Sunday, August 21, 2011

Balancing the Books

Once a year I have to gather all those tiny slips and invoices and tie them together into a sensible record of my husband's business for the past tax year. I hate this job and tend to leave it until it all piles up into a rather daunting task. So, in shocking WABBING style, a while ago, I devised a much more important task for a Saturday than pushing papers.
(WAB = work avoidance behaviour)

I came up with a wonderful way of feeding our family of four using just two pieces of chicken - a breast and a thigh. It involved enough preparation to keep me away from the nasty papers, and required a fair bit of help from my husband. So this Elastic Mom thinks that it is a great recipe - it saves money, helps to avoid other nasty jobs that are begging for your precious time, and best of all, this recipe, if done right, can build your marriage.


 First, send your willing son to your generous neighbour to grind some wheat kernels, that were harvested from this farm, in their mini grinder. Dust off pasta machine that was given to you many years ago by kind cousins. Then put said wheat flour into pasta machine with water and salt. Encourage your husband to cut the strips of lasagna to size as the machine spits them out. Try not to break the machine in the process. No pasta machine? Use any shop bought pasta.

Initial financial outlay = R0.00 (Cost of salt is negligible)

Wash, steam and chop a large bunch of black kale that you picked in the fields yesterday with your reluctant daughter. Spinach will do just as well.
 Cost of kale = R0.00 + lots of sweet talking.

Cook up a tasty tomato and onion sauce with lots of herbs from the garden. Use frozen baby tomatoes that you grew last Summer. 
Cost of one onion = R1.00 max

Haul the mini cooker out of storage and find the hickory wood shavings that you have had for the last six years. Sweet talk your husband into smoking your two pieces of chicken. Entice your neighbours' senses with delicious aromas while the chicken pieces smoke.
 Cost of smoking = R0.00 + a big hug

Slice the smoked chicken off the bone, and swat your family's fingers that keep trying to snitch bits of fragrant chicken while your back is turned.
Cost of 2 chicken pieces from braai-pack = R10.00

Layer the tomato sauce, fresh wholewheat lasagne, kale and chicken in as many layers as you can, starting and ending with the sauce.

Sparingly sprinkle 1/4 block mature cheddar cheese over the top, and bake your lasagna at 180 deg. C until it bubbles and is golden.
Cost of cheese = R6.25 (That's why I use it sparingly)

Grin and agree with your husband when he says that the lasagna is excellent - gourmet restaurant quality.
Price of four servings of lasagna at a good Italian restaurant for the family = R65.00 x 4 = R260.00

Run out of excuses and get back to the books with a well satisfied tummy.

Total Cost for Smoked Chicken Lasagna = total cost of meal - price in restaurant
                                                                 =  R17.25 - R260.00
                                                                 = - R242.75

So, Elastic Mom saved her family R242.75, and gained some time with loved ones, smiles, hugs and happy memories.... and managed to spend her valuable time well while WABBING

That's what I call good financial practice.

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