I'm not sure if I've mentioned- but 2 months ago I put my notice in to stop watching O (the boy that comes to our house every day for me to nanny) and it was taking his parents forever to find someone, but finally last week they did so I'm free!
Now I get 2.5 hours to myself, twice a week while Jasper is in preschool! It's been lovely! I run errands, or if I have nothing going on, then I sit in Starbucks a couple of blocks away, read a book or blog while sipping on a delicious hot drink. These hours of ME time have been incredible. It's been over FOUR YEARS that I've had this! So I want to make sure to soak it in before April hits and this new munchkin arrives and I go another 4 years without some steady me time.
During this extra time, I decided to start doing some meal planning. This has never been something I've done. I rarely even go to the grocery store with a list. I end up buying a ton of stuff we don't need, and a disgusting amount of food gets thrown away because it didn't get used in time. Horrible! I hate to think how much money we have thrown away over the last few years due to over shopping, and shopping with out a plan.
So my new plan is to make budget and try to stick to it. My goal is to spend on average of $125 a week. Of course it will be more when we need the 'extra stuff' that doesn't count to our weekly meals- like toilet paper/paper towels/ cleaning supplies/ costco stuff- but when I'm just going by the meals I'm making, 125 is my goal.
So how am I going to keep my goal? I've already started on this part :)
As of last week we started getting a shipment from Door to Door organics. It comes every Tuesday - and we get a big box of only organic fruits and vegetables. It's genius. And delicious. This box costs $42/a week (coming out of my 125 budget) So Sunday I look at what will be in my Tuesday box- and I make substitutions if I want ( like this week I knew we wouldn't eat yams, avocados, and sprouts so I switched it for more potatoes, kiwi and lettuce) and make a list of what I'm getting.
We also started getting all of our dairy delivered every Wednesday morning from a local dairy farm. Also brilliant and delicious. Waking up in the morning to fresh milk, eggs, cream and whatever else I ordered for the week? Is awesome. And it tastes a billion times better. For reals. I'm not sure what this costs- it gets billed once a month and out of our account, but I think on average we will spend $20-$25 a week on dairy.
So that leaves me with about $60ish for things to get at the store. Doesn't seem like a lot of money- but fruits, veggies and dairy are a BIG bulk of what we eat- so I think it's quite manageable!
So this week on the menu is
slow cooked chicken fajitas
pasta with tomatoes and garlic
veggie panini with home made tomato soup
grilled cheese w/ tomato soup (it makes a bit batch)
Those will mainly be dinners- breakfast and lunch I wont plan out- we do things quick easy and simple for that- stuff like greek yogurt w/ fruit- cereal, eggs and toast- mac and cheese, sandwiches etc, leftover etc.
So for all those delicious meals? The only things I could come up with to get at the store is
cooking sherry (where does one find this??)
swedish hard bread
good block of cheese ( this is where we splurge, we like GOOD cheese, and good cheese, is expensive, like $10-15/lb
fresh bread (from bakery
Since we eat almost all organic- and cheese and chicken are expensive, this list will run me about 45-50- so definitely in budget!!
So there's the plan. PLEASE feel free to share any tips/idea/recipes if you have any as I'm definitely new at this whole meal planning stuff!