Friday, September 20, 2013

the quality of being economical with money or food; thriftiness.

Frugality.

Through the wonderful rabbit trails of Pinterest, I ended up on a page reading many many many comments on a post in regards to CHEAP grocery shopping.

Some of the commenters proclaimed a food budget of $60-$150-$200.  PER MONTH.

That floored me.  The past couple of weeks our grocery trips had inched toward $200.  For a week.  Now, those were both really good weeks where we still had meals to make at the end of the week. (Rather than after 4 days we don't have anything else to make for dinners!)

So, I was inspired.  Greatly.  And motivated.  It is truly unreasonable for us to be spending that much money on groceries. Granted, some of those items were diapers, toilet paper, and other non-food items, but the claims of the thrifty were that their budgets included ALL those items as well.

Today I scoured the sale ad.  I loaded digital coupons.  I went through my recipes and found the very thriftiest meals I could find while still giving us SOME variety, (not rice and beans EVERY day).  I went to the store with high hopes. My meal plan:

Pintos, cornbread, potatoes, and greens
Salmon, veggie, baked potato (salmon was from a couple of weeks ago in the freezer)
Chicken and rice casserole, green beans
Denver Bean Soup
French Toast, bacon
Tacos, guacamole, corn
I already had made today's meal so I didn't plan anything (Cottage Pie)
And I figure we will definitely have some leftovers.

I plan on baking some bread this week, homemaking the tortillas as well. My cart included only smoked sausage, a whole chicken, bacon, flavor meat for the beans, ground turkey, a few canned goods, a couple of frozen goods, milk, cheese, avocados, simple salad greens and some discount cucumbers, three pears, potatoes, onions, garlic, baby wipes, a couple yogurts, a can of broth, applesauce, peanut butter, a clearance stocking stuffer item, bananas, lunch meat, hmmmm can't remember what else but not much else.

And checked out with a $130 total.

sadness. :(

Okay, so there were SOME things I got that weren't on the list.  But they were incredible markdowns that WILL serve to stock up and be used later. I could have had tacos without guacamole.  We could have several items without cheese.  I didn't have to buy the cheap markdowns. I also didn't have to get salad fixings, but I really want to attempt to stay low calorie with these cheap meals for myself so a small portion plus a salad will maybe help me do that.

I am hoping that because some of these are items that will last a long time (a big thing of peanut butter, a HUGE jar of minced garlic, big bag of pintos) that my total will be less next week.  I really sincerely hope that I can get our weekly total at least down to $100.  Sadly, it seems that might be as low as we could go.  Maybe I can do better by bulk buying some meat at Aldi.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

TWO-OH

I hit the twenty pound mark today! It is two days until I reach the two month mark, and I am SO VERY happy!  This has not been an easy task, but it hasn't been impossible or TERRIBLY difficult either.  Like any change, especially one that involves comfort and enjoyment being denied on a regular basis, it has taken an extreme amount of discipline and dedication.

After the 15 pound mark I have been quite a bit easier on myself.  Using my calorie allotment for a treat every once in a while, instead of always eating the extremely low fat and healthy options.  But, I will allow that because I really do enjoy my treats, and being used to having them sparingly makes them taste all the better!

Honestly, this past week has been rough.  I was very discouraged.  And even as of two days ago, the scale had been inching upward a pound or two.  I was very very sad and didn't let myself weigh for a day. (Yes, I've been weighing every day because it has almost always been creeping down at least a little every day, and maybe just up a teeny bit every once in a while)  The night before last I ate almost an entire bag of Terra chips.  Followed by extra portions of my Fiber One bars. Yesterday, for lunch, I decided I was going to eat what I wanted.  I made a delicious creamy pasta dish that I LOVE and didn't measure out the portion.  And I made homemade yeast rolls to go with it.  I could not have been more shocked when I got on the scale yesterday afternoon and had gone back down to past my 20 pound mark!  Maybe my body was needing some carbs? Who knows?! I don't care!

Today I am celebrating my baking up some butterscotch pecan blondies.  They've been calling my name ever since I saw them in my Food Network Magazine at the beginning of last week.  They are baking now and I can't wait to indulge a little while celebrating this milestone!

I've got ten more pounds to go till I reach what I had originally thought would be my end goal weight.  I guess I will just have to wait to see how I feel when I reach that mark. :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rest

Rest is difficult to come by sometimes.  Especially if you have young ones in the home!  I've noticed that Corey has started asking me first thing in the morning, "How did you sleep last night?"  The way we rest can completely influence the way we feel and what we accomplish the rest of the day.

I have been reading "Streams in the Desert" the past bit and today there was a beautiful poem about rest.  It compared those who are able to rest, with those who have God within them.  Such a simple idea, but easily observed in everyone around us.  When I feel frenzied and panicked, or fearful, rest does not come easily.  I sleep restlessly and with disturbances.  I avoid sleep and fret myself constantly into a "tizzy."  But after I've been with the Lord, my entire demeanor changes.  I become relaxed and my worry dissipates.  I am happy to say that my periods of panic and unrest are fewer and more far between than they were in earlier years, and I know it is because I more regularly find myself conversing and handing those problems over to Him.  The more I live, the more I realize that I have so very little to do with my own life and plans.  And that handing over complete control allows the right things to happen at the right time, so in the meantime, I rest.

"Straining, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives man to do. Only God Himself, who always works without strain, and who never overworks, can do the work that He assigns to His children.  When they restfully trust Him to do it, it will be well done and completely done. The way to let Him do His work through us is to partake of Christ so fully, by faith, that He more than fills our life."  (from Streams in the Desert)

And here's my favorite line from the poem that was in today's reading: