I was talking to my nail technician and she thought my $150 budget wasn't such a big deal. Apparently she doesn't spend more than $100 at the grocery store at one time and her family is the size of mine, less the large hungry every once in a while boyfriend. She screwed up her face at me like I was nuts. I said '$100 per week?" "Oh yeah, sometimes less" She quipped. "I'm not talking feeding everyone Ramin Noodles you know. I'm talking real food. No preservatives. How often do you eat out?" I asked. "Oh two, three times a week." she said as if that's what everybody does "Ah ha!" I shouted triumphantly! "The $150 includes going out for dinner, and making breakfast and lunch and snacks and Sunday Dinner." She says, "Whoa - I'm not making all of that. We grab breakfast out and buy lunch too. I'm just talking dinner groceries." Pffft...

Well I did it. And it's been a good learning experience for me. Last week was the toughest, not so much because of my stellar meal planning, but because of the rancid olive oil incident. It screwed things up royally I'm afraid. It made it so that we ate more of other things to compensate for the loss of the quinoa salad.  To be honest, I don't want to look at another chick pea for a while. And because of my schedule I didn't have time to make something else for a few days. We ran out of everything. I have a lemon in my fruit basket, yum. No bread. No eggs. Nothing quick. I was determined to make it through and we have. Really it was lunches and breakfasts that suffered. And even that wasn't the end of the world. I made up some more tuna salad, marinated vegetables in a non-rancid olive oil vinaigrette, We ate oatmeal with blackberries instead of apples. I made another batch of split pea soup. I eventually even made another quinoa salad, it didn't quite have all of the ingredients in it. Not quite as flavourful, but still tasty. We were fine.

CONFESSION: I bought $3.50 worth of food. That would put me over budget. *insert awkward pause* But again for 2 of the 4 weeks I was under budget, so I'm justifying things that way. So there. :P For my $3.50 I bought some organic oatmeal and some tomatoes to get us through the last few days. It has. I made a tasty blackberry crumble last night to go with the impromptu campfire. Yummy. It was like blackberry pie without the pie.

Oh and just so that you know, my daughter lost 5 lbs (she does not need to lose an ounce) and I gained 5 lbs. Is there any fairness in this world?????

Something else that came out of this? Lauren is really starting to look at what is in the food she eats. I'm a proud mama! She went one day without eating hardly anything (she wasn't at home) because everything she looked at was full of preservatives and chemicals. She wouldn't put it in her mouth so she went hungry. This is progress and not progress all at the same time. So we talked about wise choices that she could make while she was out. There is no need to go hungry. Which is probably why I gain 5 lbs and she loses 5 lbs. I don't do hungry.

Speaking of which, I discovered something else on this journey. So cool. You must try. Homemade Microwave Popcorn.

Buy regular kernels from the store. But some paper lunch bags from the dollar store. You have all the ingredients needed. Put 1/4 cup in a paper bag. Fold over the top a few times. Put it in the microwave and pop for 2-3 minutes. Wait until there are 2-3 seconds in between pops and pull it out.

If you want to eat it as cardboard, just put it in a bowl and enjoy. mmmm *insert eye roll* Or if you want it to actually taste like something add a bit of salt and olive oil. Or better yet, a drizzle of organic butter. Now that's yum! Top it with whatever you want. But at least now you know what's in your popcorn. No chemicals, no 'buttery' flavouring. And it's cheap and easy which is important criteria for me.

You may think I'm crazy but I'm going to continue with this budgeting thing. I may up the budget to $160 per week, but it's been so good for us as a family. As much work as it was at first it has been really freeing - which I know I keep saying but I still can't get over. I like the routine of it. So for now I'm going to stick to my envelope budget method for our preservative free food purchases.

Now I need a new challenge.  What should it be?



11/08/2011 8:54pm

Now you didnt eat that daughter of yours did you :)

11/08/2011 9:41pm

Now Tomas,

I only ate the youngest and that was due to hormones. She was little anyways, nobody really noticed.


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