Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pantry challenge here I come

Yes, February for us will be an eat from the pantry and freezer sort of month. I am going to try to use as much as possible and not get too much take out. Last month we spent sort of a lot on take out. Now that I am working full time it is really hard to get dinner on the table. Yeah, whatever, I was sort of lazy before that too. Anyway, the point is that I want to save money, and we spend tons on groceries. It is just a way of life. However, I think that anyone can cut back. It isn't really even my opinion. There are many people that have blogs and books showing us that we don't have to spend millions on groceries. Now there are must haves and we have them. We need fresh fruit and we need it weekly. Milk is also a staple in our house. Bread is pretty popular too. I was making my own bread over vacation and might be able to do that in February, but right now I am buying bread. I find the best price I can on the most natural bread. So here is my pledge to myself. Make an inventory of what I have and try to plan some meals. This weekend I will get our essentials and anything that is really well priced. Dinner will be strictly what we have in the freezer or pantry. This should be fun.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Death is the hard part about life

Recently I attended a memorial service for my aunt's brother. He died suddenly this weekend leaving behind his parents, three teenagers, and four siblings. Watching family members struggling with emotions and trying to cope with such a loss is heartbreaking. How do you tell someone you are sorry that their son is gone? As my sister said the other day "there are no words". There are no words that can take away the grief and pain that comes when we lose someone we love so much. There are many things we think of when someone dies. What is there after death? Is there anything? I envy people that have total faith that there is something after this life. Those that know that dying is like being born again. I want to have that kind of faith, but truthfully I worry that there is nothing. It scares me that one day you are gone and that is it. All that is left is loved ones left to share your memories, but you will never talk again, or wake up again, or make another cup of coffee.

Besides thinking about our own inevitable death, we worry about losing others. The hardest part last night was watching his parents. It goes beyond anything I could ever imagine. Ten years ago this month I lost my best friend. She was thirty. It was the most devastating time in my life. At that time I had not had children yet, but still I knew that no matter how painful it was to lose her, my pain could never compare to that of her parents or only sister. For years I thought of her and them every single day. I cried a lot for many years after she died. I still think of her daily. She floats in and out of my head. I hear songs on the radio that we listened to in college and I convince myself it is her way of saying hello. Maybe that is my way of hoping that there is something after this. Something that speaks to me through a radio playing songs that we listened to repeatedly like college girls do. Dancing in a beat up Malibu, smoking cigarettes and singing off key, playing the same songs again and again. Those songs speak to me when I hear them. They come through in my car and I feel like my friend is there saying hello, or I miss you, or it is okay to move on. It is so hard to move on when you lose someone. In the past ten years since my friend has been gone I bought a house, got married, and had two kids. My life is nothing like it was. I often feel guilty about moving on. Guilty that I am here and she is gone. Guilty that I have a family and she could not. Sad when I snuggle my face against my own children, knowing how much I love them and can't imagine anything ever happening. Knowing that I will be gone someday, but my children will go on, the world will go on and maybe I can come back and say hi through a song.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I shopped again

Today I spent $109.00 at the store. I felt like I got a lot for my money. The only nonfood items totaled $5.00 (paper towels and trash bags). I had done a tentative meal plan, but when I got home was feeling so tired. Working all week is crazy. Each day flies by as I get out with the kids, drop them both off, get to work. My day is over quickly, and I need quick meals to throw together when I get home.

I bought a package of chicken and a large package of ground beef. I had elaborate plans that included freezing meatballs and meatloaf. I decided I deserved a bit of relaxing watching mindless television. I managed to pull together a skillet chicken pot pie that bakes in the oven with biscuits on it. It has fresh veggies and no canned gravy. It is a rich, but delicious dish all ready for me to get home Monday, make some biscuits and throw it in the oven. Monday is done. My large package of ground beef became a large pan of cooked ground beef. I froze two freezer bags of cooked ground beef for quick throw together dinners and turned the rest into chili. Some we are going to eat when I finish this post; I was able to freeze half of the chili. Freezing half a meal is good, not only because I can get another meal out of it, but we also eat less because I haven't put it all out.

We will see what the week brings