Warning: longish post ahead.
So, it's been a long time since I have been able to do my normal grocery shopping, even with coupons, and saving a ton like I tend to do. We've eaten a lot of potatoes and pb&j's around here lately. You can imagine how excited I am to have finances worked out so that I can have a grocery budget again!
I love to cook, especially when I have time and an audience that allows me to cook a variey of items and enjoys them. I love to have people here to eat, and to share our home with them. I love to watch this family I am now a part of be a family again. I love to watch them talk and interact, to share, and to enjoy each other. Call it bribery, but I know if I say there is dinner night at Perry's Paradise...they will all come running and be in one house at the same time. So I do that as often as I can.
My new monthly budget is $500 a month, or $125 a week, however you want to look at it. That seems like a lot of money for groceries, until you figure that on any given day, there are 6 of us here that eat breakfast before starting our day. Kate takes her snacks to school from home, too. For lunch, I pack Piepie's, and that leaves Anna and Carter and I here for a meal. For supper, there is always at least 6 people here, if not, many more. Sooooo.....when you look at it that way....we consume a lot of food at this house, and $500 a month for all of that still requires strategic planning and smart shopping.
Never fear, friends...you know I love a challenge! I figure that I can make that $500 buy at least $1,000 of groceries if I plan, shop, cut coupons, and save. This month will not be one of those $1,000 months because I was out of EVERYTHING. All staples, things you can't get with coupons, and things you have to have to cook with, so I don't think I can make it stretch that far. I was highly disappointed with my $300 total last night, but I did save $450 when all was said and done...not bad, but not what I'm accustomed to either. Next month, though...ya better watch out! :) I have been shopping-deprived for a long time, and I plan on having a ball with the sale papers and the coupons.
I've got a few cookbooks I've been perusing. In my old life, I wasn't able to cook a lot because picky eaters abounded. In my new life, there's not much that I'm not able to sneak past them, at least once, if not again and again. Soooo....the joy of cooking is all new and fresh for me now. I'm looking at a lot of recipes that I'll be trying, and I'll keep you posted. On the top of my to-cook list, though, is a huge meat loaf....(thanks, Amber!!!). This is one of my Kevy's favorite meals, and his 16th birthday was this week, so we have a birthday meal in order. The meat loaf will be topped off with "Holy Cow" cake...his favorite, introduced to him by his Aunt Teresa. Beyond the meat loaf...I'll just be planning meals out of my cookbooks for a while. I was given two Paula Dean ones last year, and I plan to put them to good use. :)
So there you have it, friends....the reason it takes me 5 hours to do the grocery shopping (this is stopping at CVS, WalGreens, Kroger, and Publix, plus 1.5 hours of that is car time since we live in the boonies), how I shop (sort of, not in detail), and what goes on in a day in the life of the kitchen at Perry's Paradise. :)
Stay tuned for more from Honey's kitchen.....