Penny Pinch Tuesday

Yesterday, a friend of mine hosted a Latin study group/dinner party at her flat just outside Finchley. She made up a tasty dinner for us, but being raised right I felt like I couldn’t come over empty handed.

But of course I didn’t want to break the bank, either. So after sussing through my huge (HUGE) list of bookmarked recipes, I went with the kitchn blog’s Quick and Homey Oatmeal Raisin muffins because, frankly, all I needed for the recipe was baking powder. Also, I’m going to get every penny back from that muffin pan I bought!

The recipe is actually pretty healthy, with olive oil instead of butter and just a 1/4 cup of brown sugar plus two tablespoons in the crumble topping. In the comments on the site it mentions substituting apple sauce for the olive oil, but apple sauce isn’t something I keep ready in the cupboard (and that was the whole point of this recipe).

Another thing I love about muffins is that, like cookies, you can taste one without ruining the look of your baked good.

But beyond this recipe, I feel a little compelled to mention something. Recent events have renewed my attentions to the importance of being healthy. I’m all about pinching pennies these days, but not when it sacrifices health and well-being. I’ve always joked that between food and books/music/the cinema, food loses every time. But honestly that’s not true in the slightest.

I try very hard to make sure that the things I buy are healthful AND inexpensive, and perhaps do with a little less than I’d like, but I’m still healthy. I keep a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard for peanut butter on toast or just a spoonful on the go. I eat eggs and whole wheat bread. The pre-made soups I buy have lentils, crushed tomatoes, chorizo, or leeks, or something. I also suggested keeping a really tasty box of biscuits in the cupboard for a little treat of dark chocolate every now and again. Anti-oxidents, you know how it is . . .

It sounds so simple, but can be so difficult to remember that existing on crisps and toast and water or whatever, while cheap and cheerful, isn’t HEALTHY and you’ll ultimate pay for it in the long run.

I increasingly discover that part of pinching pennies is being savvy. So buy in season, like apples (clementines coming up!) or fruits that are always not too dear, like bananas. Buy a smaller loaf of bread every other week, eat granola and yoghurt for protein and probiotics, or do whatever you need to. Just be aware of what you put in your body. You kinda want it (your body) to stick around awhile, I’d imagine.

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