Last week Trent, Kinley, and I went on a little vacation out to a friend's lakehouse. It was a great week of relaxing and reconnecting after a super busy youth ministry summer.
(Sidenote: I somehow always forget that summer is not a season of slowing down, but rather a CRAZY season for ministry. I'm thankful for the extra time to invest in students, but I'm also a little grateful when the summer is over and we get Trent back!)
So anyways, back to last week. We're in a season of frugality at the Thompson house. Which means keeping a pretty strict budget and not so many splurges. All that to say, we decided that since we'd been blessed with basically a "free" vacation, we'd splurge a bit on groceries. I got a bottle of wine, a carton of Trent's favorite orange juice, salmon for dinner one night, and a few other things we don't normally get. But I also managed to swiftly blow our entire grocery budget for the first half of the month on meals that lasted less than one week!
Coming home I had literally $11.00 left and it was August 5th (we re-up the grocery budget on the 1st and 15th).
Yep, $11 for 11 days.
We knew we'd have to go over budget, but I decided it would be fun to figure out just how frugal I could be. I spent most of Saturday and Sunday perusing different websites I found by searching things like "really cheap meals" (more on those later). I even found some youtube video's of a sweet 90+ year-old lady cooking meals she remembered from the depression!
All of it got me to thinking...
I want to learn to cook cheaply. I mean REALLY cheap. I know this month is the exception, but it feels like I can never quite make our grocery money stretch far enough.
So I've developed a plan of attack (dorky, I know)
1) I'll set some goals/criteria for how I plan to shop and cook in case it's helpful to anyone else
2) I'll share my grocery experiences, what I learn about smart shopping etc.
2) I'll layout the meals and recipes I'm cooking (as well as where I got them all from...there are some GREAT blogs and websites out there completely devoted to this sorta stuff)
3) Any other tidbits of knowledge I gather, I'll share that too. (so if you happen to read this and want to pass along some wisdom, PLEASE share!)
1) Get our grocery budget down to $50/week -This means breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 7 days a week!
2) Make relatively healthy meals - I've pretty much thrown the idea of eating all natural or organic out the window on this budget, but I think healthy well-balanced meals is still a major priority.
2) Learn to not waste food - so many times I'll buy an ingredient for a recipe and end up throwing the last little bit away.
4) Learn how to cook without a recipe - this I think is key...especially for learning not to waste food. I look at my refrigerator and pantry so many times knowing there's a great meal in there somewhere, I just don't have a clue how to make it up on my own!
So that's it! Here we go =)