That’s how much is left in the grocery account after shopping last week. I feel blindsided by my own self. I must have gotten sidetracked. Between my grad school application, worries about money, questions about my career path, and perhaps a dash of complacency, I’ve let the menu/list/local thing slide a bit downhill. One result is that I don’t have a clear picture of what we’ve eaten over the last month, though it’s reasonable to assume that it’s been the same sort of thing we had eaten over the last few months. Another result is that we are in danger of going over our food budget for the month-that 9 cents is left until Thursday, when the account gets replenished again. I seem to have “bought badly” this month-overbuying in some areas (bread, cereal) while coming up short in others (milk, produce).
At the same time, I’m finding it harder to come up with dinner ideas, and falling back more on spaghetti and (jar) sauce, or tostadas with canned chicken. These are supposed to be “emergency” dinners, not regular parts of the lineup! Then, when I get to the store, I’m flummoxed by doubt, mistrusting of my list, and overwhelmed by the whole process. It’s time to re-group, re-tool, and get back on track. For the menu, I’ll go back to what’s worked in the past, and build some more variety into it. I still want to use less meat, especially beef, and branch out into more styles and nationalities of cuisine. Maybe a longer cycle of meals than one week at a time? Definitely more recycling of leftovers and more ingredient crossover.
I’ve also got to think about spring, and starting our own garden. We have a sunny spot in our backyard which would work nicely, and there are community garden plots in town as well, so I’ll need to sort out the pros and cons of each approach to decide which way we’ll go. That’s probably going to be its own post, though. The whole garden/yard work thing has been a source of angst and frustration in years past, but maybe we can bring a new attitude and energy this year. Hopefully we can use the desire to eat closer to home, for all the reasons we have it, as fuel to power our gardening ambition.