Sunday, July 24, 2016

Vacation Cooking and What I Really Did

So I planned meals for our vacation. I really thought it through. We brought some things and then hit the Market Basket near our destination. They are a well priced local grocery chain, and although we have every possible chain near us, we do not have a Market Basket. I tried to learn from last year so my purchases were good.  For example, if you buy juice and water at the local market you will pay $12.00 and your jaw will drop open. That being said I tried to buy enough to last us the week.  Our biggest error was over buying cold cuts. We bought two pounds of meat which was too much. We ate them through Wednesday and then I got rid of them. Cold cuts have a short shelf life. Although I hate food waste, I hate food related illness more.

Besides my zealous purchase of cold cuts, we had a steady supply of food. We even got more when my mother spent two days with us.  However, we did eat out. We had two dinners, pizza and two brunches out. So, it wasn't cheap, but it was vacation and we had fun. Plus, with the cold cut exception and bit of frozen salad, I was able to bring most of what we did not eat home. I will admit that it was quite repetitive and we need a cheeseburger and hot dog break! We usually have a bit more variety, however, I wanted to relax as much as possible.
Vacation Menu

Saturday Cheeseburgers (too tired for salad)
Sunday Out
Monday Cheeseburgers and Hot Dogs, pasta salad and salad
Tuesday Hot Dogs and watermelon
Wednesday Marinated Chicken with left over pasta salad and salad
Thursday Out for pizza
Friday Out
Saturday-back at home and shells from freezer

So now that we are back I have inventoried everything I have left in my freezer, fridge and pantry and am working on a two week menu plan. We have an abundance of food, and I am getting a new meat delivery on Friday. I was going to change my order up, but I think I will go with the current order and maybe skip August.  After a week of spending, I want to tighten things up and use up the food that we have. With the exception of fresh fruit we could probably go a full week without shopping.  

If you go on vacation and you plan your meals and stick to it, that is great. I am impressed by you! If you stray from your plan or eat out more than you planned don't fret. It is vacation. The goal is just to have fun.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

So Much to Say

It has been five months since I have shared anything in cyber space. Although I think this is more like an online diary than a well read blog. Nevertheless there is much to tell.

I lost my job. Don't worry, I found one as well. However it was a bit worrisome for about two months. Now to clarify how that happened, I was never actually unemployed. I learned in April that there were not enough students to allow me to stay in my building. Due to my lack of professional status I could not be transferred within the town, but I was able to apply to open positions in the district.

Once I was done freaking out, I threw my name in the ring everywhere that I could. In early June I had two other districts reach out and I am happy to say that I have a great job with a super commute. Right now I am enjoying this wonderful summer with my family, but come August I will be getting ready for a new town, new curriculum and a new grade. Truly there is so much gratitude that I feel about actually getting a job. I do know how lucky I am.

On the finance front I have been working on many things. Some of those frugal ideas that I had during the dark and cold winter did not come to fruition. I wish I could stand on my soap box and say I have not purchased any new clothing, but alas I can not. It is just a revelation that I had. I am better at reading frugal blogs than actually being super frugal. I can be somewhat frugal, but my frugality is not blog worthy. However, I will continue to read the frugal blogs that I enjoy. I always get good ideas and am impressed with how creative people are.

I will say though that some of the things that I implemented when I was trying to be uber frugal have made a difference. I started saving some extra money each month, and it is nice to check that statement out and see what I have done.

Finally I want to talk about food. Yes, food because I like to cook and eat. Food because at this point I care so much more about healthy eating than extreme couponing. A few months ago I started getting our meat from a local company that gets all their meat from New England farms. They have good practices, are great to deal with and their products are great. It is not cheap, but I am working it into the budget. It feels good to know what we are eating, and I appreciate that we can afford to do this. My sister and I are also sharing a CSA box this year. There lots of greens that no one wants to eat, but it has been fun to see what comes each week.

Well, I think I said plenty for a first post back. Time to go make a stir fry with all of those veggies.