But I’m still not a hipster.

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I’ve evaluated my monthly budget several times to make sure there are no ongoing costs I could cut down on. My cell phone and internet are pretty low. Some costs won’t budge, like property tax, strata fees, water and sewage and car insurance. Some things I shouldn’t cut down on, like savings and charity. This means I have to save on groceries, eating out and coffee, which currently have a combined budget of $213/month.

(There is also some room to save on gas and transit)

Since the start of my spending freeze I’ve found a couple more things that are cheap to make at home.

Bubble Tea
I can see the tubs of powder that get scooped into my bubble tea, so why do I pay upwards of $4?? After some research I bought some powder from a grocery store in downtown Richmond that sells a lot of Asian stuff. $2.29 for a 120 gram bag!

The powder tastes almost exactly like coconut bubble tea from the Night Market. I’m still figuring out how much to use (it takes a lot!) and how to mix it. The powder clumps and floats, but with enough mixing the results are decent. Decent enough for the amount of money I save!

( I don’t make it with pearls, but those can be made at home too.)


Blueberry syrup

My friend visited last week. We bought a big box of blueberries straight from a farm ($4! I love Richmond!) There were a bunch left over, so I made jam. I didn’t use pectin, so my creation was more of a syrup. It was really easy. The gist of it was to boil 2 cups of blueberries, 1 cup of sugar, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a small amount of water. Squishing the blueberries was the hardest part, so next time I’d loosely chop them in the blender before simmering them. It was enough for one and a half little jam jars.

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