Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This week's goal...


This week, I'm concentrating on planning for the month of November. My goal is to get grocery spending to around $100 per week, or $400 per month. I'm trying first to get some sort of sense of what I have in the pantry to work with, although I do realize that I have to figure that once it's used, it's gone and I have to replace, ya know? But we have a good bit of storage stacked with dry goods to fall back on.

What else do we have to work with? Well, quite an extensive collection of recipes, for one. I would love to share recipes and meal plans here, but I'm awaiting information on whether or not it is legal to post them here under "fair use" or "public domain." We also live in an area with a lot of farming, so local produce is a great resource. There is also a local farm store with a great butcher shop that sells "freezer packages." Our plan for November is to stock the freezer with one of these packages and go from there.

I'll also note that I don't have to plan for Thanksgiving or any major entertaining this month since we'll be visiting family for that holiday.

That is my rather boring post for tonight. I'll be back tomorrow with musings about coupons and stockpiling!

Monday, October 27, 2008

From Kitchen to Penny Pinchin'

The kitchen is my favorite part of my whole house. I love that it is the room where my family gathers, the room from which the nostalgic aromas of home cooking bring us back to what is really important year after year, the room where my children's giggles echo from inside the cabinets... yes, inside... after they've emptied one of storage containers and climbed inside as their own little fort.

When we first moved into our house, from a small apartment with a galley kitchen, my son used to run circles around the island in the evenings. Why it ever started, I don't know, but it's something he now does with his little sister just to be silly, and it is the one rambunctious activity that will never be interrupted with a bellowed, "Settle down!"

Perhaps it is my love of this room that brings about my love of cooking? Or maybe I love cooking because I enjoy eating. But whatever the reason, I really do relish the daily rituals of preparing meals.

There is one part, however, that I don't love. I don't like planning, the wasting of groceries, or the grocery shopping itself. If it were up to me, I'd e-mail a recipe to my grocery store and have them deliver the ingredients at 4pm daily. Add to my aversion for these activities the rising cost of food, and my joy for the kitchen sadly becomes tainted.

I could, I suppose, continue to experience sticker shock with every blip of the cash register, but the buck must stop somewhere. And since I can't ever seem to do anything halfway (save maybe a little by buying in bulk or generic?), won't you please join me on a quest to spend as little at the grocery store as possible without ruining my love of cooking, food, or the kitchen!