Monday, September 3, 2018

I Am Not Proud Of Our Dinner This Evening...

Even though it was a long weekend, we were super busy the entire time. Between tackling small projects around our home, spending a copious amount of time at my desk and in the Bodacious DIY Dog Mom Project Workshop, and Lisa cutting and sanding wood in her woodshop, we had very little downtime. Today, I finished our wooden 2018 Bodacious Fall Signs. I posted them online and then worked on blog columns for the remainder of the afternoon. Lisa prepped food for our kid's dinner and made several batches of homemade dog treats for their snacks.

I lost track of time. About an hour before dinner I realized I hadn't taken anything out of the freezer. In addition, I was tired. On a whim, Lisa ran to our local grocery store for a pound of freshly made chicken tenders and a bag of frozen french fries.

No, I'm not proud of this.

The chicken tenders were $7.99 a pound. The bag of frozen french fries was almost $4. For those 2 items, it cost almost $15. In addition, I didn't have leftovers for Lisa's lunch the following day.

A pound of chicken tenders is just enough for the both of us and I only cooked a small portion of fries. 

I know $15 isn't much but in my book, it's a high price to pay for losing track of time and sheer laziness.

What bothered me the most about the cost is that we never pay more than $1.99 a pound for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Our freezer is stocked because our kids love it and so do we.

We would never pay $7.99 a pound for boneless chicken breasts. However, essentially we did because they were prepped, floured and fried.

I'll go a step further and admit that I cringed at the price of frozen french fries. I've got a bag of fresh potatoes that we paid 99 cents for on sale. I could have cut a few up, tossed them with olive oil and herbs, and made my crispy baked fries for pennies.

I also could have made my homemade chicken tenders that would have only cost $1.99 to make.

This is the entire process I went through several years ago when I realized our monthly food bill was out of control. At the time, I was working over 100 hours a week because I had a lot of clients and we were running Bodacious Biscuit Love.

I've written about this quite a few times throughout this blog. I don't want to sound like a broken record. 

In a nutshell, we were relying on takeout 3-4 times a week. Between the cost of takeout and what we purchased at the grocery store per week, our monthly food bill was through the roof.

In the months to follow, we made some major changes. One of those changes included our reliance on takeout. Instead of 3-4 times a week, we cut it down to once a month. Now, about 95% of our meals are homemade. Our weekly menu is planned around seasonal produce and what's on sale.

This Summer, I took notice of a flaw in my meal planning system. I can attribute that to several things. We've had an exceptionally humid Summer with lots of heatwaves. We've also been extremely busy since February with renovations and small projects around our home. And, I'm in the process of building my "business" and my brand.

Life. Gets. Crazy.

I haven't veered off the path of making dinners every night, however, I've been relying on a lot of premade stuff. For example, when our good quality spaghetti sauce goes on sale, we stock up. When the high quality, all white meat chicken patties have gone on sale, we've bought a bag or 2. Or, more sadly, when I made homemade pizza, I've relied on the "stuff in a tube" pizza crust.

My awareness of this flaw in my meal planning system has gradually surfaced over the past couple of weeks thanks to various situations...

Last week we ventured to a seasonal outdoor eating venue for dinner and live entertainment. On their small menu, they offered lobster rolls for $16.99. Lisa and I both love lobster rolls (cold), but we weren't forking out that much for a single lobster roll.

Not only was it our first time at this eating venue, we've both paid a pretty penny for crappy lobster rolls in the past. They were either skimpy or filled with mostly claw meat.

A couple of years ago, Lisa and I started making our own.

Several times throughout the Summer and early Fall season, lobsters go on sale at our local grocery stores for relatively cheap. We get 4 lobsters. On the first night, we each enjoy a lobster, baked potato and salad for dinner. Lisa takes the other 2 lobsters and gets all the meat out.

The kids get lobster in their dinner too. They love lobster.

The next day, I make my homemade cold lobster salad. I can make 5 super stuffed lobster rolls. Lisa eats 2 for dinner. I eat 1. She takes the other 2 for work the next day.

Another situation was on Saturday. We had a backyard fire and invited our neighborhood family. Everyone brought appetizers. I made fried eggplant and fried green tomatoes. For the dipping sauce, I made a small batch of my homemade spaghetti sauce. When I tasted it, I was reminded of how much I despise the jarred spaghetti sauce. At that point, I swore I would never buy another jar again.

And, I won't. 

Then, earlier last week, we had sandwiches for dinner. I made homemade bread earlier that afternoon. A tomato sandwich, my favorite, tastes so much better on homemade bread. The storebought bread or grinder rolls suck in comparison.

The week before last, I made my homemade chicken tenders too. Enough said. 

After taking everything into consideration, I realized that I needed to get back to basics. No more pre-made spaghetti sauce. No more storebought bread. No more $7.99 per pound chicken tenders. Not only is it expensive, it's not good for you. It's not real food.

This is where I need to put in more effort. Take the time. Expand on the homemade foods that I already make. For example, instead of buying granola bars for Lisa's work snacks, I can make them. I've done it before. Lisa gobbled them up.

When I think about it, the possibilities are endless.

There is always room for improvement.

Eventually, I'd like to start making my own pasta. We don't eat a lot of pasta, but when we do, I'd like it to be fresh. I'd love to make homemade ravioli.

I'm going to start taking the time and putting in the effort. All of the reminders over the past few weeks have made me realize that I can do better.

Much. Much. Better.

No comments:

Post a Comment