|This month has been harder to stick to our new budget.|
Last month, I tried cutting our food budget in half, from $800 down to $400. While not being totally realistic, I started there. I then tried $125 a week or $500 a month.
But we started out October with a well stocked pantry and we had three weeks of our CSA and the vegetable bounty from that.
In October, I also spent a LOT of my time making foods from scratch. What I discovered in early November was how worn out I was from trying to stay on top of making so many foods and, honestly, I wasn't enjoying making food anymore nor was I really enjoying eating foods. Meals felt like chores, including the eating part! That ain't right! And my husband and kids were getting a bit antsy with the lack of snack foods around. Cause when you're hungry RIGHT NOW, you kind of need something to eat RIGHT NOW. Ask any five year old (or forty-nine year old).
There are still some foods I'll make from scratch, they're too easy and yummier than buying pre-made: crackers, bread, granola, beans and salsa. And cookie dough. And the occasional quiche. Always corn tortillas and french fries/hand-cut potato wedges. I tried a new pizza crust recipe and it was amazing, so that will happen sometimes on the weekends when we all have time and space to pitch in.
Otherwise, early November were days filled with starches, more meats than usual and dull, lifeless meals. (At least, dull for me, my kids love cheesy noodles, spaghetti, etc.)
But November also provided me with the chance to reflect on:
1. How I want to spend my 'free' time.
2. How much homemade food I want to make for my family.
3. Giving over kitchen time to my husband to make dinners sometimes - I really need to back off and stop being so darned controlling!
4. Back off the meats, bring fish back into the picture.
5. Ask for everyone's opinions: what they like, what they'd like to have, what they'd like to help with.
In the meantime, I'm reveling in: my children's love for kale chips (which I need to make before the kale turns to mush), the fun they have cutting crackers into crazy shapes (then eating them later), and their adventurous spirit to try new things placed in front of them (even if those 'things' turn out to not be so delicious for them). And my five year old loves salad. I can always count on that (at least for a little while).