Monday, November 8, 2010

Bartering lines: back scratches and meal plans

Want: Slushie from Kangaroo
Barter: 10-minute back scratch

Totally worth it, especially because I threw in Chewy Sprees along with my slushie request, and Aaron said OK as long as I paused the TV show we were watching until he came back.

Since we're a poor graduate student family, Aaron told me all he wants for Christmas is coupons for back scratches. Fine by me. I designed and printed out 100- two mintue backscratch coupons to give as Christmas and birthday gifts.

Am I a mean wife? (Aaron says no, and his is the only opinion I take into consideration on being a wife, so I guess I'm OK for now.)

We're on Day Two of meal planning. That was so important I had to capitalize the day and two.

Here's how it works for Aaron and me: we plan out the meals for the next two weeks, we clip coupons, we have fun brainstorming what we want to make together and we save a considerable amount of money OR we fall off the meal planning wagon, don't plan in advance for meals, go to the grocery store every night or  end up not eating or eating out food that we really didn't even want in the first place (for a very hefty price tag).

You've heard me say that when we fail to plan our meals it's because of his schedule, and it's a convenient and true excuse, but it's not a good enough reason to spend more money on fast food, so my new plan is to plan our dinners up to two weeks in advance and, if Aaron can't be home for the meal, then we will have double the leftovers or he can eat when he comes home. I say double the leftovers because each dinner we make usually gives about four servings, which is enough for us to eat at dinner one night and for lunch the following day.

The difficulties:

  • upcoming holidays;
  • hating to cook, eat and clean up what I cooked when I am at home alone. I much prefer cheese and bread and fruit or a salad when it's just me eating;
  • adding variety to our meal plans. Aaron is a really picky eater.
We will start out with simple meals and progress as we successfully finish weeks. 

I found The Project Girl's meal planning templates through one of my favorite blogs, Elefanitas Alegres, and I thought I would share it with you. I love how there are two templates provided, one with all three daily meals if you want that one, or one with just one space for the entire day. I like to plan a lot, but I think planning out all three daily meals for just the two of us too rigid, so I went with the second design. I can definitely see using the three-meal-grid if you have a lot of people you're trying to feed, though! 

I also love how both templates have a grocery list incorporated. I printed my list out yesterday, filled in our meals and groceries and took it, along with my coupons, to Publix. I felt really OCD, but the list kept us on track and we purchased only two other things on sale that weren't originally on our list. It was a good day.

But now, my husband is back with my Coke/Cherry slush! Hope you've all had a lovely Monday.

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