Sunday, January 18, 2015

5: Budgets, Groceries, Peanut Butter Cookies & a Fantastic Bean Soup

"A budget tells us what we can't afford,
but it doesn't keep us from buying it." 
~ William Feather

Day 5 is Sunday and my normal grocery shopping day. As you may notice I've been picking up a few things here and there throughout the week. This is because I Have A Plan. 

No, really, I do. 

Don't you believe me? 


Anyway, our grocery budget is way over inflated. In fact, the term 'budget' is a joke when it comes to our grocery bill expenditures. 

I'll start out with a list of planned meals for the week along with the ingredients required in order to make them. Then I arrive at the store with a self-satisfied and ever so smug glow about me. It's nearly palpable. It radiates off of me in waves. 

"Look at this list! Look at it! Glorious list. I am a budgeting queen. I have got this shit together," it says. 

That glow lies. 

It lies more than an Ikea instruction manual that swears those shelves are going to be easily assembled with all parts fitting snugly together just so without swearing, soul selling, teeth gnashing effort. 

I have paved not a gold brick walkway, but a multinational highway with my good intentions for meal planning. Then it's time to hot trot to the store throughout the week for nickel and diming excursions even after a jaw dropping initial $200.00 haul not once, but generally twice in a month. 

Oh. My. God. 


This has got to stop. 

So I started something new at the same time as this blog. I've only been hightailing it to the store for items as I need them. I'm forcing myself to stick with that list (Butter only, dammit, woman! Grab it and run for your wallet's life!)

Luckily I'm surrounded on all sides by grocery stores. They're easy to walk, bike and drive to reach. Preferably the first two so as to avoid using gasoline!

Thus far, I've already noticed not only a savings in dollars, but an entirely different way of acting with the food already in the house - I'm using it all. Carefully. Cautiously. 

Too much rice was cooked? Pop it into a bag and freeze it for use later on in the week. 

Leftover mouthfuls of salad? Stick that sucker onto some bread with a slice of tomato and call it a sandwich. 

I already started to make my own chicken, vegetable, and bone broths from leftover scraps in December. Let me tell you that is some of the most tasty, easiest ways of using up every bit of food in the house in addition to saving a pretty darn penny along the way!

A month from now I'll be comparing the amount spent on my new system versus that of my previous system. Thirty days to thirty days of side-by-side totals. Keep those fingers crossed that this will be a glorious, tasty, wallet fattening success!

Speaking of tastes, here's what's on the table for tonight's dinner: 

Black bean soup with leftover rice, homemade chicken broth, onion, tomato, garlic and a ton of spices to punch it up! A side salad with greens, chickpeas, homemade candied walnuts with maple syrup, green apple slices and topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 

Dessert? Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Mmmhmmm, yes!

Uh, can you tell yet that I really like to cook (horrid presentations aside)? 

Pay Up Time!

What did I buy on day 5 of my 365 days of No Buy, No Way, No How?

I am proud to report that I have purchased only:

  • 3lbs of Organic Gala Apples
  • 3lbs of Organic Potatoes
  • 2 containers of Organic Peanut Butter
  • 4 Organic Tomatoes
  • 1 Loaf of Bread
  • 1lb of Organic Spring Salad Mix
  • 16oz of Organic Butter (sorry, but my god, do I like butter)
This comes to a whopping total of: 38.23 USD

And let me just say that this was my big shopping trip for the week! Already absurdly less spent on this sucker than I could have imagined and with healthy food out the whazzoo! 


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