Posted by: Ms. Crackers | November 15, 2008

{ cooking schedule }

One of the ways I am hoping to create and maintain our budget is to manage our grocery/food budget carefully.  As Mr. Crackers and I are notorious pizza-hounds, the idea of having home-cooked food is very counter-intuitive to our behaviour, but I believe that it is the quickest way to get our budget under control.

You may have noticed my grocery list from a few days back, and we were very slightly over budget (well, 3.6% actually).  That night, Mr. Crackers spent his “fun money” on a video game. After trading off some of his older games, the total was around $25.  Then, a few days later, we spent the rest of our monthly “fun money” on a pizza (which, unfortunately, was over budget by a bit).  That’s it for fun money.

Which also means no more pizza, and a need to fill our hungry bellies.  With cold weather approaching, I always crave some pretty hearty meals…and luckily, that’s about all I can make.  I figure that if I cook something every 2-3 days or so, we’ll have enough leftovers to keep us happy, and it will also be a smooth transition into the world of regular meals.  Mr. Crackers has taken to actually asking what’s for supper, so this is encouraging.

I’ve decided to create a cooking schedule, to see how far we can stretch our grocery purchases (and to help ease into the next month).  Once the schedule becomes easy to maintain, we’ll work on balancing the meals appropriately (because the lack of veggies in my diet already is starting to be a real pain).

November 15 – pork chops with apples, saurkraut and brown rice

November 17 – shepherd’s pie (made with my homemade gravy…if it’s still good)

November 19 – borscht

November 21 – spaghetti and meatballs

November 23 – roast with potatoes and veggies

November 25 – beef and macaroni soup

November 27 – pork ribs, corn and rice

November 29 – pan-fried fish (if it’s still good), carrots and potatoes

December 01 – beef and bean spicy chili and rice (Mr. Crackers likes rice with his chili, which I think is odd)

—–

That brings us right into December, which will undoubtedly be a very busy month.  I have decided to try and be as frugal/meaningful with my gifts as possible this year, which means a lot of homemade stuff.  I will likely be baking a lot for the holidays, which will hopefully go over well (I know I’d love to get something yummy for Christmas).  There will be a few less days for cooking dinner over the holidays, and hopefully our budget will hold up.

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Responses

  1. you can make pizza too… just remember to use bread flour in the crust or it needs extra rises. And it’s cheaper to grate the cheese yourself than buy shredded cheese (if you have a food processor, which is also the easiest way to make crust).

    But yeah, pizza can be cheap. Even frozen pizza (on sale) is cheaper than ordering delivery or going out, no tipping required!

  2. Having a food schedule is a great idea. I started doing this about a year ago and not only does it make dinnertime less stressful (none of that hour of agonizing over “What are we having? What do you feel like?”), but it also does help the budget. At the start of each week, if you know what you are going to make, you just buy for those recipes. Over six months or so I got so good at it that on grocery day the fridge would be literally empty — so no wasted food, no buying crap that no one would ever eat. It’s annoying but it’s good for the budget!


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