Monday, January 18, 2010

Menus

I have read that one is supposed to do this, but I've never been able to stick to it until recently: weekly dinner menus.

I am finding this to be really, really helpful in organizing ourselves around here. Sunday night, I figure out what I have left in the fridge and what the organic produce folks are going to bring and what I ought to eat out of the freezer. Then I make changes in the weekly food chart. Then, for the last two weeks, I figure out what I'm going to order from HT.

I was quite lame in last week's online ordering, not understanding why my master list was filled with wine purchases. Then I realized Dave had gone to the store to load up on cheap alcohol. Once I deleted those, then all my regular stuff was right there. I can click on something and add it to the list. Or not.

I'm also putting together a master grocery list. This is a list for HT, TJs and BJs (Harris Teeter, Trader Joe's and BJs, a local club shopping center). I'm trying to put on each list what stuff we use is the cheapest where. And my goal is that's the only place we buy it. For example, wine is verboten now anyplace but TJs because it's so cheap there. Whole chickens are at BJs only because they are cheap ($.89/lb).

This has to be one of the most boring blogs entries I've ever written. Really? Who the HELL cares where we buy our groceries. The scoop is that I am obsessing on saving money. March 1 is our first mortgage payment for the remodel, which is not all that different from the mortgage and equity payments we made before. It's just that now, we have an additional $1200+ childcare payment. That will only last for 4 months (March, April, May and June) at which point Conor graduates from daycare and we get back $700 a month. (Can I just point out that right now, we're paying at least $1900 in daycare costs per month; we were used to Conor. Now we have Conor and the twins)

So until Conor graduates from pre-k, we are going to be freakin' broke. I mean, the budget is not clear how income is going to be greater than or equal to output. In looking at our budget, the thing we by far spend the most on per month is food. Even the occasional Target or Home Depot splurge doesn't hold a candle to what we regularly spend on feeding ourselves each month. (And we're not buying steaks folks--we eat healthy and frugally; leftovers do not go to waste around here). So my goal is to continue eating healthy (including the organic food delivery; it's not as bad as you'd think) and frugally (I'm making my own bread; we are not eating out; I'm buying dry beans and cooking them instead of canned beans; we are eating less protein and more economical whole grains). And BTW---online shopping completely gets rid of all that marketing and product placement effects that consumer packaged goods have spent years perfecting. It's OBVIOUS what the best price is. Yay for the consumer on that one!

So again, NOT VERY INTERESTING. But that's our lives.

Speaking of spending a boatload of money and the complaining about being poor, I need to get some pictures of the finished house. We love it. And the twins. We wouldn't make a different choice on either for the world. Just going to be a bit tight for a few months.

3 comments:

Michele said...

I just tried a new bread recipe tonight...a bit gummy but tasty....what is working for you?

Anita said...

We're using the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day recipe. So far, everything has been great. Trying the wheat bread tonight.

Derek and Stefani said...

I have to admit, I have a typed master grocery list that I LOVE for Costco and Fred Meyer's (we lack shopping option here in hickville... it makes shopping so much easier :) I also pick out a few recipies at the start of the week that I have all the ingredients for and if they are good, I post them on my foodie blog. That way I don't have to keep track of a million recipe cards or torn up magazines... have fun!!