Sunday, October 19, 2014

Let's get started, shall we?

So, the point of my blog is to show realistically how I scrape by in life. Let me be clear, our choices have us in the financial situation that we are in and we are well aware. This is not a "whoa-is me" blog. This is me being honest and not ashamed so you judgy judgertons just move on down the road because I do not have time for you.

With that all said, let's get started. Knowing that I am not the only human being feeling financial pressure to survive I do what everyone else does- I turn to the Internet for answers! But what I found while searching was a bunch of hog wash. People claiming that their family of 5 survives on $18K a year (I call bullsh!t) and so on. Then there are the extreme couponers who are saving money but seriously I do not have the space to stockpile. My house is only 800 square feet and has exactly 1 storage closet. And while I would love to empty the store shelves and turn my savings over to a charity I have to feed my family first. Call me selfish if you want. And another thing, I suck at math and coupon math is just as jacked up as Common Core math! All of this leads to my tiny little brain chugging away for answers and everything keeps coming back to one thing- plan it out. 

Thankfully, I love to plan things. I would honestly rather plan it out and buy the groceries then have someone else cook. Most days the husband does cook dinner and usually I take over on the weekends. It works. Now to explain how my little brain works... On Saturday mornings I sit down with my coffee and make 2 list. One for my groceries and another has the days of the week, duh. Then I consult my Google calendar to see what is going on that week. Did I promise to cook something and take it somewhere? What nights will we actually be home? How many meals will need to be quick for me getting off of work and running someplace? These meals keep us from spending money on fast food since we really don't have it to spare. From here I consult the kitchen which works out well since the caffeine has now lifted my brain fog. 

What basic kitchen items do I need? People I highly, highly, highly recommend keeping a stock of these items at all times because they always come in handy or are a meal filler:

  • flour
  • sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • eggs
  • butter
  • oil
  • pasta
  • pasta sauce
  • rice
  • dry beans
  • canned veggies
  • tea bags (if you like iced tea)
  • various seasonings of choice
Now this has been an incredibly fiscally challenging week for us but it is my off pay week so.. well it sucks. After shopping in a variety of stores around me, sadly, Walmart has proven to be the cheapest. Not to mention the new Savings Catcher app, I've earned a whole $1.98 back- woo. Given all of this into, today I spent $56.33 on groceries which included dog/cat food and trash bags (so really aprx. $36 on groceries for humans). Also, I really suggest visiting the discount bread rack. Bread is freezable people. Do you know what you can do to fancy up a loaf of bread? That might just be another post in itself!

So mixing in what I already had at home with what I needed to complete our meal plan here is what I came up with for us to eat for dinner this week:
  • potato chowder
  • bbq country ribs & corn
  • quesadillas with beans
  • breakfast for dinner
  • chili mac over rice
  • baked chicken & broccoli
Not too shabby, right? We'll see. I am sure someone is noticing a distinct lack of fruits and veggies. Yeah, well it may not be 3-4 servings a day but they are in there somewhere. For breakfasts there is always cereal, eggs, toast or oatmeal. I hate oatmeal but have found it to be really good for my glucose levels so i choke it down. And that sh!t is cheap to buy in bulk. Lunches will be either leftovers (at least for me to take to work), sandwiches, or ramen noodles which I already had. 

It is challenging to come up with a variety of meals that appeal to all three of our appetites. And I have learned that pre-packaged, processed foods are not cheap. Buy the ingredients and make it yourself- that's how the F I do it!

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