This fall (and the falls to come), I will not be returning to HCC to teach. So far, life has not been too different in that regard since I would have been home for the summer anyways. Since I will no longer be working full time (I am going to teach a couple of classed part time on line), we have had to adjust our budget. I want to do my best to meet our budget so that has meant a change of thinking for me particularly with regard to grocery shopping.
Now, I never went overboard as I shopped in the past, but I would often by pre-made foods or foods that required little prep since I often did not feel like spending much time cooking. Breaded chicken tenders, instant potatoes, gravy mixes, packaged cookies, rolls, etc were often on my list. I also rarely planned our meals more than a day or two in advance, which required stopping by the store frequently during the week. We did not eat out much, but I still spent more money on groceries than was really necessary.
With our new budget, I realize that I need to be a better planner. I love to plan, it is in my nature to plan, but for some reason I do not like having to plan our meals even for one week. I have tried writing the various meals on slips of paper and drawing them from a jar, but I just did not like that method. My biggest concern would be, "what if we didn't want that meal that night?" For me, there is something very permanent about writing down a specific meal for a specific day, and I don't feel like I can deviate from the plan. Of course, I know that I can still be flexible with our meals even if I have planned them for a month; like I said, it is a new way of thinking for me.
So, for the month of August, I have planned my meals and I have even created a list of all the ingredients I will need to make the meals. Now I just need to go through our supplies to see what I really need to buy. I am looking forward to the challenge of feeding our little family at or below our budgeted allotment for groceries. Watch out Dillon's, Aldi's, Walmart, Sam's, Leeker's, and Target, here I come!