I found some chai tea buried in the back of my tea cupboard (yes, I realize that may mean that it’s not the tastiest this point, but don’t worry; I doubled up on it), so I’ve decided that this is the perfect moment to sit down and account for week 2, lest you think that I’m not following my program. I assure you, I am. What I am not doing very consistently is actually writing about it. But since failure is always an option around here (just ask my husband, since it’s his favorite saying when I get all nervous about something not turning out the way I want it to), I’ll just forget beating myself up about not getting this post up on Sunday night, and get on with it.
In fact, my reticence to blog is all wrapped up with the issues that tripped me up this week, so it’s all worth exploring.
Without anymore fuss, let’s start with the financial aspect. This week’s grocery bill rang in at $309.84. That would be $9.84 over my weekly allotment to stay within the $1200 current food budget. Added to last week’s expenditures, that brings my monthly total to $601.49. Barely over; not disastrous. I definitely need to keep closer tabs on things during the second half of the month, and that $1.49 shouldn’t be difficult to make up for, as long as I bring awareness to my spending.
With that in mind, I want to look at what went on this past week that contributed to my slight over-spending. First, my 8-year-old auditioned for a school-sponsored play and was cast in a role. This play was being rehearsed and performed within the space of a week (rehearsals every weeknight, performances on Saturday), so that added a certain amount of chaos to my week. I stuck to the meal plan that I outlined in last week’s post, though I did move a few meals around to accommodate for two hiccups: we ran out of hummus (note to self – *always* make more hummus, not less!), and the cat stole my freshly baked pitas off the counter, so there were no pitas for lunch that day. Thankfully I had some extra food that I was able to use to compensate for that. I was seriously tempted to abandon the plan and buy something to make quickly for dinner on Saturday after the stress of the week got under my skin, but I held to the plan and cooked the meal that I had planned for. That was a big win for me.
So the stress piece – that was what contributed directly to my over-spending. I was feeling over-extended, and even though I came away from the big grocery shopping trip earlier in the week with $100 left in the food budget, I managed to destroy that by mindlessly buying things here and there – some ingredients for the bake sale (not a problem, but I overbought since I didn’t plan carefully for it), and snacks for no sensible reason at all. This was a good lesson for me, and one that I was not wholly unaware of before: that when I’m feeling stressed and over-extended, without enough time to practice good self care, I tend to compensate by buying more food (not necessarily unhealthy; my favorite thing to buy are those expensive little bottles of the orange Suja juice -YUM!), and not being as organized.
Some other things to note – even though I was hyper-aware of the fact that I shopped for food 6 out of 8 days in the first part of the month, I did the exact same thing this past 8 days! I guess the upside is that I was aware of it this time? In any case, something in my planning process isn’t going as smoothly as it needs to, so I will be examining that with a little more of an analytical eye, trying to figure out why I keep repeating this pattern, and how much of a problem it actually is. This time, however, there was only one of those trips that included snacks, so that was an improvement over last week. I’m aiming to eliminate all trips to the grocery store just for snacks. That tends to drain the money from the food budget very quickly.
Since I didn’t make any major changes to last week’s menu, I will not post it again, but if you want to see it, you can visit it by clicking here. I’m going to go ahead and post this week’s menu (different format; hopefully more readable):
Breakfast: Omelet with onions, avocado and cheese, fruit
Lunch: Herbed tuna sandwiches, pickles, oranges
Dinner: Roasted kabocha squash with kale, bread
Breakfast: Pancakes, eggs, fruit
Dinner: Improvised soup – using cranberry beans
Weekly sweet snack: I will be attempting to adapt an old favorite oatmeal cookie recipe to make it gluten-free
Weekly savory snack: Gluten-free soft pretzels
As I did last week, I’ve linked the meals to either their website of origin, or to the cookbook that I got the recipe from. I’m not currently an affiliate of anyone, so these recommendations don’t earn me anything; I just *love* these recipes and the cookbooks that they come from! Especially the Kale and Friends cookbook – every recipe I’ve tried from that book is a winner, and most are, or can be made, gluten-free very easily.
Being already almost halfway through this week, I can tell you that my report about this week will involve a lot of shuffling of meals! I have some important thoughts on that, and I will be sharing those in the next weekly check-in. My two improvised dinners last week turned out really well, so I will be working over the next couple of days on uploading pictures and turning those improvised meals into recipes to share.
Thoughts? Comments? Please feel free to leave a comment, or contact me by email (which is a new option added just this week!)