I'm trying to get the food thing back together.
If you've been reading my blog pretty regularly, then you know that I've never really had my food budget thing completely under control -- food is the one category I seem to go over every month.
But, for a long time I had a routine going that did work very well, not just for my wallet but also for my hips.
I planned menus for the week, went shopping on Saturday or Sunday and spent a big chunk of Sunday afternoon cooking and preparing meals for the week. Can't say it was loads of fun, but when done religiously, it saved me from spending a lot on lunch or snacks and I never had to figure out what was for dinner when I got home.
Because I was trying to save money, I bought less meat and more vegetables, grains and beans. I bought fewer snacks. I rarely bought "juice" (which is really just water with corn syrup and juice flavoring) and hardly drank soda (until my guy moved in and suddenly we were drinking Coke Zero like it might suddenly be taken off the market).
But since I moved, that planning went out the window. I eat a lot more take out. I eat out a lot more. I buy lunch three to five times a week. I drink less water and more juice and soda. I eat fewer vegetables and more meat. I eat more junk food.
And that stuff is EXPENSIVE.
Not to mention loaded with calories and hardly any nutrition.
So, I'm trying to get back to basics this week.
First, I didn't buy any meat at the grocery store. We had some in the freezer and that's what we're going to eat.
Second, I planned this week's meals around food already in the pantry. We've got bulghur wheat, Jiffy cornbread, rice for days, cans of beans, spinach salad, bell peppers, onions -- you got the picture.
Third, I got back to cooking dinner and lunch on the same night.
Fourth, I cooked a vegetarian dish for lunch this week. I'm a meat eater for sure, but veggie and grain lunch dishes are cheaper and they do spare me cholesterol, fat and calories.
I'm already over budget for groceries this month. But I'm hoping this effort will help me restore my former discipline.