>> Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Wow. Seems like FOREVER since we've posted about our grocery bills. For those of you who are new, let's recap. We wrote back in March about how Eating Well Need Not Cost a Fortune. To us, though, it sure seemed like it was draining us of our hard-earned funds. Back then, we set a goal to spend around $75 for groceries each week. A goal that, at the time, at least, seemed difficult.
However, with your help (and some of our own helpful tips), we cut our tab down to only $65 that very next week. From there, we cut down even more, and we felt awesome spending just a few dollars over $50 for our food. We even shared with your one of our big "failures" . . . a shop that tipped the money scales at nearly $85 after all that hard work.
Needless to say, that was then. In March and April. It's been a while since you've heard from us. What's been going on? A shift in our whole plan, that's what! When we set out on this whole initiative, we were also spending probably $80 to $100 on weekend stuff. Going out to eat, going to the movies, more food, more entertainment, gas, etc. A lowered grocery bill didn't do much to counteract this lifestyle. What we lacked in groceries on weekends, we made up for with meals out. (We even wrote about it briefly, but then swiftly carried on with our lives, neglecting to return to the subject.)
Our new plan is to spend more at the grocery store and spend less out. We still like to have a night on the town every now and then (and we visit mom-and-pop establishments as much as possible when we do to support the local economy), but for our health and for our wallets, we've been cooking more than EVER. This means that $100 a week at the grocery store, for example, figures out to only $50 on groceries and $50 on weekend entertainment. Versus $50 on groceries and $100 on entertainment. Or etc. I feel like in an effort to cut our bills, we over-slashed . . . and made up for it, big time.
And we often don't spent the full $100 (even for us -- crazy foodies -- it's difficult) -- so we're left with cash to go bowling (right?), rent movies, visit state parks, and other fun things. Plus, we're beefing up our cooking skills. In fact, we'll be sharing a recipe later today that we made over the weekend. It allowed us to learn specific cuts for vegetables and fruits.
A little extra cash toward fresh fruits and veggies goes a long way. With the right sauces and preparation methods, you'll likely WANT to eat at home. At least that's how we feel. In fact, when we presented ourselves with an opportunity to go out to eat or stay home this weekend, we didn't even need to think twice. The pots and pans came out, and our stomachs were ever-so happy.
You may want to try this method, too. So far, I think we're dong the best with our spending by investing in our food habit at the grocery store. And here are our (never home)maker favorites for weekend meals at home.
- Easy Miso Soup
- Apple-Cheese Bagel Sandwich (make your own bagels, too!)
- Stephen's Bulgar Wheat Salad
- Veggie Behemoth: The Lover (pictured above)
- Tarka Dhal (Indian lentil dish)
- Red Curry with Tofu and Veggies
These are just a few suggestions, but we have many, many more. Feel free to check out the always-growing visual catalog of good eats (to be updated with the last couple weeks of recipes soon!). And tell us . . . what are YOUR favorite weekend recipes? Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.
And if you'd like to read our journey from start to now, check out the following posts:
- Grocery Bills: Major Fail!
- Slashing Grocery Bills: We're Going Strong
- Eating Well Need Not Cost a Fortune
- Slashing Our Grocery Bills: Progress
- Slashing Our Grocery Bills: Even More Progress