Mixed Up Meals: What Millennials Eat

mealsWe’re known as the generation that photographs our food. There’s #instayum, there’s #foodspotting, and there’s the overly clever #yummmm. Thanks to us, brunch is chic, and if you want rosé all day, no one will stop you.

What do millennials eat? Do we live out these hashtags in real life or is this a social media fairytale we tell? The numbers show that when it comes to meals, millennials are consistently inconsistent. Continue reading “Mixed Up Meals: What Millennials Eat”

Mixed Up Meals: What Millennials Eat

Outside the Echo Chamber

echo-1Education is messy. Like any system, nothing in our public schools is simple. While it’s really easy to point the blame at teachers, school boards, and the government, the problems run deeper than that. Yesterday, it came to light that a school in Pennsylvania had enacted a controversial practice of trying to recoup the money families hadn’t paid towards their children’s hot lunches. A firestorm of comments broke out across social media. A handful of people* defended the district’s idea, but the general public seemed to be outraged.

But like all things in life, things aren’t always how they seem. When I did a search on Twitter at 6:30 PM, only one person actually tweeted at the school district. Their Facebook page didn’t reveal much either. People opined all over the news yet none of them suggested the one thing that might actually fix the problem: speak up to the school. Continue reading “Outside the Echo Chamber”

Outside the Echo Chamber

The Privilege of Pretending

PretendingMy heart started to hammer as I unloaded my grocery cart items onto the conveyer belt and I started to mentally run the numbers. We might not make it under our $200 grocery budget for the month. How could this be? What was different? Did I buy too much fresh produce? Should I put something back? For a short month, this budget dilemma seemed unexpected and unexplainable. Rice, eggs, apples, cereal, almond milk, black beans, Roma tomatoes, the list goes on. After eyeing everything in the cart, I realized that any extra trips to the store in the next week would, in fact, push us over our budget. Then, as I watched the family in front of me quietly swipe their SNAP card through the card reader and then thought about my own impending bill, another thought popped into my head: So what?

Something really inexplicable has been happening as of late. More and more people are talking about being poor. Gwyneth Paltrow and her SNAP Challenge. Tim Ferriss* and his calls to  practice poverty. Even bloggers, like yours truly, get so married to their budgets that busting them seems like end-of-days music should start playing in the background as spreadsheets are filled.

I have no qualms about this kind of conversation. I’m on board with simplifying. In fact, I admire people who can eschew life’s excesses and really drill down their consumption to the bare minimum. In many ways, that is exactly what the impetus behind this blog is: more purposeful living. But make no mistake about it. There’s privilege in being able to pretend. 

Continue reading “The Privilege of Pretending”

The Privilege of Pretending

Frugally Awesome…or Awkward

Frugally Awesome...Since we’re all friends here and I’m really good at confessing secrets now, I’ll let you in on another one: I’m a supremely awkward human being. Just last week, I was sitting in a work meeting with my boss and my coworker best friend former best friend. Midway through the meeting, I swatted stray hairs from my forehead. Or I thought that’s what I did.

In fact, I managed to drag my nails across my temple and scratch myself. Then, unbeknownst to me, I proceeded to bleed for the remainder of the meeting. As we left, said coworker handed me a tissue and said, “You’ve been bleeding.” Just another glorious day in the life of Penny.

Since laughing at myself brings me great joy, I thought I’d share some fun little moments of awkwardness that have cropped up as of late. Whether it’s the food we eat, the way we live, or the clothes I keep, it seems everyone has an opinion on our frugality. And it makes for some delightfully awkward personal finance moments.  Continue reading “Frugally Awesome…or Awkward”

Frugally Awesome…or Awkward

Simple Switches: Let Your Oven Help Combat Food Waste

Bake Veggies and Fruits to Fight Food Waste | She Picks Up PenniesIt started with a spice cabinet. In my desperate attempt to free my kitchen of all its clutter last month, I found a jar of Cajun seasoning that had been gifted to me along with other spices when I got engaged. I had used the Cajun seasoning exactly twice in two years. In my flurry of decluttering, I was about it put it in the “toss” pile when I remembered I really love spicy food. What if there was a way to give purpose to this spice while preventing food waste in my kitchen? It turns out, there is. All you need is an oven and a little creativity.  Continue reading “Simple Switches: Let Your Oven Help Combat Food Waste”

Simple Switches: Let Your Oven Help Combat Food Waste

Simple Switches: Shop for Your Food Bank Each Week

Simple Switches Shop for Food Bank Each Week | shepicksuppennies.comFresh fruit? Check. Almond milk? Got it. Brown rice? Better grab two. Each week, my grocery list includes a little something extra. Of course, I splurge on treats for myself (hello, chai tea!) and Mr. P (cheers, beer!) every once in a while. But those are not consistent extras. I do, however, routinely add items for my local food bank to my grocery list. In fact, I make it a point to purchase at least one item for the food pantry each week. The why is obvious, but the benefits–both budgetary and otherwise–might not be.  Continue reading “Simple Switches: Shop for Your Food Bank Each Week”

Simple Switches: Shop for Your Food Bank Each Week