i’ve come a long way grocery-budget wise. just about one year ago, i was routinely spending $80 dollars a week on designer groceries and random produce that rotted quietly away in my fridge while i went out to eat instead of cooking. now, i’ve whittled my grocery budget down to $30ish a week, plan a weeks worth of meals in advance, cook often, and generally eat dinner out no more than twice a week. if i never got any better at food management/economics, i could probably still be pretty satisfied, but i demand more! one of the great things about having a blog is using it as an excuse/inspiration to experiment with my life. thus, baking day.
i first heard tell of such things from one of my favorite websites, money saving mom, although it seems like everybody (like her, her, and her) is doing it. basically, plan the majority of your meals a month in advance, and cook and freeze everything in one day. it seems like such a good idea, but she has a christian home school family of 5 to feed- would the same principals be able to apply to my heathen living-in-sin family of two? i think they can, and here’s why.
i’m always busy with something, and i’m not always in the mood to cook when i get home from work. this is why the produce goes bad- because i don’t make whatever it is i bought it for on the designated day, and then i just forget about it. oops.
you might ask (assuming that you are not someone who believes that it is the woman’s job to do the cooking), why can’t your boyfriend make dinner? well, that would be because my boyfriend is a shitty cook. he grew up with lousy food, and thus he only knows how to prepare lousy food. bland, mushy, overy sweet, crap food. and barely! usually when i leave him on his own for the evening, i come home and he has eaten something like “whiskey & granola bars” or “stale doritos and egg nog” (no foolin) for dinner. the truth is that he would cook more if i would let him, but he hates to cook and sucks at it. i love to cook and am good at it- i just need like 2 extra hours in my day to get it all in.
anyway, that’s where baking day comes in. i dedicate one entire weekend day to putting a bunch of meals in the freezer, and all i (or the epicurially challenged boyfriend) need to do is heat them up (and possibly prepare some vegetables). my goals for the month of january are simple:
1. prepare 16 dinner meals (4 per week).
2. go out to eat for dinner a maximum of twice per week.
3. eat convenience foods once per week or less.
i still plan on going shopping weekly, but just for perishables.
sometime between now and new year’s weekend, i just need to figure out what exactly it is i’m going to make, exactly what it is i’m going to buy, how i can pay as little as possible for those groceries, and how it’s all going to roll out.
all i know is that if these amazing people can live off $1 a day, i can certainly trim a little more out of my grocery budget.