In analyzing our 2011 budget vs. actual, it has come to my sad attention that I spend way too much on groceries. My monthly budgeted amount is $400, but in reality, I spend a lot more on average per month than that... so much, that I'm mortified to admit how much. True, my budgeted grocery total does include toiletries and baby stuff that I'm not always eager enough to split out from my receipt totals that flow through Mint.com, but after discussing it with Jess, our dear friends in a similar situation as us (first year residency with one child), I realized I am way too extravagant in my grocery expenditures.
In order to think about what I could cut back, I tried to think about the more expensive purchases. These usually include fruit as I like not only bananas, apples, and oranges, but raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, melons, and pineapples. In fact, I like fruit so much, I can eat up to five types each day as snacks, dessert, and just something to munch on before dinner. Besides fruit, I can't really figure out why my purchases are so much. And then I realized ... maybe it's because a lot of stuff I could use just sits there.
So this week, I am avoiding the grocery store (except for milk and some sugar). With all the stuff in our freezer and canned goods cabinet, I knew I could make it work (I just didn't necessarily want to). Here's my meal menu for the week, all using things we already have on hand Unfortunately, we are having chicken a lot, but there are worse things in life (like being broke!). Alas, only time will tell if I can make it work and save us some money!
Mon- crock pot chicken with onion soup mix, cream of chicken, chopped onions, and sour cream over pasta and a green salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced almonds, craisins drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
Tues- chicken quesadillas with acorn squash and kale
Wed- tortellini with brussel sprouts
Thurs- chicken curry with carrots, onions, and potatoes over rice
Fri- taco salad pizza
Sat- leftovers and OUT!
Sun- green beans with marinated steak over cous cous
Surprisingly, despite my love for shopping, we spend very little on shopping. In fact, our average monthly expense is less than $10. Ha! We basically get all our clothes from our parents.
I'm also resolving to spend more quality time with this cutie pie who is turning into such a big boy. He's become a lot more attached to us than before, and sleeping has become an issue for him. Instead of going down nicely for the night, he cries and pats his bed for us to go sleep by him. Christmas vacation really ruined him since he grew so accustomed to us sleeping with him. He also has been waking up at 6 AM or earlier for the last two days, which is NO FUN AT ALL. The 7 AM or 8 AM wake-up time he normally has is much preferred, though I'm hoping it has to do with the fact that he hasn't been eating much cuz of this virus he has but is getting better and waking up cuz he's hungry. Hey, one can be hopeful.
My friend Wendy, like all Asians, got him these crocs last Christmas, but got 'em big so he could grow into 'em. They finally seem to fit but we won't be wearing them out in the snow for now haha. Just around the house dude!
or to ride our bike in the house with.
We went to the mall to hang out and I didn't bring the stroller. Big mistake! He wanted to be held like a baby while he sipped his nalgene all throughout the mall. I finally took a break right here and let him just play with his Nalgene full of Gatorade.