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Last week was a failure in the supper department. I had great plans, but kept forgetting to get the meals started in time. With me being gone for 3 lunches this week (2 field trips and a day in Big Town) and having another after school appointment, I am trying to keep suppers to either no-cook meals or ones that will not require too much preparation. I have even thought about making several of the meals ahead of time, requiring them only to be warmed up. Not sure if that will actually take place, but it is a good thought.
The beginning of a new year finds us often reviewing our spending during the previous year. While I thought I knew what I spending in the groceries category, it turns out I actually spent 33% more. How did that happen? I can think of a few reasons:
- chaos in the house
- husband doing some shopping on his own for snacks and meals to grill (his way of loving me on days when I am exhausted and we still have to go home and cook)
- small stops into the store to pick up one item (that never turns out to be only one item)
- not keeping track of spending as the month progressed
Another number I found interesting was the eating out to eating at home ratio. Seems that for every $2 we spend eating at home, we spend $1 eating out. I think that number is very high, but also know where it comes from. Last spring my husband would eat suppers out on nights he had school. A meal for him to eat out would actually cost half of what it takes for our family to eat out on Sunday after church. Why? Different restaurant choices and the option of sharing dishes. We can feed our family of 4 for $12-$15 on Sundays, while a meal for him on a weeknight would cost around $7. It adds up. This is something he realized mid-year and changed his routine. It helped that we had a oven by that point.
As for this upcoming year, I have a plan.
- continue using Plan To Eat to create a list of meals for the week
- improve the thought put into meals and meal preparation, compared to our week’s schedule, thereby increasing the likelihood of making all the meals planned.
- continue looking for rebates, using various apps, for groceries I plan to buy
- order bulk items online if it will save me a trip into a store, especially if I have to take kids
- try to find times to shop when I do not have the kids with me (they really lower the brain power I have to think)
- use up the items I currently have canned
- use up the items I have around the house, even if it seems to be an obscure ingredient
- find discounted gift cards to use in conjunction with coupons to bring our eating out spending down even further
So here goes, the meal plan for the week. Knowing it will be a busy week, I am trying to keep it relatively easy, using mainly recipes I know, but also trying 3 new ones (on days I am going to be home) that my husband makes as wanting to try. Hint: I save the most complex one for the day he will be home so he can make it.
- Scrambled Eggs, toast
- Pancakes (from the freezer)
- Eggs, hash browns, bacon, fruit
- Eat out
- Sack Lunch
- Chili, corn bread
- Sack Lunch
- Field Trip/On-your-own
- Milk-braised Pork Loin, potatoes, carrots
- Indian Curry, rice
- Tomato Soup, sandwiches
- Kheema (Indian Ground Beef and Peas), rice, vegetables
- Falafel, rice, vegetables