Budget Friendly: Stocking up

Whenever I`m visiting my parents in the Canary Islands, I always make sure that I`ve got an extra suitcase to bring back home. Living in Norway is very, very expensive, especially when you`re living on student loans and grants. Which is why I usually stock up on things when I`m in the Canary Islands, as there are practically no taxes there, with the price level being generally very low. Take the cans of sweet condensed milk for instance. In Norway, these would cost me 9$ per can. When I bought them on the Spanish Island it cost me 1$/can. That`s a 8 dollar difference! The amount of money I save each year just by buying some products with me is rediculously huge!

This time I stocked up on sweet condensed milk, honey, my favourite chocolate, a jar of peach jam, two boxes of sprinkles, some luxurious goat cheese, Serrano ham (Spanish version of the Italian Parma ham), and some  bio-degradable garbage bags.

I love being able to stock up on things that I use, but only  to a fraction of what it`d cost in Norway. This is one of the ways I save a lot of money each year, as everytime I visit I always make sure to buy certain food items with me.

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What do you like to stock up on when you got the chance?

The circle of friends is expanding

My BF and I have a close circle of friends consisting of a couple that’s getting married this summer, a guy who we’ve both known since we were teenagers and this last one who has been single for quite some time, but who recently introduced us to his girlfriend! This might not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is. He has often said that the day he introduces us to a girl then it’s serious. Like introducing a girl to one’s parents-serious!

We’ve started this tradition that we all celebrate New Years Eve together, and this New years Eve, we were talking about how the table might look like in 2 and 10 years from now. Our hope is that two years from now we’ll need two more seats for the two guys’ girlfriends, and 10 years from now, a really long table to fit our hopefully expanded families:-)

So now I’m on the subway, on my way downtown to meet up with them and my BF for a meal and some pints at our favourite Irish pub. Isn’t nice when your close friends finds their special one? I think it’s awesome!

My Christmas Goals

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  • Finish my take-home exam next week.
  • Spend a lot of time on the beach
  • Be happy
  • Read a good book
  • Have long breakfasts on the balcony while enjoying the view of palm trees
  • Take long walks with our two dogs
  • Visit the island`s capital, Las Palmas and take a walk in the old town.
  • Make some more Christmas sweets
  • Practice my Spanish
  • Play and cuddle with the dogs; they`re just the cutest ever!
  • Spend quality time with my family
  • Go shopping for some much needed new clothes
  • Plan a strictly food-blog project
  • Drink a lot of ice-cold Diet Coke
  • Have long talks with my mom
  • Go to church on Christmas Eve
  • Write more exciting posts on travelling
  • Take a lot of pictures
  •  Eat a lot of Chinese food
  • Donate christmas gifts to charity
  • Make the Christmas-dinner
  • Plan my 2013 budget
  • Try new recipes and share them with you
  • Help my brother with finding an apartment
  • Eat the best ice-cream in the world
  • Order curricula for the spring semester
  • Celebrate new year`s Eve with my best friends

 What are your goals for this Christmas?

Budget friendly treat; Chocolate covered Walnuts with sea salt

ImageThe other day I had some leftover melted chocolate from making Homemade Bounty bars; and thought it would be a shame to throw it out. I took a good look into my cupboards and that`s when I found a container with walnuts. Enter idea. Why not mix the walnut with the chocolate and then sprinkle some sea salt? It turned out amazing! the texture of the walnut combined with the sweet chocolate, and the addition of sea salt. Oh my, that`s good! It`s the easiest thing to do; it really is a frugal, budget-friendly treat. And to make things even better. I could use the tin container the walnut was originally in, to keep the treats. I`ll actually be taking these with me tomorrow, when I`m leaving the country. With the tin container having a plastic lid, it`ll be easy to handle and they won`t get damaged in my cabin luggage.

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate
  • Walnuts
  • Coarse Sea salt

Instructions:

Melt chocolate/or use already melted, mix with walnuts, spread it out on a tray or a pan. sprinkle sea salt. put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then break it up in suitable pieces. Voila! bon appetit!

ImageImageand if you`re wondering, yes, “valnøtter” is Norwegian for walnuts!

My Nespresso Crush

I`ve always loved a latte, which has left its trace on my bank account. This autumn, I mentioned to my BF that I wanted a Nespresso coffeemaker, because the capsules are easy to use and taste amazingly good. I even stated exactly which kind I wanted. No beating around the bush here! A couple of weeks later he came home from work with an early birthdaypresent; a Nespresso Citiz in that creamy vintage look! And I`ve been hooked ever since.

ImageI`ve never thought of coffee as anything exclusive, but all that changed after I went downtown to buy some capsules at Nespresso boutique. I guess I should have known just by the name. Boutique. When coffee is sold from something called Boutique it got to be something more to it. And it was! The shop looked amazing, with an impeccable interior and walls covered in shelves with coffee after coffee.  Wonderful smells lingering in the air, from their free coffee stand upstairs. Yes, you can go upstairs and taste whatever coffee you`d like; including Italian pastries. Love it! The shop managers and assistants all dress in fitting suits, all very appropriate, and serve each customer in a graceful manner. I realize now that I sound like an advertisement, but I was just in awe over feeling like an insider. I was one of them. I was a Nespresso customer. I was important. It`s a silly thing to say, but it really is how they make you feel. And when you`re a poor student living in the second most expensive city in the world, it`s nice to feel special sometimes. Even if it is only for a moment.

Have you ever experienced moments like this?