Cutting down our second largest expenditure for ONE week…Food…

Christmas is looming on our financial horizon. Our budget doesn’t really accommodate several huge costs in one month.

The list of  holiday “needs” are high (not that I need to enlighten you!)

  • Santa gifts
  • Gifts from Mom and Dad (us)!
  • Gifts for family/work exchanges
  • Hostess gifts
  • Gatherings with friends
  • Food for the Christmas Dinner
  • Food Contributions to Christmas Dinners/Festivities
  • Recreational Beverages
  • Travel to Christmas festivities
  • Charitable Donations
  • Family Portraits

We had planned to save all year to avoid this crunch and we did our best but life doesn’t always follow along a straight path.

I decided last week that I was going to skip a grocery trip. You did what?! What about your children?? I can hear my mother’s voice screaming at the computer right now as she is reading this…relax mom…The children are not going without.  We are just limiting their culinary choices for a week.  “Hey you, you don’t like red peppers? EAT THEM”  In all seriousness, our children eat fairly well.

The Mini-Shop:

It was unavoidable to purchase rice milk (7 L), bananas, 18 x eggs and chocolate chips (we NEED cookies).  The cost of a small grocery trip was $20 as opposed to our usual $175 per week.

The “Inventory”:

It has been a wonderful challenge for me.  We were at the point where we “have no food” “there is nothing to eat”. There were onions, carrots, one sweet potato, a couple of potatoes, lettuce, 2 peppers, apples, cheese and yoghurt.  It is true we have nothing easy to eat or pre-packaged or ready-made.   We were long ago forced into the art of scratch cooking due to our son’s allergies.  I do wish for the day of popping in a frozen pizza or frozen French fries…but…I am never certain how he will react.

On the Smith Menu:

  • Quiche (this required me to attempt pastry…)
  • slow cooker pork chops, sweet potato fries and salad
  • leftover pork (1 pork chop) in fried rice and salad
  • Butternut squash soup
  • pizza (vegetarian) with home-made pizza dough
  • breakfast for dinner
  • hamburgers and French fries
  • home-made hummus and pita chips
  • Italian bread  from the bread maker to serve with soup or make toast for breakfast
  • Desserts: lemon meringue pie and cookies

I think this little exercise made me remember “waste not, want not”.  A phrase my mother would repeat over and over.  You can scrape dinners together with meagre beginnings and end with great results.

I may adopt this “mini grocery trip” every six weeks.  It requires resourcefulness and demands a less-picky dinner crowd at our table.

I have a sign hanging in my laundry room “Be Thankful”.  I am thankful to have ENOUGH food in our fridge, a place to cook it and people to share it with. BE THANKFUL for what you have. It is something that I need reminding of each day. BE THANKFUL.

Be Thankful

Be Thankful


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