What You Can

May 21st

Meal Planning

My new kitchen is full of color, and is my favorite room in the house. It is wacky, fun, and space-challenged, but all together perfect. I’m not working yet, and so each afternoon looks a bit like a scene from a 1950s television show. I usually wear a dress and apron, and am elbows deep into a new recipe until the moment D gets home from work. He goes outside to throw the ball with Nelson, while I put whatever odd concoction we’re eating on the table — which has been set since after breakfast.

Meal Planning

What? I’m a writer. Procrastinating is an art, people. And we have to eat…

Yeah. I realize this little routine isn’t going to last long. We’ll be throwing frozen chicken breasts into the Crockpot before scooting out the door to our respective careers soon enough. But, while I’ve got the domestic mojo flowing, we are all enjoying it.

I’ve taken Stacey’s model and adapted it for our life. We eat most meals at home. Between the two of us, I’m either cooking or buying ingredients (cereal, milk) for 36 meals per week. My new goal is to feed us well — local produce, etc. — for less than $100 per week for these 36 meals.

Meal Planning

It’s working. This week’s menu includes several recipes from Wine and a Spoon, including chicken tikka masala and meatball soup.  Other standards in our weekly repertoire include a roast chicken (which eventually ends up in the soup pot to be boiled down for broth), lots of salad, and several bags of steamed veggies brought back to life with spices and a little butter. We eat a lot of leftovers too. (Risotto, meatloaf, soups — all taste better day two anyhow.)

Meal Planning

What is not included in that $100: wine. Ice cream. The random block of gourmet cheese one of us always seems to pick up during the week. The lunch out when we just don’t feel like eating leftovers.

The cost of living is considerably higher here, and I’ve never been much of a coupon/food sale shopper. I’m hoping this new routine of planning our next week’s worth of meals, and shopping once at the most reasonable market will save us time, money and the “what will we eat tonight/what ingredient am I missing” headaches.

I’m looking forward for it to warm up a bit so I can supplement this menu with our own tomatoes, peppers and fresh herbs. And for the BBQ to be fired up.

Another perk to all this budgeting and being a responsible adult? Eating out is way more fun when done sparingly. It seems like a deserved treat to visit our favorite sushi joint Friday nights.


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Domestic Art, Good to Great, Happy Hippie, NJ + NYC
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3 Responses

  1. Make planned leftovers to be recycled into another dish. When I make chicken and there isn’t enough for a full meal for us, I recycle it into fried rice that is 50% veggies & 50% rice, not 90% rice like at the restaurant.

    I always shop the sales and buy what is in season for what we eat at home. Also, wine should not be part of the family budget. 🙂

  2. I need that meal plan. I’m going to have 4 people in the house before long.

    In the winter, my brother shovels a path in the snow to his grill which is used year round! Die hard.

  3. The first paragraph and I was “OMG I’m right in the middle of Pleasanteville….” than you talked about saving as much money as you can, buying local, eating healthy and I breathed a sigh of relief…there she was, my “old” Kelli..I’m better now.