty space anywhere at all just begs to be filled with something. In the kitchen the big dinner plates want to be filled with food. Quart size drinking glasses want to be filled with a quart of something to drink. Large family sized pots want to be filled with plenty of food cooking. Imagine how lonely a tiny one cup single person portion of soup feels being heated in a big family sized pot meant to hold a whole gallon of soup.

My idea is that if the pot I use for cooking is only single serving size that’s all I’ll be eating. If I can’t cook large I won’t be eating large. So, with that in mind, I’m giving all my large family size pots, pans, and kitchen appliances to large families who can use them. I’m switching to one or two person size pots and pans. I already had a few small appliances and I bought a few small cooking things back in 2019. I don’t think I’ll need anymore for now.

It will still be possible to pre-make a meal or two to put into the freezer by choosing a meal prep day and make a few. Or simply do planned leftovers to freeze from each meal I cook.

I’ve already started downsizing my favorite family size recipes to single person size. Its simple to downsize any recipe to one person size. Find a recipe you like. See how many people it will feed. Divide each ingredient by that number. For example: if you have a recipe that feeds 4 people and you only want to feed one person, just divide each ingredient by 4. One cup divided by 4 is 1/4 cup. 1 tablespoon divided by 4 is 3/4 teaspoon. See how it works? I don’t know for sure if the downsizing in the kitchen will work but in my opinion its worth trying. Heck, if I ever do move into a “tiny house” I’ll be well prepared.

Now. If only I can find a handyperson to help put up those shelves I’ve had for so long. Sigh. Do handy people even exist anymore?

12 comments on “New year resolution in February

  1. Pam
    January 24, 2022

    Small plates really help me limit my portions. My mom experienced WWII and her frugal ways somehow led me to the addled idea that I should eat everything in sight rather than waste one crumb. So here I am, the storehouse of all the leftovers in my world. And 120 pounds overweight. I still use small plates but I go back and fill them 2 or 3 times. Your thinking to cut down on what you cook is sound. I wish you the best…keep us posted. One bite at a time!

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    • Anita
      January 25, 2022

      I grew up with the same teachings. Eat everything. I don’t intend to “limit” my meal as many diet plans do. I believe feeling deprived only leads myself to eating too much. Hmm, a question. If there are no seconds or thirds cooked what do you do then? I’m curious.

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  2. 4paws2love2
    January 24, 2022

    I have a big canning bucket that is a wonderful planter. My girlfriend uses her big caner bottom for a place to put dirty rags till it is full and she can wash them, saves doing little loads. Plus the caner has a lid. She stores it in her back hall.

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    • Anita
      January 25, 2022

      That’s a good idea too. I gave my largest water bath canner to a family who has a garden and five kids. I’m keeping my pressure canner because I still can meats and veggies when I have them.

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  3. 4paws2love2
    January 24, 2022

    I keep my big cooking pots, not that I am using them for food. they are great if I want to dye some fabric, or soak something that has a problem. Just because it is in the kitchen does not mean it has to be used for food.

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    • Anita
      January 25, 2022

      You are so right. But many of my large pots haven’t been used for anything but gathering dust for several years. I’m downsizing now so my kids won’t have to deal with the STUFF when I’m gone. Hope to loose a few pounds in the process too.

      Like

  4. oldfashionmama
    January 24, 2022

    My husband is always helping as the handyman. Too bad we don’t live closer to each other.

    Like

    • Anita
      January 25, 2022

      Yes, everytime I see the work he does for you I also wish we lived closer to each other. Or wish that he had a handyman cousin here in Ky I could call on.

      Like

  5. J O
    January 24, 2022

    This is what I did when the last child left home. I passed all my “family” stuff to the daughter that had 4 boys. I do have some large pans (we homestead kind of) but I keep them stored in the basement on the top shelf

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    • Anita
      January 25, 2022

      Any let it go advice you can give me for when I’m hesitant to get rid of something?

      Like

  6. kaythegardener
    January 24, 2022

    Dear Na Na,
    Well with Asian New Year coming up on Feb 1st, we could all reset our 2022 resolutions & new habits!!
    As the blogger Mean Queen says about her walking challenge– ” Don’t worry about missing awhile!! Just get back to putting one foot in front of the other, time after time!”

    Like

    • Anita
      January 24, 2022

      I agree. One step at a time. I hope you are well.

      Like

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