Since the last time I posted in this thread…
Went grocery shopping with the coupon binder for the first time in several months, and while I didn't do very well overall, I did get the system down so this will be much quicker in subsequent weeks.
After clipping coupons yesterday I have a list of about $50 worth of food for about $20 using coupons to pick up at the store around the corner from me. This will definitely help me kick the habit of constantly going "out" for lunch from the office when I have quick, easy things to bring from home.
Came up with a better way of meal planning for the house, even though I live alone most of the time.
I am taking notebook sheets, one each for "entres, sides, snacks/deserts" and just listing anything I can think of that I have everything I need already in the house. This will stop me COLD whenever I am just wandering around the kitchen / pantry saying "Man… I don't have anything to make!!!" like I do all the time. I will not only know what to make for a fancy dinner, but sandwiches and snacks that take less time than ordering a pizza takes!
I am also putting my favorite recipes into a "cookbook" of sorts (just a Google Doc to share). I will probably make it a shared link from my docs account when I have a chance.
Cooked enough pulled pork to have leftovers for several weeks — need to portion them out and put in the freezer to make it last since I will get sick of eating nothing but THAT for the next 2 weeks.
Picked up a huge tenderloin on sale to cut up and freeze. I'll have enough porkchops from it for at least 4 or 5 meals, plus a large roast end for pulled pork when my new supply gets used up.
I've been thinking a lot about food and meal planning these days since I can see that is where most of the "waste" money I spend goes, AND I'm also getting sick of eating out as much as I have been. I need variety and the good healthy home cooked food in me right now. Being better with the food budget will offset the extra gas I will need for my new job.
Oh yeah, I think finding a new job counts as "prepping" since I am getting a pretty significant raise to go with it. I need to find my own health insurance, but I will have a better policy than the junk ones we can get through my employer, AND still have more money in my pocket.
Getting out of debt is a huge priority for me right now, and it has been a struggle this year. However, there are various scenarios I see playing out over the next year that will put me in a much better position financially and I can see myself getting debt wiped out or extremely under control in the next 2 years.
Took my 3 year old and a 2 year old friend of his out for a hike / biking / etc., last weekend. It is fun watching how much they love going on hikes. My 3 year old son is already going on 4-5 mile hikes without any problems or complaints. I am thinking that he will be ready to dabble in some backpacking this summer since he enjoys hiking and camping so much.
And now that I got a new job, and decided to get more organized with the food and meal planning — I am going to start getting my house the way I want it to be and sort out that area of my life more than it is.
I made a huge list on a separate sheet of paper (one for each area of the house) listing all of the things I want to accomplish in each. The basement is the only room left where I have major disorganization problems right now, so that is very high on the list. It is one of those lists I do not intend to accomplish everything on, it is a "pie in the sky" kind of thing, but semi-realistic.
It is the kind of thing to look at when I am sitting around wondering what I should be working on when I have a rainy weekend day, or the "stay"cation I am taking from my job next week.
I did get some more of the "junk" cleared out from my basement this past weekend and I did see the difference it made, but there is a long way to go. If I plan on living in this house for one more year, or even 6 more months — I want to make sure I am feeling GOOD when I am home instead of having a "panic attack" looking at the mess in certain places. Having the entire house project about 75% - 80% finished makes me feel good, but it is not where it should be yet. Getting to 100% will mean I am more organized, prepared to respond much much faster to any "event" that may or may not take place.