Friday, 21 July 2017

Online fund platforms surge in popularity http://on.ft.com/2uindCe 

Online fund platforms surge in popularity http://on.ft.com/2uindCe 


Online fund platforms surge in popularity http://on.ft.com/2uindCe  posted first on cashforcarsperthblog.blogspot.com

How to Finally Get Started With Your Side Hustle Idea

After running this site for a while, I’ve started to notice an interesting trend when it comes to the ever-popular idea of running a side hustle. Most people talk about it, but rarely ever take the jump into actually doing it. Now, I could go on and on about how important it is to have an...

The post How to Finally Get Started With Your Side Hustle Idea appeared first on Millennial Money Man.


How to Finally Get Started With Your Side Hustle Idea posted first on cashforcarsperthblog.blogspot.com

What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry (Includes My Weekly Grocery List)

What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry

Earlier this week, I took you on a tour of my simple kitchen. The purpose of that post was to show you one example of what a clutter-free kitchen can look like, as well as to give you a little peek inside my world! Aside from the fact that I like to line things up and keep them in order, my kitchen hasn’t always been that organized. Just look at how messy the top drawer in my kitchen was three years ago! (And here’s the follow-up from a few months after my initial declutter and purge in 2014.)

Now that you’ve seen the shelves and know what tools and utensils I use on a regular basis, I thought I would talk more about the actual food I buy and store in my kitchen. If there’s one thing I’m proud of in regards to food it’s the fact that I’ve never wasted much of it. Even thinking back to when I first moved out at age 18, I have never been someone who stored a lot of food in her pantry or felt the need to stock up just because something was on sale. Instead, I shop 2-3 times a week and buy what I need when I need it.

As a result, I buy – and use up! – a lot of whole foods and fresh ingredients, rather than rely on what could be filling up my cupboards. But it does also mean that things look pretty empty. ;)

What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry

Here’s an overall look at the contents of my fridge and freezer. I took this picture on Sunday afternoon, and it wasn’t until doing so that I realized there was still blue tape stuck to the freezer door and on that yellow sign near the back! Oh boy, if that’s not proof of how little I use my freezer, haha. Typically, the only two things I keep in there are frozen berries for smoothies and ice packs that I bought for pain management after my car accident (and still use to this day).

What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry

These are all the condiments I currently own, though I wouldn’t call them all staples. I do have salsa, hot sauce and soy sauce available at all times! (And plan to make more homemade salsa when I finally buy a food processor – thanks again for all of your great suggestions.) I also like to have rice vinegar for salad dressings, etc. But the peanut sauce and salad dressing you see here were sort of “testers”. I make a really good spicy peanut sauce of my own but wanted to try this one out. And the salad dressing is from the Okanagan and is vegan and sugar-free, so I thought I’d try it too.

Also, I <3 Hemp Hearts and I only drink almond milk (original unsweetened).

What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry

You probably saw this stuff sitting on the counter in my last post. It all lives in the corner where I make my coffee, tea and smoothies every day! So, it might be obvious but I add Vega and chia to my smoothies. I also add chia to “cereal” – aka a bowl of granola, berries and milk. I keep decaf black tea stocked at all times. And, of course, coffee. I know some people prefer to grind their coffee fresh daily, but I typically grind up a week’s worth at a time. I don’t have one favourite blend, but instead like to try dark roasts from local roasters and also buy Kicking Horse at the grocery store when it’s on sale. This is Grizzly Claw (dark roast).

Fun fact: Vega is a Vancouver company, as is Earth’s Own (the almond milk), Kicking Horse is in BC, the Hemp Hearts above are from Manitoba and Prana (chia) is based in Quebec!

What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry

Onto the “pantry” – although I don’t really know if you can call one shelf a pantry? There are literally only 12 things on this shelf right now. The staples in this picture are: brown rice, rice noodles, coconut milk and natural peanut butter (no sugar added, only peanuts). Beans are also a staple for me, but I don’t usually buy them in cans anymore. Instead, I buy bulk and soak them overnight. These are leftovers I bought when I was in the middle of moving and wanted some easy meals. I’ll probably make a plan to eat them both up in the next week or so, then go back to bulk. (I also buy bulk rice but they were out of brown!?)

What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry

My one deliciously guilty pleasure, these days, is granola. I think I’m super late to the party on this one. Have you guys been enjoying granola for years? Why did it take me so long to try it? I don’t buy it all the time, but I do love this stuff from Nature’s Path. It’s organic and vegan, and coconut and cashews are the way to my heart (and stomach). And NP is another company based out of BC! Next to the granola, I have some flour and baking powder for baking sugar-free muffins (another new obsession). And finally, I have white wine vinegar and sesame oil for dressings and sauces. There’s also coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil next to the stove.

What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry

That’s it for the food, but I do have a separate cupboard full of spices! The ones you see in the mason jars were all bought in bulk. The shakers were ones I couldn’t find in bulk at the time. I also have a refillable pepper grinder. And the Himalayan pink salt is new for me. Honestly, up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even own salt! I don’t like to add it to my food but it is included in a lot of recipes (especially when it comes to baking). Rather than use table salt, I figured I’d finally buy a pink salt grinder and test it out. So far, so good.

All-in-all, my pantry looks kind of empty and minimal – because it is! In my experience, the idea of only buying “stuff” when you need it should also apply to food. By buying food when you need it, not only will your fridge and pantry be filled with less clutter, you’ll potentially reduce your food waste which will save you money. As a side rant, I have to say that groceries are more expensive than ever now, which is why it’s even more important to cut costs and save where you can!

One of the things that helps me save both time and money is buying most of the same stuff every week. If you’re curious, this is what my typical grocery list includes.

My Weekly Grocery List

  • 2-3 apples
  • 4-5 bananas
  • berries (both fresh for snacks and frozen for smoothies)
  • a lemon and a lime
  • kale and/or spinach
  • avocado
  • broccoli
  • cucumber
  • zucchini
  • red peppers
  • yams
  • ginger
  • almond milk
  • eggs
  • rice noodles
  • granola (a bag usually lasts two weeks)
  • whatever I need in bulk (including nuts/trail mix)
  • sometimes a fake meat product (like veggie ground or sausage)
  • and then anything else for specific recipes I’m trying*

*As an example, this week I think I’ll use up those black beans by making black bean quesadillas, so I’ll buy some Daiya cheese and wraps! That means I can also use up the rest of the cilantro in my fridge. :)

In showing you all of these pictures this week, I want to make sure I leave you with one thought: you don’t need to be “as minimalist” as I am. If you feel overwhelmed by how much work you would have to do to overhaul your kitchen and/or your pantry, slow down and ask yourself what ONE thing you could work on instead.

There are still so many things I want to change about what you see here! I’d love to eventually have a zero waste kitchen, but I’m not quite there yet and that’s ok. It’s a work in progress because I am a work in progress. And by making these changes slowly, all of these new things I’m trying (like cooking more and making my own salad dressings) have the potential to become lifelong habits. <– that’s the goal. Attaining a certain level of minimalism is not.

So, what’s the one thing you’d like to change about your kitchen/pantry/grocery shopping habits?

Also, do you have any links/recommendations for where I can source reusable bulk and produce bags? xo!


Extra Reading


What is Stocked in My Minimalist Pantry (Includes My Weekly Grocery List) posted first on cashforcarsperthblog.blogspot.com

A Peek Inside My Small and Simple Kitchen

A Peek Inside My Small and Simple Kitchen

Since moving to Squamish, I’ve intentionally chosen to live without a few things and get comfortable in my space before buying anything for it. To give you a visual, this originally meant living without a couch for the first two-and-a-half months and having only a chair to sit on. (I finally bought a couch in June!) I also moved without a coffee table and a desk, both of which I am still on the hunt for.

It’s hard to believe I have already been here for four months. While I haven’t put all the pieces of the puzzle together yet, it does feel like home now – my home – and I think a huge part of that is because of how much time I spend in my kitchen.

I was hesitant to ever share pictures of this condo I’m renting for many reasons. On top of wanting to maintain a little bit of privacy, I also didn’t want to contribute to the ideas we are shown about how minimalism should look. But it was a good friend who helped me see I could open the cupboard doors and share stories about what’s inside my kitchen, instead. This is the same friend who suggested I show how I travel light.

In the coming months, I’m going to be sharing a lot more conversations about how minimalism looks different for everyone. Today, I’ll show you how it looks in my small and simple kitchen. As you’ll see, it doesn’t all match but it works – and that is a gift. <3

What’s Inside My Small and Simple Kitchen

First, I know the word “small” is relative. In this case, I actually have more cupboards and storage here than we do in our family home in Victoria (and you’ll see that much of it goes unused). I also know it’s at least double the size of what most apartments have in places like NYC. So, I’m comparing the size of my current kitchen to most of the ones we see on TV shows, in magazines and on Pinterest. The kitchens we’re told to dream about.

I also consider it small because I cook and bake a lot, and find I only ever use the tiny bit of counter space between the stove and the sink. (Note to my future self: If you ever have the luxury of being able to design a kitchen, add lots of counter space between those two things! That’s where you need it most!)

If you’ve seen tours of some other minimalist kitchens, the first thing you might notice about mine is that I leave things on the counter. I stand by my statement: a home is meant to be lived in, not looked at. For the purpose of these pictures, I didn’t move anything around. My wallet and keys stayed on the counter because that’s where they live. And a few pictures down, you’ll also see my phone charger because that’s where my phone spends most of its time, too. Aside from wiping the counters clean, this is how my kitchen looks every day.

Minimalist Kitchen Pantry

What you’re seeing here is the space in which I do most of my drink prep. I make coffee, tea and a smoothie almost every day, so I leave the things I use on the counter at all times. As a tip, putting things in places where you’ll actually use them is the best way to make it a habit. If you’re trying to save money by buying less takeout coffee, or less takeout food or beverages in general, leave the things you need in places where you can easily gravitate towards them. The same is true if you’re simply trying to eat or drink better. Don’t hide the healthy stuff. Leave it on the counter or at least keep it in a place you look at often.

Minimalist Kitchen Pantry

Something I hadn’t thought of until looking at this picture is how much of what I use was gifted or handed down to me. My parents gifted me most of my pots and pans when I moved out on my own in my early twenties, after getting out of a bad relationship. They also gave me the teapot and the crockpot (slow cooker) for Christmas one year. And in realizing she wasn’t using it often, my aunt gave me her Nutribullet. It’s not fancy and it doesn’t all match, at this point – but it works. My family helped me create a working kitchen, and for that, I will always be grateful. (Oh and yes, that’s my “pantry”. Pretty empty, eh? More on food in a future post!)

Minimalist Kitchen

I also bought everything you see here. And again, I keep the things I use most often out and ready. In this picture, that includes cooking utensils, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.

One thing to note here is there’s a huge cupboard in the corner – both top and bottom – that I simply never use. Not only do I not own anything that would fit in there, they are also extremely annoying to open and close because of how small the doors are. I find new designs fascinating because even with everything we know about maximizing space, we still waste so much of it. (I also have a “den” that’s no bigger than a standard closet. Maybe that’s a side rant?) I also don’t use the space above the microwave, but that has more to do with the fact that my ceilings are deceptively high (at least 9 feet) and I can’t reach the top shelves!

Minimalist Kitchen

For fun, I thought I’d give you a peek inside my cupboards and drawers. The one cupboard I do use in this picture is next to the microwave and it’s mostly filled with spices.

I only use three of the four drawers in my kitchen.

Minimalist Kitchen

Minimalist Kitchen

Minimalist Kitchen

And I spend the majority of my time in this half of the kitchen.

Minimalist Kitchen

Like I said in the beginning, I use the tiny bit of counter space between the stove and the sink to do most of my food prep. It’s also nice to do food prep near the compost bin because that’s where most of my waste goes! And despite having a dishwasher, I find it’s easier to do dishes by hand when you live alone. I’ll run the dishwasher once a week, usually after doing a bunch of meal prep. But on a day-to-day basis, it’s easier to wash the few dishes I use by hand and let them dry on the mat. (I didn’t feel the need to put these away either. You all do dishes. You know what they look like!)

Minimalist Kitchen

Something I’ve learned about myself is that I will use the same glass for water multiple days in a row, but I use at least two mugs each day (sometimes more) for coffee and tea. So I could actually do with fewer glasses! But on the days I run my dishwasher, it’s not uncommon for all of these mugs to be in there.

Minimalist Kitchen

Finally, everything you see in this cupboard was a gift. I’ve been using the same set of Corelle dishes since I was eighteen years old. They weren’t made for Pinterest pictures, but they work (and they never break). And my old roommate in Toronto gave me the mixing bowls. I use these so much, they should almost live on the counter.

Minimalist Kitchen

So, that’s it! The contents of my kitchen. It’s not exactly small, although the amount of space I use in it is. And if you noticed everything (including what’s on the front of my fridge) was lined up, I should mention it’s always like that – because I have always been like that. Ever since I was a kid, I have kept things lined up, often in orders of colour or size, and perfectly organized. I don’t know how or why, that’s just the way my brain works. When I worked at the deli in a grocery store, I used to think I’d enjoy stocking shelves more because I naturally want everything to be facing the same direction. Can’t explain it – but I won’t complain about it!

If you’re reading this post and wondering what exactly goes into a small/simple/minimalist kitchen, here is a detailed list of what’s in mine:

The Kitchen Appliances I Use

  • coffee grinder
  • electric kettle
  • French press
  • teapot
  • NutriBullet (small blender for smoothies)
  • crockpot (aka slow cooker)
  • electric whisk

The Kitchen Utensils I Use

  • 8 x glass cups* / 8 x mugs
  • 8 x bowls / 8 x small plates / 8 x large plates
  • set of eating utensils
  • 1 x santoku knife (currently the only sharp knife I own)
  • 1 x can opener, scissors, hand grater, veg peeler, garlic press, ice cream scoop, melon baller
  • 3 x cutting boards
  • 1 x wok / 3 x pans / 4 x pots
  • 1 x turner / 2 x wooden spoons / 2 x rubber spatulas / 1 x whisk
  • 1 x strainer
  • set of plastic food storage containers
  • set of glass measuring cups
  • set of plastic measuring cups and spoons
  • set of plastic mixing bowls
  • set of baking sheets (not pictured – they live in the drawer below the oven!)
  • spiralizer (yes, I use this often!)
  • 1 x travel mug
  • 2 x water bottles (different sizes)
  • 3 x plastic cups for my friends’ kids when they visit :)
  • 2 x dish cloths
  • 4 x dish towels
  • mini oven mitts
  • indoor compost bin!

*my mason jars double as glass storage containers :)

Things I Live Without

  • a knife block (I currently only own one sharp knife)
  • a toaster (I don’t buy much bread, and don’t need to toast it if I do)

Things I’m Considering Buying

  • a ladle (still need to replace my last one)
  • a paring knife
  • a fine-mesh strainer
  • a large glass food storage container (for things I bake like muffins)
  • a food processor (or a bigger/proper blender)

As part of the slow food experiment, I thought I would also share more about the food I buy, and show you what’s inside my cupboards and fridge. Look out for that post on Wednesday!

For now, I’d love to know what your favourite item in your kitchen is and why. I’m torn between my French press and my Nutribullet. Let’s go with my Nutribullet because it makes an amazing smoothie!


Extra Reading


A Peek Inside My Small and Simple Kitchen posted first on cashforcarsperthblog.blogspot.com

There’s trouble brewing in the global economy, so save more now http://on.ft.com/2gP18br 

There’s trouble brewing in the global economy, so save more now http://on.ft.com/2gP18br 


There’s trouble brewing in the global economy, so save more now http://on.ft.com/2gP18br  posted first on cashforcarsperthblog.blogspot.com

Ticking time bomb of interest-only mortgages http://on.ft.com/2gOAtvt 

Ticking time bomb of interest-only mortgages http://on.ft.com/2gOAtvt 


Ticking time bomb of interest-only mortgages http://on.ft.com/2gOAtvt  posted first on cashforcarsperthblog.blogspot.com

Retirement wake-up call for children of the 1970s http://on.ft.com/2ug2EGA 

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Retirement wake-up call for children of the 1970s http://on.ft.com/2ug2EGA  posted first on cashforcarsperthblog.blogspot.com