Cheap food, not fast food.

I am constantly hearing that it is cheaper to eat from a fast food value menu than it is to eat food from a grocery store. I don’t believe it. This is a fantastic article from Reddit.


Q: I need to eat very cheaply until I can find more work. So I need your help. Should I just eat crappy cheap noodles every meal? Or can I eat better and a bit healthier for not much more cost?

A: The trick to mundane food that is purely for cheap nourishment is to make it different every time, and eat it at a pretty place.

first: eat it at a pretty place. even if it’s crap. take it somewhere. a park, a lake, a river or pond. take it to the roof. eat it in your back yard.

noodles: pesto. chicken and pesto. chicken and a milk/flour/butter sauce. lemon pepper with mayonaise (it sounds weird, but tastes great. this is a macaroni type dish)

rice: rice with milk, sugar and cinnamon. rice with vegetables. rice with butter and salt and an egg. rice with cheese and butter.

use ground beef when you cook with meat that isn’t chicken, and never spend more than 3 dollars per pound on it. actually, if you can find any other meat that is 2 per pound, have them grind it at the counter. then you can put small amounts of meat in food and make it seem hearty.

chicken should be the thing you eat most of as meat is concerned. it’s the cheapest. look for it for a dollar fifty per pound. don’t buy it for much more than that.

potatoes. mashed potatoes, baked potatoes. cut potatoes up and put them in your soups. hash browns in the morning, or chunks with spices and eggs. fries for lunch. cook it with cheese. put it in your rice (hint… throw EVERYTHING in rice… together)

eggs. throw eggs in your ramen. put eggs in your rice. put eggs in your soups.

water. drink a lot of it at every meal.

oatmeal. for every breakfast, and every snack. make sure you splurge on brown sugar, it makes it worth it.

bread. make it yourself. one cup warm water. two tablespoons sugar, two teaspoons yeast (or one package) a quarter cup oil, some salt, and three cups flour. bake it at 350 for a half hour. Flavor it with cinnamon and sugar, or chocolate chips. put dill in it with pepper and garlic powder (I fucking hate garlic, but other people seem to like it) substitute a half cup flour with oatmeal.

eggs with onions, green beans, and chili powder. eat it with tortillas. tortillas: this recipe is alright. instead of lard I use a quarter cup oil, and a little less water. tweak it as you go if you want, or follow it exactly. not just green beans and eggs…. but also re-fried beans with eggs in a tortilla.

yogurt. just buy the one thing. make sure it’s active. put it in any gallon of milk that is going bad. the next day you’ll have yogurt. keep the culture alive and put it in milk. that’s like…2 dollars for a GALLON of yogurt.

make your own laundry detergent. look up recipes online. super cheap. does a reasonable job.

use margarine instead of butter. better yet… just use vegetable oil and salt in your recipes instead.

Bananas. they’re super cheap for fruit. you can get bananas for like… fifty cents per pound. think about that for a second. you can fill yourself on fruit. eat five pounds of it…… two dollars, fifty cents.

when water is hard to drink because everything is tasteless from being miserable and poor…. make kool-aide. cherry kool-aide goes well with rice.

tuck your chin. toughen up. go out every day and do your damnedest to get yourself a job. come home tired, boil up a big plate of pasta, mix in tomato sauce and cheese… and go out to your pretty place to eat it and cry. remember these feelings. remember what foods got you through. remember how cheaply you lived, and how easy it was. when you have a job again…. .this is pretty much how you should eat anyway. with a few adjustments. this diet fed my family of four for a long time. it cost me about a hundred dollars per month. that included shopping for discounts, and sometimes trying to treat ourselves to butter. or cheese that wasn’t “economy muenster”

remember your meals though, remember who ate them with you. remember who got you by the best. hold on to that person. they will know more about you than anyone you happen to tell your story to.

oh, and don’t be ashamed if you need a little help from a food pantry or anything… just be sure to donate back to it when you’re back on your feet. that’s what it’s there for, and people like you, who use it when they’re down are always loyal donators.

November 8th – Health.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard or said, “Your health is your wealth” to people. Hanging out in long term care for our clinicals can really drive this idea home. Ask anyone that feels like they are getting sick. Nobody likes it. All of the money in the world cannot save you from your own mortality, yet. Most of the people that I have met in the healthcare industry actually want to make someone’s life better.

So don’t let me see you in a professional setting where you will need me or one of my colleagues to take care of you.

Screen shot 2013-11-08 at 9.16.26 PMInstead, go watch a triathlon. You will probably be inspired to do one. I even let this guy take  picture with me.

Screen shot 2013-11-08 at 9.18.51 PM


November 1st – Nursing School.

Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday. People celebrate it for many reasons. Being thankful is probably one of the better reasons. I don’t give thanks to a spiritual being. My thanks come from all of my real world experiences. I would like to try and focus on one memory or experience every day this month and highlight them here. I (and most people reading this) have many things to be thankful about. Life can almost always be worse. The healthcare world is a fierce reality of death and dying. Especially when you are at the bottom of the barrel like a nursing student seems to be sometimes.

So thankful post number 1 is the fact that I am in nursing school. Many things have lead to the current path that I am on. I am thankful for my previous degree in NREM from UH.

Here is my Friday night:

Friday night fun.

Friday night fun.

Here is what I am looking forward to:Drinking.

One month in.

The first month has been rough. Maybe it is the content (tedious). Maybe it is the hours (many). Maybe it is the social life (none). The first thing that we are tested on is the necessary and not fun things. Laws, critical thinking, and the nursing process are all filed away somewhere in the back of my small brain. After the first four weeks, we were finally allowed to learn how to put on (and take off) our PPE (personal protective equipment). My life is filled with abbreviations and mnemonics.Nursing learning occurring.Speaking of mnemonics, we are starting our clinicals at the VA. For those of you playing along at home, that means I pay the school, they find a teaching hospital for us so we can follow a real nurse and learn about what they do. Before we get that far, we also get to do a small kine urine analysis.pee pee

The beginning of nursing school.

Wow. Overwhelmed, distracted, nervous, excited, broke, these are all how I feel on a day to day basis.Day one we were told that there is so much material to learn (and teach) that we won’t be able to cover it all. We are constantly behind. The first couple of weeks are tough because we are learning theories and legalities. Then they dropped the bomb on us, we won’t be sticking people with needles. No IVs, no blood draws, nothing on real people! Apparently, wherever you work after school will teach you their way of doing these things. The best thing I got was a 45 page pamphlet on how not to stress during nursing school. It was pretty stressful.

Luckily, we got to go to the State Fair and see animals that remind me of Bob Marley.

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 10.40.01 AMSo I keep telling myself, ‘Every little thing is gonna be alright’.

Accepted to nursing school!

The next couple of years of my life will look like this:

1’st Quarter Cr
Primarily for liberal arts majors. Designed to enhance mathematics literacy. Instructors choose college-level topics centered around a theme such as Environmental Math, History of Math, or General Topics in Math. Fulfills QSR requirement for A.A. degree. Minimum 2.0 required to meet Intermediate Algebra proficiency and QSR.
Intro to core nursing concepts, organized around the individual as a biopsychosocial being, constantly interacting with and adapting to a changing environment. Covers principles of critical thinking, the nursing process, the role of the nurse, cultural views of health and principles of growth and development with emphasis on the aging process. Addresses images and impressions of nursing, current trends in health care delivery and legal and ethical issues in nursing. Coreq: NUR 111, 122 and MATH& 107.
Apply nursing concepts from NUR 101. Assess four adaptive modes in the clinical setting: physiologic-physical, self-concept-group identity, role function and interdependence. Covers basic assessment and, care planning. Apply principled application of nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting. Coreq: NUR 101, 122 & MATH& 107.
First of 2 psychosocial nursing courses. Focuses on communication pertinent to the care of clients in various health care settings throughout the lifespan. Practice therapeutic and professional communication techniques. Assess adaptation in self-concept, role function and independence of clients who are coping with acute and chronic illness. Learn group process. Coreqs: NUR 101, 111 and MATH& 107.
2’nd Quarter Cr
Intro to the science of nutrition and its role in normal growth and functioning across thelifespan, with an emphasis on personal health and wellness. Topics include analysis of personal diet habits, the role of exercise, and public health issues such as obesity, the role of nutrition in prevention of chronic diseases, nutrition during pregnancy and lactation eating disorders, and food safety.
First of 4 medical-surgical theory courses. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasis on alterations in fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, endocrine functions, compromise in wound healing and peripheral vascular circulation.
Builds on NUR 111. Apply concepts relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes, client response and administration of medications. Assess the four adaptive modes. Gain experience in complete assessment, care planning and principled application of nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
Intro to basic concepts of drug therapy, roles and responsibilities of nurses, and applying critical thinking and the nursing process for safe medication administration. Includes terminology, resources and regulations related to drug therapy and principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutics. Major classifications of drugs include autonomic nervous system agents; parenteral fluids; electrolytes; vitamins and minerals; endocrine, neurologic, respiratory and selected cardiovascular agents; anesthetic, immune system and gastrointestinal agents. Coreqs: NUR 102, 112 & NTR 150.
3’rd Quarter Cr
Second of 4 medical-surgical theory courses. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and adaptation with emphasis on alterations in neurologic, musculoskeletal, chronic respiratory and chronic cardiovascular systems. Covers key concepts of adaptation to the complex processes of movement and cognition, oxygenation and circulation.
Builds on NUR 112. Emphasizes integrating nursing theory, clinical data, skills in providing nursing care and developing priorities. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
Study adaptations of normal aging, differentiating these adaptations from disease and learn the implications for nursing care. Covers psychosocial, legal and ethical issues common in gerontological nursing practice.
Survey of human physical, psychological, and social development from conception through death. Emphasis on major developmental theories, research and research methods of studying life-span development.
4’th Quarter Cr
Second of 2 psychosocial nursing courses. Builds on NUR 122 (or NUR 106). Focuses on caring for clients with mental illness using a system with cognator and regulator subsystems to maintain adaptation in the four adaptive modes. Covers psychosocial assessment and therapeutic interventions in psychiatric disorders at three levels: integrated, compensatory and compromised.
Third of 4 medical-surgical courses. Builds on NUR 101, 102 & 103. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes alterations in select integumentary and immune or protective responses and surgical therapies.
In a psychiatric setting focus on adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Integrates nursing theory, clinical data and skills in nursing care and developing priorities. Assess the four adaptive modes in clinical setting, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply therapeutic skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
Focuses on concepts relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Emphasizes comprehensive care and the relationships of the various components of client data and health care interventions. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in practice lab and clinical setting.
5’th Quarter Cr
Fourth of 4 medical surgical courses. Builds on NUR 101, 102, 103 & 206. Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes acute respiratory, acute cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal alterations.
Study adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Emphasizes analysis of client data and health care interventions, initiating nursing assessments and interventions, health promotions and education and developing leadership skills. Assess the four adaptive modes, gain experience in individualized assessment and care planning and apply nursing skills in a variety of clinical settings.
Intro to theoretical foundations of health promotion, education and wellness maintenance across the lifespan and to the leadership role in Nursing. Emphasizes planning health promotions and managing care in a variety of settings. Addresses leadership in nursing: traits, styles, problem-solving, change, team communication, conflict management, delegation, time management and the implications of health care trends. Linked to final medical-surgical rotation.
6’th Quarter Cr
Develop a comprehensive understanding of homeostasis and the adaptation of maternal, newborn and pediatric clients to the complex processes of the physiologic mode. Emphasizes learning and promoting normal family development and understanding adaptive and maladaptive physiologic and psychosocial responses to childbearing, childrearing and illness in childhood.
Emphasis on adaptation in the developing family. Apply concepts from NUR 208 relevant to adaptation in the basic physiological and psychosocial modes and client response. Assess the four adaptive modes in the clinical setting. Obtain experience in individualized assessment, care planning, and principled application of nursing skills in a variety of clinical settings. Coreqs: NUR 208, 230.
Covers the transition from the role of student to Registered Nurse. Focuses on the role of the RN in health care, the community and organizations. Emphasizes professional and legal obligations, obtaining and maintaining licensure, professional organizations, continuing education and job searching. Includes preparation for the NCLEX/RN exam.
Total Credits = 108


So many new projects…

With all of my prerequisites for nursing school out of the way (hopefully), I find myself with most of my days free instead of studying anatomy, physiology, microbiology, etc. We also found this wall to be very bare. It used to have a few pictures of me with fish.
empty wall
I have always been a fan of hydroponics. I have had different types of food growing setups. This empty wall begged for something cool. A vertical hydroponic garden seems just the ticket. Oh yeah, and we want it to be as cheap as possible. We acquired a couple of pallets. We Amanda painted and stained them. The paint was a couple of samples from Home Depot ($3 each) and a mistint from Benjamin Moore ($5).

Green!I built troughs for the water and clay balls that will hold the roots of the plants. We bought a 3 inch by 10 foot PVC pipe that we cut into about 17 inch segments. We used 3 inch PVC end caps and glued them with Christie’s Red Hot waterproof PVC glue. The pipe was under $10 and the end caps are about a buck a piece. Including the glue, we are up to about $35 so far.With the troughs glued, I drilled a few holes in each one so the nutrient rich water will drain from the top plant to the bottom ones. Then I made sure that they fit. It can’t be too snug, as we need our 1/4 inch microtubing to be able to go from the water pump in the reservoir (more on that later) up to the top plants.

snug!Mounting the pallets by yourself can be tricky. Especially if you aren’t sure where the studs are in your house. I used drywall screws with the plastic receivers, but I am not sure if the metal screws made it inside because I couldn’t see anything as I was screwing the pallets into the wall. So far, it has held up!mountingWe also found that it is easy to paint the pallets when they are mounted on the wall.pallet 1Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 12.21.45 PMScreen shot 2013-02-28 at 12.21.38 PMI have ordered a pump on Amazon and we are waiting for that to arrive and then we will find a reservoir. I will keep posting as the project progresses. Thanks for reading. Leave our comments below!