Everyone is so busy now-a-days with duel working households, endless activities and chores, the list always seems to go on. We are certainly no exception. BF and I both work and have our own activities keeping us busy. We also try to exercise and eat healthy. The task of keeping even just the two of us fed for a reasonable amount of money and time invested often seems daunting. For those of you with families, I am sure it is compounded!
We often talk about eating healthy and that there is a triangle you get to choose from: healthy, tasty and affordable. The caveat is you can usually only pick two. We are doing our best to work all three in as often as possible, but that takes planning. The best way we have found to stay on track is to plan our menu for the week and create a shopping list prior to our weekend errands. BF and I sit down together and talk about the schedule for the week and what we would like to have. I usually have some new recipe I have been wanting to try (usually inspired from my Pinterest boards). I also plan to have things that complement each other so I can cut down on the number of things we are making, for example rice with two meals or leftovers with lunch. We then make a list of what to get at the “regular” store and what to splurge on at Whole Foods. We seem to stay much more on track when we have a plan and don’t do as much impulse buying.
I am also working much harder at paying attention to coupons. I think you can get sucked in to couponing and end up buying things you don’t need, but for those things you buy anyway it is great if you can save a little. This week our store was offering a coupon for 10% off your groceries if you got your flu shot. So for a flu shot that was covered by my insurance, we saved more than $10 off our groceries…those things really do add up! I have even gotten pretty good at remembering to bring my own bags, which is now something we pay for in our town. I feel really good about myself when I remember bags and coupons!
You can see from our scribly menus that our system is not fancy, but it works for us. The latest menu goes on the fridge and we work together to make it work for the week. We often shop on Saturday and I prep on Sunday. That usually involves roasting chicken breasts and prepping veggies. I try to make sure we have things that are easy to pack for lunches (probably where we save the most money from this system). Mary, Ali, Geff and I recently had an all day cooking extravaganza to create some meals for the freezer…lots more on that to come…it has been so helpful to have soups and sauces, even ready-made meals on hand. It is so nice to be able to pull something out and know where it came from. Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out (like when I forget to defrost the fish) but for the most part this helps us a lot! Do you do something similar? I would love suggestions!