So far in the Crazy Lady Organization series, I’ve revealed my complete ineptitude with keeping track of things which must be accomplished. Hence, the Trusty Chalkboard. And I have tried to trick you into believing that I actually do all the chores on the Chores List.
Today, again I say, “I’m trying. I really am.”
We’ve been tightening our budget lately, as many families are. I’m not out in the work place, but my financial contribution can be great through food.
I could kick myself (if I were flexible enough) for not doing this so long ago! I am determined to make better choices through thorough menu planning. So far, it’s been a joy to see how far I can make one 4lb chicken stretch, and how one meal can feed into the next for days on end.
Here’s my brain on paper:
Having a menu (or a manyoo) in the first place is helping me to bring down our shopping costs. This way I know exactly what I need in order to prepare the upcoming dinners. And by exerting a little self-control, I can stick to that list and save quite a bit of money.
As you can see below, I broke down the month into weekly shopping trips with one type of meat per week. I noted the cost, and tried to estimate how far I could make it stretch.
The great thing about whole chickens is that the carcass can be turned into stock EASILY. Where you see an arrow drawn, it means that either the meat or the stock created will feed into another meal or two. I love those arrows.
In addition to dinners, I also planned a simple selection of lunches and snacks to have on hand. Cheap, easy to make, and predictable.
Granted, this isn’t the most glamorous menu. It’s very simple, with lots of homemade foods. Hopefully this plan will help us stay healthy and keep some money in the bank.
I think of those who have much less to work with – even the stories of the generations before me – living on cornbread and beans, eggs, or pasta…
I thank God that we can live in a house, eat good food, have decent clothing, and stay warm in the winter. I think it’s a good thing to be frugal, working hard at managing our home well, when it’s a way I can say to God, “I notice what you’ve given me.”
Honestly, until I did this, I had no idea how much extra junk I was tossing in the cart every week.
My attitude was sort of … we should be able to eat anything and have a million choices for every meal. Each week I brought home about 3 choices for fruit and the same for veggies (produce is SO expensive!!!). More on the possibility of growing our own produce through the winter in another post…
Now we have one fruit choice for the week, and only the veggies we need for our dinners. Makes sense, huh? I get the big ol’ DUUUHHHH sign.
I’m actually enjoying trimming down, budgeting, and planning ahead. It’s taken a load off my mind that I didn’t realize was there, and made me realize that my contributions to our finances are really important. It doesn’t just matter what gets put in to the bank; it also matters what gets taken out.
Who knows? Maybe these choices will allow us to save for our kids’ college days or something down the line.
Anyone out there care to share a tip for keeping the grocery bills down? Feel free to leave a comment – and have a great day! 🙂