Friday, October 28, 2011

food budget ponderings

This whole month has meant some serious planning, creative last minute changes and discipline at the store.  This month has shown me how important it is to put food up when it's in abundance. 

You know, stuff I always knew, but got so lazy about this summer (was it the heat?  the humidity? lack of time?) but I'm glad I got into it in time to prep and freeze chard and kale.  The motivation to can just was NOT there at all.  Didn't care, didn't want to put the time aside to do it.  Despite wanting to can tomatoes, the timing just never clicked.  A well priced box were available to Tuesday, but I'm not about to can on a week night.  Oh no!  But now we I have some motivation.  If it comes to limiting our food budget and being creative with how we use food.

And I've been reviewing when I make different kinds of foods.  I am a 'New Recipe Junkie'.  When I find one that is intriguing, I want to go out and get the ingredients I'm lacking and make it THAT NIGHT!  Now I'm sticking to recipes that are known entities, maybe even ones I can partially make on the weekends, for the weeknight menu.  The weekends are when I have more time and energy to play with my foods.

New cookbooks.  I rarely buy books.  I try to find them second hand or raid my mum's cookbook collection and look for duplicates.  Sometimes I mention another new book and she instantly produces it and hands it to me.  The library is my constant 'go to' cookbook source, to try a book on for size to find out if it's for me or not.  A few times I've been wooed so thoroughly by the recipes, pictures and general feeling of the tome that I'll put it on my Amazon wish list for birthday present ideas or if I want to use my monthly pocket money on it.  But, that said, it has to be pretty bloody amazing for me to buy a book brand new.

As for the money we'll save, if we can keep this up (and I'm sure we'll have months where we slip, months where we'll be half way through then someone gets sick and it all goes to hell, etc.) I can't help but look ahead to how we can use this saved money 'for good'.  We have another big monthly expense finishing up in another 20 months and, boy, if we could combine those two items and, say, start to pay our mortgage off early, that would be amazing!!!  Whether we could manage that every month, I don't know, but I like having a plan on how to do food planning, meal planning, budget savings, time management.  It all goes hand in hand.  And, while I've tried it before, I haven't tried it all together from a holistic perspective.  Knowing that working harder on this side of life can greatly benefit other parts of our lives is calming.  I am excited and hopeful that we can keep going on this path.

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