Monday, March 23, 2009

Pantry Raid II

It's Spring...
and that usually means Spring Cleaning...
and in my house...
it means cleaning out my pantry and using up all the food that has been sitting
in it for almost 6 months.
Why do this?
Because I spent good money on these items,
and I need to get our hard earned money's worth of what we buy.
You might be like me, and you might overbuy, say... chocolate chips around Christmas time because they are on sale... and now I have 7 bags of Nestle Chocolate Chips... and they are
taking up valuable room in my pantry.
So... to use them up, so they don't turn grey and taste "off" eventually, I am making a batch of Tollhouse cookies every Sunday Afternoon.
Not only does my family love this... I am saving money on buying sweets, making them myself, and using less butter, adding wheat germ or Flax seedmeal, and making them more nutritious.
I also overpurchased fish this winter... so before it gets freezer burn, we will be having
fish every Wednesday.
I will only shop for things like Milk, cheese, and condiments as needed, while I am
trying to get creative and make meals with only what is in my pantry.
It is a great way to develop new recipes, make better use of the money we spend, and
make room in the pantry for new blessings.
I also over purchased whole bean coffee, that we will happily be using every morning.
So... what's in your pantry?
Got too many boxed soups, or cans of beans?
Use them up before buying any more groceries that doesn't come from the perimeter of the
grocery store.
You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's for dinner tonight?

Mmmm What' for Dinner?
Well... I have some ground beef defrosting,
I have some corn tortillas in the fridge...
I've got cheddar cheese,
frozen corn,
taco seasoning mix,
Precooked brown rice I made on my Sunday Prep Day,
I think I'm in business for Taco's!
Oh, and also on Prep Day, I presliced some onions... so I can add those to the beef mixture also to bulk the meat up with some veggie goodness...
Now... the hard part...
How to get everyone home at the same time... to eat around the same table...
Looks like it's gonna be an after game dinner, kinda late... but togetherness trumps time
any day of the week.
After tacos, they can munch on the chocolate chip/peanut butter chip cookies I also made on Sunday prep day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Time to Pay Yourself!

Times are tough...
At least that's what the talking heads have been saying lately.
For me?
I have always been of the mind that eating out and spending tons of money on ordering in
isn't a good use of my funds... I'd much rather have great kitchen tools, or a great pair of shoes
for my money, instead of just one meal.
Which is why I started this particular blog in the first place... a little over a year ago.
Since I know how to cook, I do it often, and save valuable money.
We go out to dinner very occasionally, mostly for Anniversary and birthdays. That's it.
I even came up with a great way to save my money and MAKE myself cook more often.
When I felt the urge to just chuck it all, and call the hubby and say "We are going out to dinner", I restrained myself, looked in my cupboards for something to put together for dinner,
and made it. I didn't like doing it... I really wanted someone else to serve me that night... but I did it.
Yeah, I know... big whoop. You cooked dinner... I know, I know...
I called my hubby back and told him nevermind.. I made dinner... then asked him this question...
I said
"Bill, if we had gone out... what do you think you would have ordered?"
His answer? Prime Rib and all the trimmings.
Then I thought of what the 3 boys usually order and myself.
I tallied up what dinner out would have cost us that night, and WROTE MYSELF A CHECK FOR
That money was going to be used for ONE MEAL! for ONE NIGHT!
Even if it was only $50 or $25! or even $15!
It still goes into the savings account!
We buy nothing on time or credit. Ever. Except our home and new car.
Now... it's even easier... because whenever I want to do something 'easy' and pay for
something I can already do myself.. I pay myself what it would have cost.
Do you know how nice it was to walk into a store and choose the Front Loading, NameBrand
all the bells and whistles, WITH THE STANDS, brand new washer and dryer set
We don't bat an eye when the boys say they need new baseball stuff, or new shoes for this or that...
our Do It Ourselves Fund is right there and waiting for us.
My reason for this post?
Do yourself and favor and look at your finances.
Do you eat out EVERY DAY at work?
Do you bring home dinner in a bag more nights than you care to admit?
Does the Pizza Deliver Guy know you by your number and first name?
Are you a Starbucks or Gourmet on the Go coffee person?
Add those things up for one month. Go ahead... add them up.
When you've done that... look around for what you have to show for the money you spent.
Probably just some burger wrappers, empty coffee cups, and styrofoam containers from a left over lunch sitting in the fridge.
Now... here is the hard part.
PAY YOURSELF, IN A BIG FAT CHECK, TO YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT ALL THE MONEY YOU SPENT THE PREVIOUS MONTH... and make your own coffee, plan your meals ahead of time, and brown bag it to work... for a month.
I bet you will be more than happy to spend that probably $500 on something other than
paper, styrofoam, and stir sticks.
I urge you, my friends... take charge of your finances, and spend the money you work so hard to earn on things of LASTING VALUE!
Purses... shoes... LOL, furniture, tuition, classes, sporting equipment, family trips...etc...
No, I am not saying eating out is bad. It's not. Lord knows I want to do it every night...
but... it's just not feasible these days.
Be kind to yourselves... eat around a table, not in the car or on the fly. Even if its only for 15 minutes.
Share the time together.. and spend the money you save wisely.
This has been a public service announcement from Saundra...
Money Mondays
Please comment on how you save money! I love to learn too!