Hello! 🙂 I am still alive, check it out! Though today I am suffering from the worst cold I’ve gotten all season. 😦 I guess I should be thankful that I made it all the way to November without being really sick, though. The Ryan, bless his heart, has been to the store three times since last night to get me soup, tissues and medicine (and ice cream and flowers, because he’s awesome). He also decided to watch a war flick while I was trying to nap, so…I’ll take what I can get, ya know?

School has been very busy, and I have been studying for a test almost every weekend so far this semester. Pack on top of that midterms, essays, lots of reading, normal homework, and the Ryan’s still-insane (through Christmas now..*sigh*) work schedule, and you’ve got the headless chicken that is me. So I apologize for my lack of presence.

The good news is that I finally sat down to crunch the numbers of my experiment with meal planning. Since September 23rd, I have been keeping track of what the Ryan and I spend on groceries. I have everything in an excel spreadsheet, and categorized our food expenses into meal plan, breakfast/lunch and sundry items (tp, paper towels, shampoo…you get it). I am pleased to announce that it has worked as far as getting our grocery spending under control. Not going to the store every day (and being tempted while being there to buy other things) has really helped. We go on Sundays, and we also found that going to our local Walmart has saved us a tremendous amount of money. The only thing we don’t buy there is produce, out of our own prerogative (and the Ryan’s stories about how they treat their farmers). Instead, we get produce at our local grocery store. Last weekend was the exception, and we decided that since everyone and their mom would be at Walmart trying to buy stuff for the impending hurricane, it would be better for us to just suck it up and stay close to home and buy everything at the grocery store instead. It cost more than we were used to, but I don’t even want to imagine what that Walmart must have been like the day before the storm. No thanks. A friend of mine a little ways south of here said that people were literally buying everything at the Walmart near her – including pillow pets. Because somehow those will help you during a hurricane?

Mercifully, Sandy didn’t come as far inland as we expected, I got 2 free days off of work, 4 whole days with the Ryan, and all that happened was rain and some leaf and twig debris. We were spared. 🙂 And very very lucky. My heart goes out to those who weren’t so lucky, including a slew of co-workers in Philadelphia and New York.

Anyway, for some numbers: Since Sept. 23rd (~42 days), we have spent ~$200.14 on dinner food, including the meat that we get from the Amish. This brings our total per day to $4.77 or $2.38 per person for dinner. Not shabby at all if I do say so myself. There was one day that we had to order a pizza because I accidentally boiled and separated some cream (oops!) and we also went out to dinner one night after a movie. So the numbers are probably a little higher per day, but only by about 25 cents. All in all, I have decided that meal planning is a useful tool for helping us manage our grocery spending, and being forced to break it down in the spreadsheet really makes any kind of silly spending habits apparent immediately – which we can then address and fix.

The next step the Ryan wants us to take is figuring out how much each individual meal costs so that we can balance a couple of cheaper meals with a more “tasty and extravagant” (his words) meal every now and then that probably costs a little bit more. Like a steak here and there, maybe. Cuz every man loves a big, juicy steak. I will be working on this soon, but not today, as all I want to do is veg on the couch and browse Pinterest in between naps. I feel like dog poo. It’s unfortunate, too, because the Ryan and I’s anniversary is tomorrow. Boooo! Murphy and his blasted law strike again!
That’s all for now, really. If you are interested in meal planning, see my previous post and give it a try. One day when I have more time I intend to sit down and go through all of my cookbooks to make a list of meals I could easily make with few ingredients to give our menu a little more variety. And the holidays are coming up, so look for at least a few posts from me – I am seeing so much cute food stuff on Pinterest and all around that I want to try for family gatherings! In the mean time, stay warm and full, everyone!


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