August 28, 2012

August Meal Planning: Results!

Hellloooooo friends!

Welcome back to the ‘burb.  We’ve had a busy weekend, with Avery’s first plane ride traveling to an out of state wedding.  She did GREAT on the airplane!  The wedding was fun, too – but we all have a bit of a bug now.  Poor baby has a runny nose and seems to generally not feel that great.  Hubby has a sore throat and the sneezes.  I had a day and a half of miserable aches and chills (but then felt fine the next day).

Meanwhile, every spare chance I get, I’m down in the garage working on the hutch.  Remember the buffet?  I’m finally getting around to refinishing the hutch to match, and I need half the garage for a workspace.  It’s not a hard task, but it’s a lot of steps with drying time in between, so it takes a while.  I’m scrambling to get it done as soon as I can so Nick can park his car back in the garage.  I think it’s safe to say I’ve passed the halfway point.  Tomorrow I’ll do the first of 3 clear coats on the painted sections.  Once the clear coats are done, I can get to staining and sealing the wood sections. 

So, since there’s not a whole lot to report yet, I figured you should get a final tally on how my meal planning effort turned out.  Are you ready to get real?  Like, really real?

Normally, I don’t like to discuss actual dollar amounts.  But…I feel strongly enough about budgets and tracking expenses that I’m going to lay it bare. 

Here’s how it all worked out:

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Obviously, I really overestimated the total meals I’d need because leftovers lasted longer than I thought, and I forgot (duh) about being out of town for two weekends.  I failed on two of the planned meals due to forgotten ingredients.  We also felt like we were short on sweet snackies/desserts/munchies (aka “sweets” in general – we don’t really snack on salty stuff). 

And here’s how the dollars fell:

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In my little world, I consider this a huge victory!!!  I *heart* seeing our spending come in lower than we hoped, and this was exactly what I was aiming for with the meal planning. 

I’m totally fired up. We saved money on our groceries, and it was fantastic knowing exactly what we’d be doing for dinner each night. (Want to know a little dirty secret? August is the FIRST month this YEAR we’ve come in under budget on our grocery bill. SHUDDER. We needed to rein it in in a big way, and meal planning was my take-no-prisoners first attempt.)

For September, I’m doing it again.  I’m planning for 16 dinners for September, plus 6 sweets.  I also need to buy more snack foods and baby finger foods (block cheese, crackers, extra fruit etc).  A few household items are also on my list for next month, like TP and paper towels – two big ticket items.  I’m hoping the savings in food from having already shopped for many of the meals on my September menu will be enough to cover the paper products.

With that said, September’s menu is already made, the grocery list is ready to go, and I’m looking forward to the big shopping day.  Anything not on sale that first trip will be picked up on later trips. I’m aiming for no more than 1 grocery stop per week. 

And now if we can just get the toilet paper to last until Saturday…. we’ll be in hog heaven!

ASig

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