Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!!


The challenge is over, but hopefully not forgotten!  I am going to try my hardest to stick to my low budget, low materialist lifestyle! Stay tuned... 

Thanks to everyone for the support! 

GRAND BAKALA TOTAL:  KD  42.500 or $148.93! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Only 10 Days To Go...

Is it really almost over?

Funny how it always seems to work out this way.  At first, Lent seems like it will be so long, such a battle of endurance.  Then, before I know it, the time has come and gone!  I will admit that this Lenten challenge has been much easier than those of the past as I have been able to break it a few times while on vacation.  With that said, I have learned a TON, about myself and about Kuwait.  

Things I have learned so far (you know how I love a good list):

  1. I waste a boatload of money on crap I really don't need.
  2. I have let my "things" rule my life.
  3. I need a hobby.
  4. The local population is really great! 
  5. I would rather spend my money on travel than anything else (o.k. so I pretty much already knew this one, now it is just confirmed).
  6. I really LOVE eating out...I do!

I do not feel that my list does my experience justice, but it is all I got.  After this journey, I truly want to try to continue shopping in my neighborhood and saving money.  I feel a new chapter in my book of life starting!  It is quite exciting!

My favorite picture from Lebanon!

With that said, I recently traveled to Beirut, Lebanon.  I remember Beirut from the news as a child. It was scary. I am not sure what I expected, but what I found was amazing!  A really culturally rich country with tons to see and do.  Sticking to my Lenten challenge, I only purchased a magnet and a cookbook (my sister would be proud). By limiting myself, I have found that I purchase things that I will keep with me for life, things that represent what I want to remember about the country and the experience.  With only 10 more days to go, I am interested in what other lessons I will learn.  Stay tuned...

Bakala Total:KD 26.950 or $94.59

Pooch's Food:  KD 3.950 or $13.88 (1.7lbs)

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Hell Yes... I made it!  (was there ever any doubt?

I must "toot my own horn"!  I managed to venture into a glitzy, exciting, clean, well-maintained chain grocery store and not buy anything (other than the pooch's food)!  This is a GARGANTUAN feat!!!  I might be so bold as to say, comparable to a sex addict walking down Sunset Boulevard! 

I miss WIDE aisles and shiny tile, I miss neatly arranged products, I miss the chill of cold air from the frozen food aisles, I miss the perfectly aligned shelves...I MISS IT ALL!!!  Scratch that... I REALLY don't miss any of that so terribly much, what I do miss is this:

My old childhood favorite...the Mac and Cheese!!!  Why is it that other cultures don't embrace the processed, fake,  cheesy,  goodness of boxed mac n' cheese? Ummmm....I just remembered, it is because  it has no nutrition value, but DAMN it is SO good!!!  I did not buy my creamy, processed, American fabulousness and therefore I AM---CAPTAIN WILLPOWER!!!!  

Bakala Total: 20.950 KD or $73.62

Pooch's Food:  3.950KD or $13.88(1.7lbs) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Cheatin' Heart...

It's not what you think...

My new destination for fresh fruits!
Isn't this how all great excuses start?  "It's not what you think."  "It isn't what it looks like."  Blah, blah, blah...This time I assure you that it is not how it appears, it is not what you think!  I have not cheated on my Lenten challenge, (not yet at least) but I have cheated on my beloved Bakala Qamar.  Bakala Qamar is great for all things that I need: household items, veggies, hair dye, quail eggs, etc.  It is only lacking in one department:  fresh fruits.  Therefore I scoured the neighborhood in search of another Bakala.  Ok, so it really wasn't too much of a search as our neighborhood has about 10 Bakalas within a two block radius.  Nevertheless, I found a fantastic little Bakala about a block away that specializes in, you guessed it, FRUIT! 

Apparently, each Bakala specializes in some type of product.  Bakala Qamar seems to be great for vegetables and household goods, while our new Bakala has little in the category of household goods and veggies, but tons of fruits.   Who knew, I guess there is competition among the neighborhood Bakalas?  Anywho, this new Bakala (and don't even ask the name) is fantastic!  It is clean and bright and packed full of fruits that are priced very reasonably.  I reread my original challenge and I am sure that I have stayed within the parameters.  I merely said I would shop at a Bakala and I think I am still doing well. The true test of my willpower will be in this coming week.  The pooch is almost out of food and I will have to venture into the "real" grocery store to pick that up.  Will I be able to resist the glitzy packaging and Western foods? Taking inspiration from The Little Engine That Could...I think I can, I think I can...

I have purchased several items in the past week.  Cleaning supplies, fruits, veggies, etc.  Therefore, my total has taken a jump.  Still doing quite well and saving tons of money while supporting the "little guy"  This challenge has definitely opened my eyes to how much money I have been wasting at the chain grocery.  Also, by having to buy only what I need when I need it, I have cut done tremendously on my waste. 

Bakala Total: 12.150KD or $42.80