Thursday, February 28, 2013

Premise One: Planning Saves Money, Reduces Waste

It's Wednesday, Shopping And Errand Day. I've done my steps in the wrong order. What I should have done was:
1. Take kitchen inventory
2. Make Meal Plan for the week
3. Make Grocery List
4. Shop

but I didn't. I made the meal plan first, based on what I REMEMBERED. Bad idea. And then I was going to shop, but fortunately discovered I didn't have my checkbook, therefore had to go home before shopping. Based on what I found, I had to do some revisions. My memory was slightly better than I usually credit it with being, and my cupboard more full than I imagined. I did not need tortillas, onions or pasta.

Now I've taken Kitchen Inventory, so that I don't buy more of what I already don't need, and if I have ingredients for meals I ended up not making last week, I'll bump that meal along to THIS week. Savings! This prevents the things I bought last week being shoved to the back of the pantry, forgotten then rediscovered three years past their Sell By date (I'm not even kidding.).

This is not to say that you shouldn't stock up on canned, boxed or frozen items that you use regularly, if they are on sale, or deny yourself an occasional impulse treat that isn't on the list. By all means, do both of these, if they are within your budget, or only slightly beyond it. You might give yourself a $10 or $20 limit on stockup/impulse purchases. I mean, what the hell possessed me to buy eight cans of sardines? (They were on sale, and the cans were lime green and hot pink, plus I hadn't had sardines in more than a year, that's why.) It took me 2 years to eventually eat all of those sardines. No one else in the house likes them.

Knowing what you have results in using what you have. I'll get back to this.
note: this is not a COMPLETE list of ALL the food I have in the house; hello, four (really? yes) bottles of molasses, two jars of remoulade, partial jars of wheat berries, blueberry get the idea.
Left from last week-
2 rolls of refrigerator biscuits
3 romaine lettuces
package of celery
white sauce, olives, artichoke hearts
pinto beans, pineapple
2 containers diced tomatoes, 2 containers each with 1/2 an onion
most of a large package of kosher dogs, frozen

In freezer, pantry or refrigerator-
2 packages of tortillas
2 cans chicken breast meat, 2 cans tuna (no salmon)
4 cans of red beans (but no black beans AT ALL)
1 can beef broth, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 block + 2 lumps of cheese
Townhouse crackers (but no Saltines)
2 dozen eggs, 1/2 jar salsa,
1/2 loaf of bread, 1/2 gallon of milk
1/2 bag of frozen mixed veggies
2 sticks butter
1 box mac & cheese
2 packages cheese tortellini
many cans of crushed, diced or stewed tomatos
1 jar red sauce

Meal Plan for the week:
Wednesday: Burritos
Thursday: Large Veggie Mac casserole
Friday: Tuna Melt
Saturday: Psyche Casserole
Sunday: Crock Pot Meatloaf
Monday: Clean Out Refrigerator Night (CORN), or soup and sandwich, if there's nothing
Tuesday: White Pasta
Wednesday: Beef veggie soup

Grocery List:
Black Beans     $2.50                                   Costco:
Soups                 3.50                                             milk $3, ground beef $14, butter $8; $25
Taco sauce mix   2.00
Saltines               1.00                                       (additional money on fuel card, SAM-e; $75.00)
3 Mac & Cheese 2.00
Ground Turkey    4.00
tuna                     5.00      wish list: croutons, ceasar dressing, fried onions- but these can wait
bread                   2.00
oatmeal                2.00       (plus dog food & toilet paper, $15)
fruit                      4.00      
cheese                  5.00         Total Estimate $28, plus Costco $25 = $53.00

We shall see how I do. Update later!