Hey does anyone else have a lot of trouble getting out of bed and feeding themselves sometimes? Yeah me too. BUT I’ve basically gotten the cheap, easy, fast ramen thing down to a T by this point and thought I’d share it with you guys. It can be made very easily for any type of diet, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
Time: Will vary depending on your ingredients, but at minimum it’ll take about 5-10 minutes.
For just a soup base+noodles, you will need:
A package of cheap-ass ramen noodles - throw away the seasoning packet or save it to use with something else. Buy in bulk if you don’t want to go to the store every time you want noodles. If you’re gluten-free, get rice noodles or another gluten-free option.
Miso paste - I got mine for about $3, and it lasts for a very long time in the fridge. Pro tip: it’s cheaper at an Asian grocery store or market if you have access to one.
Stock cube/paste - around $2 at my local grocery store. I went for low-sodium chicken stock cubes, but you use your preferred type.
Water - about 2-3 cups for one portion depending on how big your bowl is. Remember, if you’re adding in extras, the liquid level will rise. I’ve made that mistake way too many times.
If you want extras, some good options to mix and match at your preference/budget/convenience are
Bean sprouts - super cheap at the grocery store. Just throw a handful in and call it a day. I like mine to still be a little crunchy so I do it in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Snow peas - ditto to the bean sprouts. Extras can be frozen.
Onion - I typically use half or a quarter of a white onion cut into thin slices, and tossed in the broth asap because I like it a bit more tender. Freeze the rest if you’re not going to be using it within the next few days.
Green onion/scallions - 1-2 will be good for one portion. Slice in thin disks, or on an angle if you’re fancy. Also you can use both the tops (green) and the bottoms (white), but that’s to your preference. I typically use these as a garnish, but you can add them in whenever you’d like.
Bok/pak choi - one of my favorite vegetables in the entire world. It can be found in most grocery stores nowadays, but is much cheaper at an Asian market if you have access to one. Cut off the very bottom part and then cut the pieces in half length-wise. Throw them in at the beginning if you like them softer, or in the last 3 minutes if you still want them a bit crunchy.
Spinach - just chuck in a handful whenever. Spinach can also be used frozen and is often cheaper to either buy it already frozen, or buy fresh in bulk and store it in your freezer to have forever. Get those vitamins!
Shredded carrot - you may not have the time/energy to shred carrots. Buy the pre-shredded kind and freeze whatever you have left over.
Corn - use frozen.
Mushrooms - slice thinly or buy pre-sliced. Add to broth toward the beginning.
Tofu - silken tofu is usually the best option for this, but use whatever it is you have/can afford. Cut into small cubes and add whenever you’d like.
Chicken - use leftover cooked chicken to add to your soup or slice a raw chicken breast thinly and poach it at a gentle simmer in the broth for 7-10 minutes or until it is white and opaque. It does take a little extra time, but you don’t actually have to do anything while it cooks and this will add extra flavor. Pre-marinated chicken is good for this as well (look for “Asian” flavors like soy, sesame, ginger, garlic, chili, etc.). Again, more expensive or time-consuming if you’re marinating it yourself, but it’s up to you.
Shrimp - use pre-cooked frozen shrimp to save time and just dump in a handful. Buy the frozen stuff in bulk. Or, like with the chicken, poach raw shrimp in the broth until they are pink and opaque.
Garlic - either use a garlic crusher if you have it or just toss in thin slices into the pan with a little bit of veg or sesame oil for about 2 minutes, before you add your liquid. I buy pre-crushed frozen garlic that comes in little cubes and just pop them straight into whatever I’m cooking. There’s also that pre-crushed/chopped garlic in a paste or little jars. The pre-prepared stuff is more expensive than just buying bulbs of garlic BUT it will last you a while and saves a lot of time and energy.
Ginger - same as the garlic.
Chilis - chopped into thin disks. Take out the seeds and white part inside the chili if you don’t like it too spicy. Add as a garnish or into the broth if you like it a little spicier.
Hot sauce - use your favorite brand.
Chili oil - I got mine for about $1.50 and it’s a must-have for me in my soup. I drizzle a couple teaspoons on top when my soup is all done.
Soy sauce - light or dark soy is fine. Add as much or as little as you like.
Sesame oil - this is quite strong, so a little goes a long way. Use about a teaspoon.
Fish sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine/mirin/sake - these are great flavors but may be a bit harder to find and tend to be a little more expensive. Use about 1-2 teaspoons if you have it.
Cilantro - throw the stalks into your broth and strain them out afterward or just use the leaves as a garnish.
Lemon or lime - a squeeze to taste.
Sesame seeds - sprinkle on top.
Like I said, all the above ingredients are simply suggestions. It’s up to you to decide what you want, what you have the time and energy for, and what you can afford. This is just to show you the range of options.
Prep whatever ingredients you’re using (slice/chop/take out of freezer). If you’re not using any, just go to step 2.
Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. If you have an electric kettle, this will make the process much quicker.
Add in your stock cube and miso paste and cook for about 2 minutes until they dissolve. You may want to stir a couple times just to help it along.
Add in whatever vegetables/protein/additional flavorings above suit your fancy and cook to your liking.
Add noodles and cook for 3 minutes.
Put food in bowl. Don’t worry about making it pretty. Garnish as you like.
Put food in mouth.
Put any leftover soup you may have into a tupperware or thermos and take it to work/school the next day. Or save it for 3-4 days in the fridge and heat it up when you’re hungry.
Another pro tip: you can make the soup base in bulk and freeze whatever you don’t use. when you want soup but don’t want to go through the whole process again, stick the frozen soup in the microwave/melt in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, add in your noodles/extras and you’re good to go.
Some of the most affordable foods on the planet are vegan, including rice, beans, legumes, pasta, and all kinds of fruits and veggies. Despite this, people will often ask us about eating vegan on a budget.
So we’ve compiled some handy tips and tricks that will keep you veg without breaking the bank:
• Dry beans are worth the wait. Sure, you have to soak them overnight, but dry beans are exponentially cheaper than canned. They’re also a delicious, protein-packed essential in a budget-friendly vegan diet.
• Buy it frozen. One great way to save money is to reduce food waste. Frozen veggies like corn, peas, and green beans are great because they last almost forever.
• Get into oatmeal. Yeah, oatmeal is a super secret vegan hack. It’s filling, loaded with iron and calcium, and one of the cheapest things you could eat for breakfast.
• Stick with produce under $2 per pound. When choosing fresh fruits and veggies, try to stick with items under $2/lb.
• If you want to splurge, buy some Vegenaise. Of course you can just use it like mayo, but you can also create sour cream (just add lemon juice), salad dressings, and sauces with this must-have specialty item.
• Soup is a thing. Soups loaded with veggies, grains, and beans hold well as leftovers, stretch your dollars, and make great filling meals!
• Stick with staples. Rice, pasta, and peanut butter are all great choices for affordability and versatility.
• Every night can be taco night. Put those tasty veggies and beans to use inside a toasted tortilla! Add some Vegenaise sour cream and you’ve got yourself a tasty and inexpensive vegan dinner.
-Unless you’re planning to consume it, buy pink Himalayan bath salts instead of regular ones. They come in large bags, pre ground, and are significantly cheaper!
-Always keep a list laying around somewhere of replacements for herbs, crystals, etc for when you can’t afford to use expensive materials
-Research foods that can regrow in water (such as green onions). Great for kitchen witches
-A simple incantation can work just as well as a full-blown spell. It’s also good for when you’re in a time limit
-Don’t worry about having the fanciest tools to work with. The human body can replace such tools easily (Such as the finger can replace the wand)
-If you don’t have the time nor money to make a proper altar this season, you can use your dresser at home! I placed a couple different-coloured ribbons on it with their correspondences to the sabot, and a vase of flowers for the season. Your dresser usually contains many of your personal items in or on it, and will naturally give your spells power
-Start practicing herbalism and natural medicines if you don’t have access to free health care. Natural medicine should never be used to treat a very severe illness. However, for things like a cold, stomach aches, or sore joints, quick tinctures and salves can be made for much cheaper than doctors fees
-Keep your left over egg shells and make money powers out of them
-Speaking of eggs, if you have any leftover egg whites / yolks from cooking or baking, keep them! Use them to make a hair mask. This will not only nourish your hair like crazy, but the magickal properties in eggs can be used to bring about fertility and rebirths to you
-Dollar stores are your new best friend. Especially local ones ran by individuals of a religious cultural background. In my area anyways, I’ve noticed that these dollar stores carry incenses, candles, and hard-to-find spices and herbs for incredibly cheap! I got a brass cleansing bell from one of these stores for only $7! And don’t even get me started on the jars
-Tarot cards can get seriously expensive. Go to Walmart or some other discount store and buy card paper or some other tough paper material. Find and print all of the cards in a tarot deck and print them out.
-An even cheaper idea (but much more time consuming) is to make your own tarot deck. Not only do you get to put an essence of yourself into the deck, but they’re pretty fun to make too
-If you’re like me and have a hard time getting access to crystals or find they’re all too expensive, use rocks. I’m not even kidding. Go outside and find a small stone that calls to you. Bring it inside and wash it. Allow your stone to dry in the sun, then cleanse it in the moonlight. I then charge the stone with my intent and use it in place of a crystal
Look SugarBaby Chic without Breaking Your Bank Account
So I’ve come across a lot of questions in the past on how to look good without compromising your bank balance. Sugaring is competitive, and as much as we love our sugar sisters… We’re all in the same bowl. There’s sugar babies who are stunting in red bottoms flaunting Rolex arm candy, and there’s sugar babies running around in denim and tops. (Totally not looking down on either.) We often forget that men are visual creatures, and most of them are attracted to a woman that knows how to dress well. If you want to be a rich man’s choicest arm candy, then you best start dressing the part. You can’t expect to have the Ritz Carlton experience with a Holiday Inn & Suites package. Money attracts money. Starting out not many of us have designer this and designer that. I certainly didn’t own anything designer starting out. Other than a few presents from family & vanilla men. So here’s how I started out… Firstly I got myself a vanilla job. Retail is great for this, plus one for those employee perks! I worked a few months to save some money for a decent wardrobe. I shopped at places like: Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshals, Nordstrom Rack, Plato’s Closet, Amiclubwear, HotMiamiStyles & Tradesy. This allowed me to purchase new, previously loved, and discounted clothing at a fraction of the MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price). I purchased dresses, ankle pants, chiffon tops, blazers, accessories, & lingerie (new of course). The key is to avoid anything flashy for instance a black top with Boss B#%* or something like that written on it. The key is to dress professional, chic, & keep versatility in mind. When I say versatile, I mean a blazer that can be professional with a collared shirt but still look chill with a pink chiffon top when you roll up the sleeves. As a sugar baby you’ll be exposed to things women your age aren’t. Things like flying private or taking weekend/ day trips with your SD for pleasure or work. Each and every occasion needs to have an appropriate outfit. Think of all the scenarios you could possibly be in and purchase outfits accordingly. A sugar baby can never be over dressed. These men are willing to pay top dollar for women out there. Your first few sugar daddies are like your foundation pillars. Make sure you sift the salt daddies away! The first few ones need to be taking you shopping for items you cannot buy without breaking your bank account. For example, it’s Cocoa Cathy’s 22nd birthday, and her daddy asks her what she wants. Cocoa Cathy should be saying, “Well Daddy, for my birthday I’d like my allowance as usual, but I would absolutely love it if you’d be able to get me a handbag I’ve been eyeing for quite a while!” If Daddy is pure sugar he will say, “I’d be more than happy to buy you that handbag! Look it up & I’ll forward you my card details.” This is sugar! Cocoa Cathy knows that this daddy just went through a brutal divorce so she knows not to ask for a Celine. She instead opts for two handbags from the $800-1K range. She lets Daddy pick which one would look better, and of course daddy goes for the expensive one. This shows how much Daddy enjoys Cocoa Cathy’s company, and he knows that Cocoa Cathy has sophisticated taste. (just an example) You should utilize your allowance to purchase staple sugar clothing items like palazzo pants or cardigans. There’s no need for a sugar baby to be a brand ambassador wearing 20 different designer labels. Often, this gives your sugar daddy the vibe that you already have it all. Be smart when purchasing your initial sugar wardrobe. You don’t have to break your bank account doing so. We all know we’re sugaring to one day run into a Whale Daddy, but until then those 2-3K/ month daddies aren’t bad! Also make sure you still have personality! Your wardrobe can only sell you so much! Your personality really signs seals and delivers your arrangement. For my new babies, please do not wear your heart on your wrist. These men are brutal and will try to talk down to you. They will try to make you feel like you’re not worth that 2-3K allowance. That’s a huge red flag for you to move on! Never compromise your allowance range.
I’ve gotten pretty good at saving money over the years, here are my tips!
Look into minimalism. I put this first because if you are someone who feels trapped in a cycle of spending money on clothes and things you don’t need (like I once was) you need to consider a way of life that requires less unnecessary spending and focusses on improving your character and life as a whole. It can be hard to even begin saving when you have a strong urge to buy the latest trends and trinkets, but it is possible to break out of the cycle, and easier if you watch some motivating videos. here are some of my favs (no sponsors!):
Never spend more than you earn. This is easier for some and harder for some but is the most crucial part of saving because you need money left over each week to save. If you’re jobless at the moment, or spending heavily, you need to cut down your spending so its below the amount coming in.
Put your budget in a spreadsheet. I put my weekly budget in an excel document with all my expenses (bus fare, phone service, food and other) and earnings (student loan payments, extra work) and see what can be left over.
Decide how much you want to save, and how much you want to spend from your left over money. lets say you earn $150 per week and must spend $50 on utilities. You have $100 left over to spend and save. If you want to get to your savings goal fast, you should save more than you spend. If you’re relaxed about saving and just want to put away a small amount, you can adjust the ratio accordingly.
Transfer your saving amount into your savings account immediately after you get paid. Let’s say you want to save $60 per week and have $40 left to spend on food, experiences and miscellaneous items. Transfer that $60 into your savings account when you get paid and leave the $40 + utility amount ($50) in you spendings.
Pay for utilities as soon as possible. Pay your service provider load your transport money onto your transport card, put the petrol in your car etc when you get paid, if possible. This leaves you with only your extra $40 spending money in your account, so you know how much you can spend from it throughout the week.
Have Fun! Saving is easiest when you enjoy it (duh!) so try to focus on the satisfaction of a rising bank account, and the reason you’re saving whether it be travel, study, safety, or just to get into the good habit.
Witchy Real Talk: Storebought, Man-Made, and “Not Powerful”
This topic comes up a lot in the witchy community. You’ll be browsing through articles about crystals and you’ll see something to the effect of “this citrine is laboratory grown! It doesn’t have any magickal properties! It has to be naturally grown for it to be worth anything in witchcraft!” And it’s not just citrine. I’ve seen this with amethyst, quartz (and not just clear quartz - the same arguments keep being made in regards to titanium quartz, aura quartz, et cetera), and even resin castings. Resin castings!
So… why am I writing this article? Because I’m a witch who attempts to live frugally who uses crystals and herbs and spices on a regular basis in my magics. And honestly, when it comes to magic, the most important part of what makes your spells tick is the relationship between intuition and intent. To see many witches bashing lab-grown crystals or spices kept in plastic containers honestly irks me just a little, and for a couple of reasons.
First, there’s the fact that there’s just a little bit of hypocrisy involved. Glass is man-made. Sure, it can happen naturally in the wild, but glass jars don’t form where lightning strikes silica rich sand. However, a good point can be made when it comes to the fact that plastic is more harmful to the environment. I can understand and relate to that. But what makes glass such an ideal container is that it is magically neutral, like clear quartz. You can cleanse it and charge it without any worry of it affecting your energy. Plastic, for many witches, has no magical significance. It’s not going to influence your magic, and honestly it can be cleansed just like glass.
So if you’re a new witch browsing through spices and herbs, feeling a bit dejected because the glass jar herbs are two to three times more expensive than the plastic containers, go for the plastic. Remember to recycle the containers, of course, but there is no reason magic should require you to spend an arm and a leg.
Sorry, couldn’t resist the pic after that… FMA fans get what I mean…
Crystals are even more of a source for contention when it comes to man-made objects. But what bothers me here is the fact that some crystals - especially citrine - are lab grown a good majority of the time. This is because the citrine we often find in crystal shops and metaphysical stores are vibrantly colored when naturally occurring citrine crystals are a lot less vibrant most of the time. Many witches also warn against dyed crystals for the same reason that “it has less power.”
Honestly, lab-grown crystals have many of the same properties as their natural counterparts. The only thing they lack (aside from the high prices of natural crystal) is the thousands of years worth of growing time in the earth’s crust. But I personally don’t see this as too much of a problem because this gives you a crystal which is a little more flexible and can be nurtured by the witch to realize its potential.
Where I see the danger in lab-grown and dyed crystals is if the witch is being scammed. Seeing that lovely piece of turquoise and buying it only to realize that it’s a different stone entirely, dyed to look like turquoise. Or when the witch is told that a crystal is naturally vibrant in color when it has been dyed, forcing her to spend her other arm and leg just to buy it.
What I’m getting at in this rant is that if you’re a new witch or a witch who’s trying not to spend all of her money, you should not feel railroaded into buying expensive materials. I have on my altar a citrine crystal that I know is most certainly dyed. I spent less than $5 on him because I felt that was a reasonable price for him. I have a piece of amethyst whose coloration is a bit drab and brown. That natural coloration makes her rather beautiful, but doesn’t make her any more powerful than the other amethyst I have whose color is a deep purple which I know to be enhanced by dyes.
In my pantry and cupboard, I keep a lot of spices in plastic containers and tins. Yes, some of them are in glass, but only when I know I can afford them or if there aren’t any alternatives. I use these spices in spells and cooking both, and feel no difference in energy between the two.
One of my coworkers who has an interest in crystal healing once said it rather perfectly. “It’s just a rock. It’s not going to do anything by itself. You have to give it the energy. You have to program it and direct it. So it doesn’t matter if it’s natural or not.”
Our crystals do have voices. They do interact with us. But it is up to us to direct energy into, through and from them.
Now, am I bashing the more expensive alternatives? Not at all. I have a lot of glass jars that I’ve collected over the years, and I have quite a few crystals that are a bit higher up on the price range than I usually spend. I’d be quite the hypocrite if I were bashing them. My ultimate point is that if you can’t drop that much money, then don’t. Work with what you have, or with alternatives which speak to you. I’d love to work with peridot, but because I don’t have the money to drop on it, I’ll stick to quartz, moonstone, and salt. There are always options. Don’t let yourself be limited!
This is Mhairi Black of the Scottish National Party. At 20 years old, she is the youngest person to be elected to parliament since at least the 19th century. People are going wild for her first speech, in which she attacked the Conservative government’s act of abolishing housing benefit for anyone under the age of 21 and urged Labour to join forces with the SNP in opposition.
Everyone has an animal, bird or fish which holds a special meaning for them. This is not necessarily a pet or even a domestic animal; it could be foreign or even mythical
1. Take a walk in the woods just before dusk. Take the time to look at the trees and plants, to inhale the scent of the woods and listen to the sounds around you.
2. Find an old tree and sit down beneath it. Close your eyes and lay your hands flat on the soil on either side of you and take a few deep breaths.
3. Ask the Goddess to send you your Totem animal.
4. Open your eyes and pick up the first thing you see lying on the ground near you. Take this home and place it under your pillow for three nights and your Totem animal will come to you in your dreams.
5. When you know what your Totem animal is, remember to look out for it in the world around you and to acknowledge this gift of the Goddess each time you see it
That sounds counter-intuitive, but part of saving money is shopping with intention. I’m not talking about just intending to go shopping and then spending money; I mean thinking purchases through, evaluating if the short term cost would have long term benefits.
To make it on this list, the items had A) be used for something I would have spent money on anyway and B) had to see somewhat regular use. No one-time only products here.
I saved up for every one of these, but they were worth it.
1) A mini-washing machine. This is sometimes known as a camping washing machine or countertop washing machine. It’s as small as the name implies. They cost anywhere from 20 to 50+. Ebay has a ton of them with different functions and sizes.
Why I bought it when I’m broke af: I live in an apartment with no washer/dryer hookups. There is a laundromat across the street and a few units in my apartment building, but to wash and dry one load of laundry I paid 3.50 (I often had more than one) and had to compete with a lot of other people for space.
How it worked out: The thing paid for itself within two months. I had it for two years before it finally conked out and I had to buy another.
2) A clothes drying rack. Mine cost 7 euro. Your cost may vary.
Why: Goes along with the mini washing machine. I hang up the wash in front of the radiator in the winter (it’s going anyway) or outside in the summer. Saves a ton in a very short period of time, and will last you for years.
3) A ton of baking soda/vinegar
Why: Baking soda/vinegar are great for lot of reasons. Have a clogged drain? These work. Need to scrub your counters? These work. Accidentally left your clothes wet too long? Vinegar. Want shiny hair? Vinegar. Want to make a mug cake? Well, of course you’ll need baking soda. You can also find instructions online toward turning baking soda into washing soda and making your own laundry detergent, but that’s another post.
4) A hot water bottle. You don’t actually have to buy one. Filling up a two liter with hot (not boiling, just hot) water works just as well.
Turn down the heat to save costs, night or day. Before you get in bed, heat up the water, put it in the bottle, and be toasty. During the day I have an old blanket I sewed in half that I toss the bottle into the bottom of.
5) A bike. Obviously this depends on where you live, but having to commute every day without a car was hard. A bike fixed that and is extremely low-maintenance. Buy used.
6) The cheapest yoga mat I could find. I think it was 7 Euro three years ago. I’ll admit I got very lucky with that. There are a lot of videos online these days. I highly recommend anything from FitnessBlender, which is high quality and no cost to you. Working out at home (yoga for me was a game-changer in this chaotic budget life) even for five minutes a day reduces stress and saves gym fees. You don’t need a mat if you have a carpet, but the core message is the same: work out at home, not the gym.
7) A Neti pot. This thing isn’t actually called neti, but it’s the same principle: you wash out your sinuses to prevent infections. I’m prone to that kind of thing seasonally, and being pretty regular with it has saved me money, misery, and time by eliminating doctor’s visits. Make you own saline solution with very simple recipes online. Nothing complicated about it.
8) Gardening supplies. This can get very costly if you don’t keep an eye on it. However, a simple balcony garden in the spring, summer, and fall can supplement your food budget for months. Add a few flowers for fun and herbs for taste if you can afford it. Starting from seeds is the cheapest route. Using seeds from fruits and veggies you’ve already purchased and sorted is the cheapest. Gardening as also been proven to lower stress levels significantly. No room? A couple of plants on a window or in a tiny patch of earth you find is equally good.
9) Good scissors. Watch youtube and go on pinterest to find out how to cut your own hair. Man or woman, a good hair cutting utensil will pay for itself within one or two uses. Just keep the cuts relatively basic. If you aren’t able to do your own or don’t trust your hands to be steady, enlist somebody’s help. It just takes a few minutes.
10) A mini-oven. Ignore this if you have a full-sized one, but I didn’t. I was also eating out a lot, which doesn’t work well when you’re on a budget. By learning how to bake my own bread, cake with few ingredients, lasagna, and other recipes, that 40 Euro investment ended up saving me hundreds last year, and in fact varied my diet greatly. Roast chicken. Yum.