Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Veggin' Out

We are currently living in a situation where we spend more than we make. This usually is not the ideal situation. In fact, it never is the ideal situation. However, several years ago we knew this would be the case and did our best to prepare for it. And even though I had those several years to prepare for this, it still hurts knowing that our savings is dwindling. I still somehow believe that we can change it and actually save money. Saving money may be impossible right now, but I know there are things we can do to not dip into our savings quite as much each month. It's just finding out what those things are. And believe me, I've gone over our monthly expenditures thoroughly. Any suggestions are welcomed.


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

9 comments:

Launi said...

i'm glad that i've been a help to you, jenny! and, i agree, holy cow that is a low grocery bill! i am amazed at your shopping skills! i spend a ton more than that each month and you have a bigger family than me! what's your secret? (i'm sure the less meat thing helps...but josh would kill me). :)

Heidi Ashworth said...

Now I know what to order when we go to Outback Steakhouse which we don't do often b/c I never know what to order. I admire your tenacity. I rarely cook at all anymore. And I don't think my grocery bill was EVER that low, even when it was just Roy and I 23 years ago.

Adespain said...

There is this girl in my ward who is the queen of couponing. It is crazy. And she does a month menu. I can't even wrap my brain around how she does it, exactly, but I'll see if I can get the HO she gaves us in RS emailed to me and pass it on to you.

Adespain said...

Plus, I'm also trying a frozen dinner thing. I posted about it if you want to check it out. :)

The Nelsons said...

wow, way to go. i could never go vegetarian. i just like meat. :) i realize you aren't going totally meatless but i'm sure it's less than i do. :)

rachel said...

Good work Jenny! I'm impressed by your money saving skills and cooking vegetarian stuff. I have a good veggie enchilada recipe I should forward to you :)

Courtney said...

I would love to be a vegetarian, but I really need to biuld up my recipes before I try that. (plus, sam loves meat.) But I think it is such a healthier lifestyle. And, like you said, meat is expensive! Anyway, I am impressed that you spend so little on food each month. Maybe I need to go grocery shopping with you, because I always spend WAY too much.

Brandon Danielle and Laneah said...

wow that is impressive...post more as you keep doing this, I am very interested! I read Launi's blog post a while ago and have been contemplating what route I need to take (contemplating...alas..no action yet). but I have vowed to find a way to lower our food bills too. :) Thanks!

Going bananas said...

Check your local library for vegetarian cookbooks. You can find some awesome recipes this way, and if you like a lot of recipes from one cookbook, you can buy it later.

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