Cutting Back & Catching Up

My son is about to be 19, lives at home, and is studying for his Bachelors degree online at home. I figure I have a couple of years to influence or educate him in anything we somehow didn’t cover while he was a child. Each year my husband and I pick a month to spend as little as possible – this year, I decided to include son. I’m pleased to be able to say that he has shown an interest in helping out. I asked if he’d contribute ideas if I show him our bills as they come in. We just got our electricity and gas bills, and I offered to split the difference with him if he would help lower our utilities. (I’m pretty chuffed with that idea).


Look at my lovely windowsill garden! It has several layers (this one has basil sprouts in it). I grew (and ate) some lovely mustard cress which was superb on egg salad sandwiches. All it takes is a handful of seed, water and light to grow these nutritious babies. This is well in line with my desire for spending less.

I already subscribe to the theory that home-cooked meals are cheaper and healthier in the long run. Lately, my 19 year old son has shown an interest in eating healthy foods. He’s not highly motivated to help out, and he is very fond of pizza and soda. He’s also very ADHD and struggles with getting his classes done on time, although the quality of his work is mostly very good. I need to figure out how to get him more involved in food choices and preparation (it was a no-brainer when he was six!) So we had a discussion about foods that will support his growth, concentration, hormone swings (he’s still growing) and immune system, because these are things he is interested in.  There’s so much information about diets and nutrition online, it wasn’t difficult to find ideas.  However, just to make it harder to get him involved, he cut a finger pretty bad yesterday, so he’s only using one hand. After we agreed on the foods he should try to eat more of, I picked a recipe and asked him to gather up the ingredients for me.


We settled on a fish pie – it has fish, onions, potatoes, eggs, and lots of fresh parsley in it…..and he ate a bowl full :o) I used the extra oven space to bake some blueberry muffins. I tried to substitute soy flour for some of the wheat flour. The flour mix worked out OK, but the frozen blueberries do not quite hit the spot. Ah well, still a cheap & cheerful breakfast option.

Now I have the cooking & clean up done, I want to get back to my knitting. Here’s what I’ve been working on:


Its about time I got some serious swatching of the yarn I bought on my trip done. I can’t decide whether a pattern using a lot of twisted stitches is a good use of the yarn or not. Its pure silk, and is prone to pilling – It looks and feels gorgeous though.

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7 Responses to “Cutting Back & Catching Up”

  1. Tammy Says:

    I just finished watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution online. What about watching that with him? It’s something like 6 episodes and it shows what’s being eaten in USA’s school system and how he is trying to change it. I thought it was really good and points out a lot about how it is easy to eat healthy.

    • chrisabbott Says:

      I did catch one of those shows – I remember when Jamie Oliver was much younger & son was impressed (Naked Chef) I should try to find out when they are airing. We’re incorporating his theory that there shouldn’t be any ingredients you can’t pronounce or know the source of. Yesterday, I tried a store that has a lot of local produce, although the range is limited, I was thrilled to buy organic produce that doesn’t look like its already past its sell-by date (and its near my LYS!!)

    • chrisabbott Says:

      Perfect! If son gets up part way through (happens all the time) I can pause it on the good parts. Thanks for the link.

  2. Tammy Says:

    I think he’s done with this series and I’m not sure if they are going to do any others, but you can catch all the ones he’s done on Hulu.

  3. Richard Young Says:


    What a remarkable blog on your loss of home and belongings during the F5 tornado. And your suggestions about keeping backup materials and contingency plans are helpful. I think I will start to keep a water filter bottle in case of emergencies as we already keep a bunch of flashlights.
    And how’s George’s finger doing?
    That project you started with the triangular wave pattern is stunning! Post soon when you decide what you’ll create.
    Your thoughts on a month of lowered spending should be on every household’s To Do list.
    Really enjoyed your pictures and stories from the trip. Super!!

    • chrisabbott Says:

      Thanks Richard,
      I can’t believe it took me so long to check back in….but we had more weather! This time we had a good storm shelter to protect us and the tornado was nearly a mile away. George has always been great at keeping wounds clean and changes his dressings religiously so now he just has a long red line, and a lesson learned (don’t try to catch a knife if you drop it).
      I’ll come back this weekend with new storm pics.

  4. Cate Markey Says:


    Wonderful outlook on life and love your idea of spending less. The fish pie looks fab…but then I am in route to shedding several sacks of potatoes, so it isn’t on the list for now. I love the silk swatch. I am really so sorry you continue to experience “the weather” –


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