So as a reward for being cold, wet, and tired, I treated myself to a nice mug of hot chocolate at The Infusion, a local teahouse.
I'm pretty proud of myself today where groceries are concerned. I went shopping at the local bulk store, in the hopes of saving a few bucks by focusing on buying the product rather than the packaging. 22 cents shy of $40 got me the following:
The beans will likely last for 4 meals, 2 meals each for Rachel and I. Possibly more, depending on how much we eat. The vegetable fusilli will probably make about 3 meals: 1 meal each when added to chicken stock, and 1 meal for Rachel, since she loves pasta all on its own. The bread and yeast will do for quite a few bakings of bread. The granola's for breakfasts. The trail mix and mint candies are for snacking on. The sugar's for, well, tea and whatever else we happen to need sugar for. (My weakness is a mug of hot sweet tea!)
$40, for another week's worth of meals, or there about.
Of course, this is assuming we eat nothing but bread, pasta, and beans for the week. This stuff is all going to be pieced out with the food we still have in, like the ham and eggs and turkey and potatoes and pork and cabbage and everything else still in the fridge and cupboards. I'll probably be heading out again tomorrow with another $10 to buy milk and apples and cheese, too.
It may seem like I'm spending a lot of money on groceries. But consider that our monthly grocery bill used to be about $300. I'm whittling it down to about $40-$50 a week now, cutting out the junk and cooking large batches of things instead of eating microwave frozen dinners and cans of spaghetti as much as we used to.
Oh, and I won't even go into how much we're cutting back on the junk food! I'd say about 1/4 of the grocery budget used to go to snacks of a more junk foody nature. Now our big sin is trail mix and some mint candies. Beats the heck out of chips and chocolate bars!
Really, cooking more and controlling more of what goes into my body has done wonders for me, and I haven't even been doing it that long. I enjoy getting in the kitchen and making food now. I enjoy the work behind it, I enjoy the satisfaction of eating something I worked hard to make, and I enjoy knowing that there's nothing going into me that I didn't make a point of putting into me, instead of all the sneaky chemicals that come along with a lot of pre-packaged food from the grocery store.
Tomorrow, when the ham and potato soup has run out, I think I'll make that quiche before the eggs go bad, and then boil up the leftover eggs so we have some hardboiled eggs for snacks. The turkey soup, turkey sausage, beans, and pasta can wait until the perishable food's been used up more.
I might also be brave and attempt another batch of bread. The last loaf I made made me ill, but I think that's probably because the yeast was past its best. Serves me right for not checking, really, but this time, I've got fresher yeast and understand dough a little better, so hopefully it'll turn out tasty.