Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Food on a Budget

I'm sure that my family has the same issues as every other family, including debt. I know this is like a swear word, but hey, it needs to be said. Admitting you have a problem is the first step on the journey to overcome it, right?! So, yes, like most American families, we have accumulated debt. We have a mortgage, and car payments, credit cards, gym memberships, the cable/phone/ internet multipack, etc. Does anyone remember that commercial when the guy is riding around his perfect yard on his beautiful riding lawn mower, saying "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs"?

The pressure came when we decided to put the girls into private school. That was another big chunk placed on top of everything else, but we kept spending. Now, don't get me wrong, we aren't going into foreclosure, waiting for the repo guys to come take the cars, or living off processed foods on sale. Well, ok, the kids do love the processed foods, but I'm starting to feel guilty about giving it to them whenever they ask. We were in need of a change, though.

A few years ago I bought Chef Hubby the book "A Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey and since then it's been collecting dust. Recently, I decided to break it out and maybe find a solution, and I think I did. It talks about budgeting and all the fun stuff that we've never done. I know, budgeting... another swear word, right? To be honest, I've never been on a budget. I mean, we've pretended that we were on a budget, but with credit cards, it simple to sneak in things that you really can't afford. So what does that mean - no more credit cards!

Simple enough. Create a budget. Wow, what a shocker. It's tight, but definitely doable. I'm excited!! I like a challenge and I've decided that in our budget we will be getting only $100/week for groceries for our family of 4. I know that doesn't seem like a difficult task, but at the same time, I want to improve the quality of food we're eating and limiting the amount of processed foods.

I think this first month is going to be really easy since I inventoried our freezer and holy crap, it was stocked! I had no idea how much meat we actually had in there. It's because I only buy meat when it's on sale and then I stock up. Just a snip it of the contents:

  • 4 - split chicken breasts
  • 2 - 1.5lb bags chicken breast
  • 2 - corn beef briskets
  • 1 - 1.5lb pork tenderloin tips
  • 1 - 1.5lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef (2 - 1/2lb pkgs, 1 - 1lb pkg)
  • 6 - jenny-o turkey patties
  • 7 - black bean chipotle burgers
  • 3 lb bag of french fries
  • 2 pkgs of french bread pizzas
  • 1 pkg filo dough
  • 2 frozen pie crusts
  • 2 lbs frozen berries
  • 2 lbs frozen haddock
  • 2 lbs frozen turkey meatballs

See what I mean... and there's more! It's insane!! Anyway, it's still going to be a challenge because, I have a hubby who's a chef. He loves to create especially when we are entertaining, which is what we love to do. Now I've informed him that we will be creating "Iron Chef" style... lol. He's on board and we are super excited to get this started. I've decided that I will be starting to post how we're doing.

So, now the journey begins. It's day 1 and what's for dinner? I'm thinking that we might have to throw the meatballs into the crockpot with some sauce, make up some pasta, and create a side salad with the romaine lettuce, croutons, and parmesan cheese we currently have. Yes, this month is going to be the easiest, but at least it will get me into the habit of planning meals. Oh, by the way, if we do happen to go out to eat - that also counts as groceries. Trust me when I say that I will be second guessing my mid-afternoon coffee runs.


kathy said...

I wish we had a freezer we could stockpile in... must move that up on the priority list!

-Tee- said...

oh... I should mention thats the freezer over the fridge, not freestanding. Told you it's amazing how much fit!! lol