Meal Planning and Budget Challenge

I’m heading back to work for real tomorrow morning after a month of block leave preceded by a month of half-days.  (Sad Face)  With so much time off, I’ve been working on getting back into a “real life” routine after living in a metal cube for a year, so I’ve been spending a lot of time cooking, redecorating, shopping, watching daytime TV (LOVE the Real Housewives…OMG please come to Austin!!!!), and planning The Wedding.

My Man and I both work at the same installation, so we have breakfast and lunch together at work.  Because options around town are slim and we live way too far to come home for meals during the day, I’ve made a habit of packing food for us…this was really simple while I had the time to cook every afternoon and evening of late but starting up a regular work cycle means that I’ll be a lot busier.  So, I decided to impose a little meal planning challenge on myself to help us keep our sanity.  I’m planning meals for the week on Sundays and doing as much prep work as I can for breakfasts and lunches.

This week’s culinary roadmap:

Sunday:  Meatloaf
Monday:  Leftovers (we’ve got half a roast pork loin from last week)
Tuesday:  Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce
Wednesday:  Pot Roast (slow cooker…it’s a life saver with a work schedule like mine!)
Thursday:  Leftovers (We have a later Crossfit class every Thursday so dinner is almost always leftovers)
Friday:  Primal Moussaka
Saturday:  Tentative (it’s the weekend…who knows where we might be? 😉

(Every meal we have also includes steamed veggies or baked sweet potatoes and a Big Ass Salad)

Oh, and there’s one more part of the meal planning challenge.  As I mentioned before, The Man and I are planning our spring wedding.  We’re also paying for our own wedding because we’re progressive like that.  Wedding = $$$$.  I made up a household budget spreadsheet for us a while back and I had been saving quite a bit while I was deployed but admittedly spent a LOT of money on everything I’d been missing as soon as I got home.  After paying the deposits for a couple of vendors, we had our Oh Sh*t Moment and pulled out the budget and picked out some areas where we could afford to cut back or lose completely.  My biggest contribution to our household spending turned out to be my grocery bill…The Man and I are both Primal/Paleo (I feel the need to include the “Primal” part because we both include some organic full fat dairy…mmm cheese!).

So, long story short, I’m now grocery shopping on a budget.

A lot of people give Paleo a nasty rap for being expensive, but it’s really not…as long as you keep yourself accountable and don’t go too crazy too often.  This was probably the biggest reason I wanted to start the blog:  I’m attempting to spend about $100 a week on food, and eventually I’d like to see if I can get down to $80 a week while keeping our house free of Neolithic crap.

How did I do today?


OK, so it was sort of a fail, but a lot better than what I’ve been spending lately…since I came home in August I was averaging about $200 a week…damn you, Whole Foods!!  

(I’ll also point out that the fridge was almost empty this morning…I had to buy an awful lot of food today and next week ought to be easier to stay on target because a lot of what I bought today can last through then)

Wow, I can talk…whew!


One response to “Meal Planning and Budget Challenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s