Sunday, October 19, 2008

Planning and Shopping

This is week 2 of the great experiment. I went this morning to buy the paper and get my coupons for the week, and spent another 20 minutes or so downloading coupons before going out. Michael and I sat down yesterday and worked out our plan for the week's meals.

However, in a twist, we decided to try shopping for 2 weeks instead of just one. I figured it was worth a shot. We will be eating out 3 times in the next 2 weeks, so we didn't need 3 meals; however, we will be having company next weekend, so we will be feeding a crowd. This makes up for the three less meals.

Our menu plan looks like this:

Week 1

Sunday: (Susan out volunteering--gets free dinner, Michael flying solo)
Hot dogs

Monday: Dinner out with a friend

Tuesday: (Hubby's choice)

Wednesday: (Wife's Choice)
Fettucine with chicken and broccoli

Thursday: (Adventurous New Recipe)
Cowboy Stew
Tortilla chips
Left over quesadillas

Friday: (Start cooking for a crowd)
Aussie Meat Pies
Green beans

Saturday: (It's looking like Saturday is turning into pizza night)
Homemade pizzas--sausage and mushroom stuffed, pepperoni, and white

Week 2

Sunday: (last night cooking for a crowd)
Stuffed shells

Monday: Dinner out with Friends

Tuesday (Hubby's Choice)
Sloppy Joes

Wednesday: (Wife's choice)
Sausage, Pepper, and Onion heros

Thursday (Adventurous New Recipe)
White Burgundy Chicken with Egg Noodles
Mixed veggies

Friday: Dinner Out with Friends for Halloween--Melting Pot is having a BIG discount on their Big Night Off dinners--only $33 instead of $48 for coming in costume. Oh yeah, we're all over that.

Probably pizza :-)

We decided to shop at Super Target this morning. They have printable coupons on their site and a few things I needed were things they were couponing, so I was happy with that idea.

I made a pretty comprehensive list, although I did leave off 2 items that I didn't want to keep around until next week (mushrooms, Italian bread) and I couldn't find the wine for the chicken at Target.

We did get absolutely everything else. We also picked up breakfasts (cereal for me, breakfast sandwiches for him) and lunches (bread, yogurt, deli meat, etc), snacks, supplies for a cake I am going to make for our next staff meeting, beverages (milk and soda), some first aid supplies for M's toe, cleaning supplies, and organizational aids (pre-printed shopping lists for the fridge from Real Simple--all I have to do now is check off what we're out of).

Our total bill for all this for two weeks, minus the approximately 6 dollars in coupons, was just over $185.

Our previous 1 week total used to be $160. And I would never have anything to actually cook. I had lots of food and no ingredients.

What's more, I managed to get everything put away in the fridge, freezer, and cupboards. UNUSUAL! Usually there is food stacked on the counters.

I'm starting to feel a whole lot less stressed about quitting work. I don't plan on quitting soon, but I do plan on quitting in the next year. And with a little one coming home, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, we need to learn to conserve and budget.

It's almost a game at this point. Jacalyn is a real expert at the CVS game--though a lot of the things you have to buy to make the CVS system work are things that I don't actually need, so I've pretty well decided against going whole hog on the stuff for now. I mean, honestly, what the hell are we going to do with Just For Men? Michael has approximately two gray hairs. I also don't need 10 toothbrushes, Halloween buckets, or fun lights. So while I'm intrigued by the process, I don't think it's something I'm going to do just to get money back on spending money on things I don't need.

I have 2 major house projects that we're going to wind up saving for in the spring--one involves the nursery and one involves the kitchen. I really, really need more storage in the kitchen. The previous owners knocked out a wall between the kitchen and dining room. I would like to have that wall put back up and a pantry built along the wall where my hutch/china cabinet is currently located. Then I could buy more items in bulk and actually have some place to store things. In the nursery, I would like to knock out the ridiculous closet, which is chockful of wasted space, and put in two closets on the other wall, with a bench between then. So this is the plan for next year's tax return. In both rooms, we will gain much more storage and the use of space will be a lot better.

Hope everyone has a great week. Time for lunch!

2 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Cindy said...

I don't do the CVS or Rite Aid thing either. For one thing - the stuff isn't free - you get rebates back and then you use those on your next purchase. Which is then free. But like you said, I don't need a lot of the stuff that is on sale.

Did you see my blog post about freebie sites? Check back a few days ago. Take 5 minutes each morning to go to each of those 5 sites. That's all you need, and I've gotten so many free things. And won a bunch of stuff too! I just won a 20 page snapfish album. Yippee! With free shipping too, so it really is free.

When we were trying to see if I could stay at home, we put my entire check into savings, and tried to live off of just Jeff;s check. It took a few months to get it down to just his check, but we were able to do it. And we always had my check in savings to bail us out if we needed it that month. It really makes you look at your budget and what you can spend.

Our biggest thing we cut out was eating out. We also got rid of trash service - we pass the dump everytime we leave the house- and digital cable. It was a tough adjustment - I really missed the info button on the digital cable!! But, you get used to it.

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