This week is a bit of prep work before the serious meal planning begins. We move in 10 days so the first step is to clean out the fridge and cupboards as much as possible. First up for dinner- corn dogs and french fries.
After we use up the food we already have, I want to be mindful to only buy enough food for a week at a time. In the past, I’ve wanted to stock up on good deals, but it’s not a good deal if it never gets used.
So for the now I’ve left myself a huge grocery budget of $600/month. That is twice my current budget. But according to financial experts, this is an acceptable budget for our income. I don’t think I will need all of it, but I wanted to see how much I would use if I wasn’t focused on stocking up on sales.
I need to get in the habit of meal planning, shopping, and cooking before I can focus on saving money. To make this process easier, I will be using an app called eMeals. For $60 a year, eMeals will give me new recipes to choose from, send the grocery list to Walmart pickup, and keep the recipes on a list so they are easy to access when it’s time to cook.
I’ve had a subscription for about a year now and when I’ve stuck to it, eMeals has helped both my budget and my sanity. So that’s my big goal once we move. Use eMeals and Walmart Pickup to do my meal planning and shopping each week and record exactly how much I’m spending for the month.
I’ve struggled with this before, but I’ve also tried to be so frugal that dinner took forever to get on the table. My views on money have changed though. I could be using that time to be working and making money or spending time with my family. So is the extra $1/pound that I save on buying chicken with the bones really worth the time it takes me to de-bone it? Probably not.
I’ve always had this idea that being a frugal person meant buying only the cheapest food available. From now on, frugal will mean to only buy food I know I will use and enjoy.
What definition do you need to change to improve your life? We all grow up with ideas of what is acceptable, but sometimes we need to challenge those ideas to be our best selves. Write down one belief you’ll challenge and see if it is serving you. If it’s not how can you change it to improve your life?
Today was definitely harder. Motivation and energy are running low. Despite this I didn’t give in to the temptation to eat out. We finished up the last of the meat in the freezer with some Korean BBQ chicken and rice.
My husband’s mom and sister are coming tomorrow so we will probably vary from the plan a little. Though my mother-in-law is planning to cook some delicious Filipino food for us. Quite excited about that!
I’m learning that will power is not the key to success. Yes, it helps, but it won’t get you there alone. Neither is motivation. It is too fickle, always coming and going. No the key to success is understanding why you want something.
If my reason not to eat out is “I shouldn’t”, home-cooked meals are never going to happen. Maybe it wouldn’t even matter if they did. I want to be the wife and mom who puts a hot meal on the table every night, but why does it mean so much to me?
Saving money and healthy eating doesn’t resonate on a soul level for me. I know these things are important. But when it gets to 5:00 and I’m tired, they’re not enough.
Do you find you need a deeper reason to get things done? Is it a feeling you’re after rather than a result?
Well we did end up getting pizza tonight, but it was not a last minute decision made out of laziness. Our visiting family was later than expected so our dinner plans got put on hold for another day. With little food in the house while we prepare to move, pizza was the way to go.
Ordering in this time didn’t leave the lingering feelings of guilt. It was good to remember that an easy pizza still has a place in our lives. Flexibility is important. Life is constantly changing.
This got me thinking about having a plan B. The goal is for eating out to become a treat where we try new, interesting foods. Not just binge eat burritos at Taco Bell again. That means I can’t fall back on that every time life goes a little crazy.
Once we move, I want to always have something in the freezer that can be popped in the oven and be done. My first thought is lasagna and garlic bread. Simple, easy, and always delicious.
What are some back up meals that you keep around for when dinner plans fall through?
Our family has left again and all attention has been turned to packing. I’m happy with our progress so far. My mom came over and helped me get the kitchen packed up. I’ve noticed that I’m ready to let go of a lot of things that I’ve had a long time. Things that I felt like I was supposed to have or was obligated to have because somebody gave them to me.
When you ask me where I’m from, I’ll usually laugh and say, “Nowhere and everywhere.” That is somewhat true. I moved often as a kid and don’t see myself as being from any one place. The truth is home is where my family is, but I’ve also grown attached to objects in my home as a source of consistency.
So why am I willing to part with these things now? It signifies how ready I am for a fresh start. Life is no longer about the past. A chapter of my life is closing. It will always exist, but it will no longer define me.
The things I got rid of today don’t serve me any longer. So it’s time to move on. It is actually incredibly freeing to do so. I love the things that I’ve kept and I can see how they are helping me live the life I want.
Today was a hopeful reminder that where I am now is not where I will always be. I will continue to grow and change with time. If I am intentional with this change, I will never look back with regret.
What things are you holding on to that no longer serve you? What would getting rid of them free you from? Start with one thing today!