Recently I started grocery shopping for a month at a time. Thank you Launi! I basically followed what she suggested and I love it. This is genius. Not only does it save me time when I prepare our dinners for a month, but it saves me a lot of money. By a lot, I think it's been about $20-$40 a month, and to us, that is a heckuva lot! It still gives me flexibility in my cooking, which I need, but I love the plan. I'm finding that the older I get, the more structured I like my life. Schedules, itineraries, plans, etc. Am I crazy? I remember reading baby books that say that babies and generally all humans are pre-wired and do better with schedules. I'm getting off track.
Not only are we planning meals for a month, but we are also eating a lot more vegetarian meals. Vegetarian?! you ask. Yes, vegetarian. It's really not all that bad. In fact, it's rather good if you find the right recipe. This also reduced our grocery bill quite a bit. My monthly grocery bill is normally between $150-$200. Then I do a quick run to the grocery store for milk and some fresh veggies and fruit. But, my big monthly shopping trip this month was $100! Are you kidding me!? Are you FREAKIN' KIDDING me?! That's amazing! Here are some examples of our vegetarian meals: Black Bean Burgers (don't go in thinking they'll be like hamburgers, but they are pretty good -- thanks for this Emily), Lentil Tacos (and thank you Emily again), Enchiladas (just use a refried bean base instead of the meat), and last night, I made Launi's Chicken Enchilada Soup -- which we adore! -- and replaced the chicken with lentils, kidney beans, and barley. It was a rather meaty soup and tasted great.
Are we going vegetarian? No, though Marcus said he'd be all for it. It is rather healthy, and you'll find that those areas who have the healthiest populations eat far less meat in their meals than Americans, if not 100% meatless meals. But I still love my yearly Queen Victorian Filet from Outback Steakhouse and I love love love chicken. I could give it up, but I just don't want to. But will I give it up just a little bit in order to be healthier and save some cash? Certainly.
By the way, Sammy looks adorable today in this red and white striped gym suit and her hair in a white bow (which Callie has tried to pulled out numerous times) but alas, we still don't have a camera. Grrrr