Thriving through the Greek economic crisis - Page 89
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  1. #1321
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    Yeah, exactly: rice, pasta, bread, potatoes. Most of our meals are based around one of those three. We eat very little meat and fish; and vegetables so-so, I have to be careful with them. My favorite meals combine something starchy with vegetables (like rice with spinach, or pasta with veggies) but all-veggie meals, or veggie + protein meals are pretty rare. We don't do sweets much. I made sweets for our anniversary but gave almost all of them away; and I made chocolate mousse a few months ago for a party and we only ate a little. But in general dessert and snacking isn't the issue as much as the main meals = more calories than I burn.

    I've always had insane weight. Gaining and losing a LOT of weight. Once I lost 100 pounds. Heck, I lost 45 pounds in 3 months once (800 calories + 4 hours/exercise per day). I am also capable of gaining 20 pounds in 2 weeks. There's probably something wrong with me, that my weight changes so rapidly as soon as I am not completely obsessed by it. I don't "appear" to eat too much, since I have a simple breakfast (oatmeal w/ raisins and coffee), no snacks to speak of, and lunch/dinner are the meals you see on my blog for the most part - very carb-heavy, cheap ingredients, olive oil added so I'm not hungry half an hour later. ZERO "junk" food, packaged food, ice cream and fun food like that. ZERO fried food.

    My big challenge is to make low calorie meals that are filling without spending more than €1-2 / day for both of us. I'm working on it. The traditional thing to eat in Greece for dinner is yogurt with fruit, and I would love to do that but yogurt and fruit are both too expensive to eat in that quantity. Another challenge is cooking meals that are appropriate for both of us (or cooking two different meals twice/day).

  2. #1322
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    I hear you about gaining weight. Had a cold April then a bad attack of allergies. Why I end up overeatting when I am sick I do not know just less wanting foods I know I should not eat. But am convinced certain foods just make me bloat and give me inflammation. So am back on a diet of mostly meats and vegetables.

    Hope the garden you planted grows well. Am keeping my fingers crossed that the spinach grows this year.

    Keep up the walking. Will definately help you.

  3. #1323
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    We kissed goodbye to €1528 today.... DEEP BREATH.

    Spent €1168 to convert our car to LPG and we are so glad we did it - of course it's still early and we only did it today but the conversion is 'invisible' (can't see it, can't tell driving it), and we filled the tank for €17 instead of the €50 we usually spend!

    The other €360 was because we owed money from 2011 to the car dealership (which did the conversion) so we settled up with them and now don't owe anything but YOWCH that was a lot of cash!!!! As I was counting out the €50 bills the pile just kept getting higher and higher.

    We are so glad we made this investment. Only regret is we didn't do it one year earlier. Some times you have to spend money to save money and this is one of those times.

  4. #1324
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    Your weight problem sounds like a nuisance. I hope you'll regain control over it.

    Auch on the money (that was like 2 months of reduced salary for you), but hurray on the investment. Is LPG readily available? (on the highways in NL you'll find signs how many km's until the next gas station that sells LPG because not every gas station sells it)

  5. #1325
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's pretty easy to find. There are five gas stations in our town that have it, and it's not a big city or anything. But yeah, not all gas stations have it. Luckily, we still have the full-size gas tank so if we get stuck, we can just use gasoline; we won't get stranded or anything.

  6. #1326
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    I'm curious what today will bring for Greece. When will the votes be counted (i.e. when can we expect the results of the elections?)?

  7. #1327
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    final results monday midday probably. first results tonight 9:30.

  8. #1328
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    If anyone wants to know all my thoughts and analysis on the election, I have a bunch of posts about it on my blog.

    We stockpiled a bunch today! I had three coupons for €5 off anything, and one for €6 off €20, all at the same store! My ILs gave them all to us. So I got €21 worth of free stuff!!!

    I am very happy with my "haul" because I haven't stockpiled in ages. We went to two stores, Carrefour and Lidl. I didn't have coupons for Lidl but they had Mexican food available and a few other things for a good price.

    - 3 kgs chickpeas (2.49/kg)
    - 10 packages (6 each) large wheat tortillas (1.89/pkg)
    - 2 huge plastic planters with plates (5.49 ea)
    - 3 huge loaves of sliced bread (950g ea) (1.39/ea) for freezer
    - 12 cans kidney beans (0.50 ea)

    - 700g molasses (price 5.97, paid 0.97)
    - 1 can of gas (price 3.60, got free)
    - garden trowel (price 2.20, paid 0.80)
    - 3 boxes tissues (0.89/ea)
    - 2 kg rice (2.40)
    - silpat (price 4.50, got free)
    - candle (price 2.50, paid 2.00)
    - anchovies (1.79, because I liked the bottle ...)
    - 1.5 kg strawberries (0.79/500g)
    - 2 bunches of bananas (0.90/kg)
    - 1 pkg barley rusks (saved 0.32)
    - olive pit oil (8.30/5L)
    - 6 L of tomato sauce (0.47/L)
    - 4 pkgs wet wipes (2 pkgs free)
    (minus another €6 off the total of all that)

    I am pretty happy with all this. I have wanted a silpat for ages, so getting it for free was awesome.

    We have blown through ALL our cash but we are well set-up for the next few months, especially with the car debt settled (I DON'T mean the car is paid off - just that we no longer owe money on the car insurance and last year's service) and we can fill up for half price with LPG (we are soooo loving the new fuel by the way - such a good move! The car seems to love it too!). Stockpile is looking pretty good - even though I didn't stockpile anything since February, we haven't really eaten it down TOO much. Just the 'fun' stuff and a little around the edges. The core is still robust and now we're in an even better position.

    The dentist tomorrow will wipe out the rest of our cash and then we will have to be really careful because we have to pay three bills this month (electricity [low bill - not a meter reading], water, and telephone/internet) but we can easily pay for all of those with Dh's 2nd paycheck. We are a bit 'over' on several budget categories but overall I'm very happy with the whole situation, you know... all things considered....

    I'm nervous about the dentist. I have a minor dentist phobia. Not terrible but enough that I always put it off way too long. It's just a cleaning/check up although if he finds anything bad, it will escalate from there. (Incidentally my teeth were terribly yellow and I brushed them with plain baking soda from my kitchen cabinet and they became like 8 shades whiter. Still not WHITE but wayyyyyy better. And practically free. Kinda cool. I'd heard about that for years but never tried it. I highly recommend it. Not every day, it's quite abrasive, but once every so often.)

  9. #1329
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    Sounds like things are looking up for you. Great!

    Have you tried making tortillas? I haven't tried whole wheat ones yet.

    You probably don't know yet, but have you heard from others how the gas conversion will affect the mileage, if at all? Just curious.

    Good luck at the dentist.
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  10. #1330
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    Hi SD!! Yes, I used to make tortillas on the island. Maybe I should hang my head in shame but... I love having ready-made ones for quick meals. I know, I know... but there are so many quick wraps and such that can be made with them, and sometimes, a quick meal is called for. I do prefer homemade, but I don't have a tortilla press; and in any case it's not a very quick food. If I had a lot of freezer space, I'd be more tempted to make a ton of them and freeze them. But with my small freezer, I need that space for frozen produce, butter, and meat.

    We have heard that the gas mileage is very similar. We will lose a little gas mileage with LPG but not enough to move the price over 1/2. The only downside of LPG is that it doesn't "kick in" until it warms up, which means that for the first few seconds, you burn gasoline. In the summer. In the winter, on the other hand, it's unlikely that DH would actually use LPG on the way to and from work at all! He only works about a mile from home, and it will probably burn gasoline for that whole mile. However, we knew that; we wanted it to be able to cover larger distances rather than the daily back-and-forth.

    LPG cars keep their fullsize gasoline tank so it's not a 'problem', it just means that we can't count those miles in the approx 9500 miles we need to drive with LPG to break even.

  11. #1331
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    No shame in buying tortillas. I have about twenty packages in my fridge right now myself, and I ~do~ have a tortilla press! So if you're going to hang you head, then I'll have to as well and I don't feel like it. We got them for an unheard of thirty-eight cents per package of ten. I won't bother making them for that. I have some things I want to make with them yet but once I'm done, they'll go in the freezer. I agree, they're very handy for so many things.

    Were you making whole wheat tortillas on the island? Any tips? I'm thinking they might end up too stiff.

    Interesting about the car and LP gas. I wonder if that affects towing capabilities. We tried ethanol once and our mpg dropped to the point it wasn't any more expensive to use regular gas. That's what made me wonder about the LP conversion.

    I hope if a lot of people are converting where you are, that it doesn't drive up the cost of LP due to increased demand.
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  12. #1332
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Deer View Post
    Were you making whole wheat tortillas on the island? Any tips? I'm thinking they might end up too stiff.
    You know what... I always made 100% all purpose flour, because my recipe said you could use up to 1/2 whole wheat, which I took as a bit of a warning that whole wheat would be harder to work with / not turn out as well. My personal experience is that whole wheat flour doesn't work very well in non-yeast recipes. I may give them a try someday but it's pretty low on the list, considering that I just stocked up on a year's worth of storebought white ones haha.

    Interesting about the car and LP gas. I wonder if that affects towing capabilities. We tried ethanol once and our mpg dropped to the point it wasn't any more expensive to use regular gas. That's what made me wonder about the LP conversion.

    I hope if a lot of people are converting where you are, that it doesn't drive up the cost of LP due to increased demand.
    I don't think it makes any difference about towing. We weren't told anything like that, but of course we don't have a towing-capable car. We have an itty-bitty Euro car lol. The only thing we were told is not to put more than 500kg on top of the tank itself.

    We're not too worried about the price of fuel. There's an international treaty round these parts that sets the LPG price at under half the price of gasoline, whatever the price of gasoline is. LPG is made out of the stuff that's left over when they make gasoline, so it's hard to imagine it being more expensive. All things being equal, it's also moderately better for the environment too!

  13. #1333
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We heat our house with LP. I think our contract with the gas company this year was around $2.10/US gallon. Car gas right now is about $3.70 here, so if it's a similar spread there, I can see why you did the conversion.

    What you said is what has me wondering about the whole wheat tortillas. I'll probably try a batch sometime, but not any time soon since I have so many now. I sub wheat flour for AP using a 1:2 ratio for bread and buns and it seems to work well for that. Even my fussy wheat-hating husband likes those recipes!

    Diesel fuel is a by-product too, but the cost of that has skyrocketed here in recent years. I think any oil product is going up in price. Not much any of us can really do about it, I guess.
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  14. #1334
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    **big sigh** I have been purchasing tortillas also. I found an outlet place that sells a box of tortillas for $5 to $8. This last box is 10 packages of 10 tortillas that are 13 inches across and they are whole wheat (an $8 box). For the ingredients, the time and trouble of making them, and the electricity, well, it is way cheaper to buy them than to make them. Though, homemade tastes way better (especially with bacon grease in them).
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  15. #1335
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    Good deal! I'd buy them at that price too. Ours are six inch size which works great for portion control for me. We just used up some of the big ones and they were just too big. But we're not feeding kids anymore.
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