Glad that the Week’s Over…

…although Halloween was great fun. It’s our family’s favorite holiday, and we had a really good time. All the candy and some of the pumpkins were outside the regular food budget, so if I can get some use out of the leftover pumpkin stuff (which I froze), then we’ll be a bit ahead of the game. We did a fairly extensive job of decorating the yard, pretty much using stuff we had on hand to begin with; I even made a Smoldering Jack-O-Lantern of Doom using parts of a camping cookset, a can of Sterno, and some dry ice. Here’s a picture: Pretty cool, eh?

Back squarely on topic, here is last week’s menu:

You can see the usual suspects for breakfast. you can also observe the beginnings of Convenience Creep (two pizza nights) during dinner, which is a troubling trend. I’ve been having trouble lately coming up with a whole week’s worth of dinner items ahead of time, so some gaps appear; or, we’re out and about and the whole prepared-ahead thing just doesn’t happen. I will have to take steps to ward this off, as it is a) expensive, b) unhealthy, and c) not in keeping with the spirit of the project.

Fortunately, I have a few days to strategize, as there won’t be any grocery shopping until at least Wednesday. Assuming The State Agency got my paperwork in time, that is when our benefits renew. That should also give me time to work on a price book, so I don’t overspend like I did last week. I’m also going to re-set my weekly spending target to $100, well below the actual threshold of $120, so we have some margin of error as well as wiggle room for stock-up savings.

One reason that last week was so tricky is that The Boys were on a half-day schedule due to Parent-Teacher Conference Week. I had gotten rather used to having both mornings and afternoons to myself, as they don’t usually come home until after 3 pm. Having them home and hungry just after 12 noon threw me off my game more than I had anticipated. Factor in the car trouble (neither one is running terribly well yet) and that Bad Shopping Day last week, and I should be glad it wasn’t any worse. Luckily, we live close to most of what we need and I can get around by bike too. I have to be smarter with my time as well.

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About poorlocavore

Welcome to one family's journey towards a smaller food-mile footprint on a small food budget. How do our choices affect the environment, and what influences our choices? Read on and find out what I'm learning.
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4 Responses to Glad that the Week’s Over…

  1. Cassie says:

    You’re level of reflectiveness on what’s holding you back is admirable.

    How come you can’t come up with a plan for the week? No ideas? Or no time to sit and do it?

    Here’s my strategy on how we avoid takeout:

    I have 2 or 3 “go to” dinners. These dinners have to fit 3 criteria–fast, always have the ingredients on hand, everyone likes them. We have Cacio e Pepe (spaghetti with cheese and black pepper) on Fridays, when the takeout urge is strongest. I also keep stuff for Refried Bean Quesadillas–wraps, beans, any veggies that are looking iffy… Finally, there’s Fritatta Night. Eggs and more of those iffy veggies. For a long time I had a list of these three things on my kitchen cabinet to remind me that I DID have something in the house for dinner 🙂

    What’s on your list of “go to meals?”

    Finally, I’d be in the madhouse if I tried cooking 7 nights a week. Leftovers are your sanity saving friend…

    • poorlocavore says:

      Thanks for helping.

      I don’t think it’s time so much as (partly) ideas, partly wanting variety, partly making it too complicated in my mind. I’m leery of the “Meatloaf Monday/Taco Tuesday” rut, but then again I don’t mind making the same few things for breakfast, so go figure. The “go to ” list is a good idea. Pasta; frittatas; that’s all pretty do-able. I try to keep prep times to a 1/2 hour anyway, unless it’s a set-and-forget thing in the oven or crock pot. And yes on leftovers-last night we had chili-mac with some of the leftover chili from Sunday. I scratch-made a cheese sauce (wow, that was easy) and it was quite good.

      I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Jack-o-Doom turned out-the way the smoke roiled out of its mouth-glad you liked it.

  2. Cassie says:

    And, yes, the JOL of Doom IS cool!

  3. Cassie says:

    I’m a pro with the unsolicited advice. Feel free to shush me at any time.

    I get that about the rut. I fought that for several years when the kids were little. One, I LIKE to cook and try new recipes, and, two, it makes me feel good serving my family different things all the time. Like I’m a Good Mom.

    But, as I keep finding out, to my dismay, there’s a reason my grandmother did things the way she did. It was Monday Meat and Tuesday Tuna and Wednesday Prince Spaghetti Day because it saves your sanity, it’s more cost-effective and it simplifies the whole process.

    I do that, too–make things more complicated than they have to be. I say get the basics going first and then you can start branching out from there as budget and time allow.

    There I go again with the “helping” 🙂

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