Uh…OH LOOK, A SQUIRREL!!!!
Humph. Well, that usually works on me…
Oh well. No, I’m not putting even one thin dime aside this month. Having paid the annual homeowners insurance and the business insurance this month, plus the quarterly payment for the girls’ after school program…I’m lucky I have enough left over to keep the lights on around here.
Grumble, grouse, gripe…
In terms of non-business-related stuff, things also got a little crazy in the food category, and just to add a full measure of insult to injury, much of it wasn’t for the Den. It was mostly for our share of potluck parties and charity programs, and they all sucked an impressive amount of coinage out of our budget in January. We also had some lingering gifts to purchase for aforementioned parties, which managed to also get way out of control.
Thank Dog Christmas comes but once a year, you know?
Still, what did stay in the Den has rounded out my supplies nicely. There was a trip to the local meat market involved, and I finally went to Costco last week to flesh out the basic supplies…flour, butter, milk, eggs, pork chops (I had a coupon! Yay, coupons!), potatoes, onions and vodka. (What? It’s one of the basic food groups, right? Starch, sugar, fat, and alcohol…)
As I’m looking over all the things I spent money on this month, I have to say that even though overall all we’re really doing is treading water, I’m pretty pleased. Nothing jumps out as a regret, or even a particularly poor choice. There is nothing I purchased that I wish I could take back now. Everything makes sense to me.
It’s a lot easier to be OK with operating right on the very edge of your margins when you can say that. Looking back at your rationalizations later and thinking, Oh. That was a baaaaaad idea…rather stinks.
I have high hopes for next month, since I not only have been getting some actual business phone calls this week (be still my beating heart!) asking about rates and turnaround times, but was also blessed with permission to assist my husband on one of his projects. Yay, I get to play with actual SQL again!
I’ve been sidelined for most of the year so far (yes, I know, that’s only a few weeks…it only feels like six months), relegated to handling administrivia and advertising. Most of “my” clients are bogged down by slashed budgets and similar insanity, which means that I just sit here kicking my heels and waiting for this @*^&@ing recession to start receding.
I’m really looking forward to getting back on my horse, y’all.
Meanwhile, we’ll continue trying to keep our grocery costs lower by eating what we already have rather than buying new stuff, and work on reducing our other spending by
…I’m pretty sure there’s a nefarious coffee-scented plot involved on that deal…
Anyway! For this next week, I thought I’d go with Food Network for my ‘new’ meal ideas. While my kids would prefer I make the same three things (spaghetti, Kraft and ONLY Kraft macaroni and cheese and Meat, Potatoes and Corn, all separate and not touching each other under any circumstances), the husband and I rather prefer a certain amount of variety.
Like last week, generic ‘vegetables’ will be whatever is on sale at the supermarket that looks edible, or canned / frozen vegetables if it sounds better. (Because I am all about the specifics on the side dishes.)
I just realized that I try to have a protein, a starch, and a non-starchy vegetable in each meal. I wonder where I picked that habit up? Probably some ancient version of how to cook a proper meal from the 1934 edition of Joy of Cooking or something. Oh well, whatever. Here we go.
Monday: Grilled pork chops (if it isn’t pouring rain on us…if it is, we’ll have to broil them or something instead), rice and vegetables.
Tuesday: Spaghetti and garlic bread. (this is to lull them into a false sense of security, bwahahaha) (did I mention how much the Denizens hate to have their food lumped together in casserole or slow cooker form?) (I don’t know, either…I’ve made this kind of food since they were babies each and every one, and yet they all flipped a switch at around two years old and got all crazy-picky on me!)
Wednesday: Flemish Beef Stew, with homemade sweet dinner rolls. (This is admittedly easier to pull off when you’ve been doing that whole baking-bread-from-scratch thing for a while…I’ll be putting together the rolls in the morning and keeping them in the fridge until shortly before dinner. The fridge slows down the rising considerably.)
Thursday: Chicken Cacciatore with pasta and vegetables. One substitution I’ll be making is that I’ll use a whole chicken cut into serving-sized pieces instead of chicken breasts. It’s less ‘healthy’ and all, but it’s what I have on hand.
Friday: Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Possibly a dual-starch deal, since I love canned corn with my chicken and smashed spuds. I may not be the healthiest meal around, but dang is it good!
Saturday: Kind of an intensely crazy day around here…I’m thinking we might stimulate the local economy with a call to our favorite pizza place Saturday night…have I ever told you that I am a pizza fanatic? Oh my dawg. I suspect I could happily eat pizza for dinner every single night for the next fifteen years and not find myself wishing I had something else. Which is probably not at all true, but still…it’s how I feel at the moment.
Sunday: Leftover Casserole – this is where you take pretty much any leftover meat, dice it up and drop it into a white sauce. If you have leftover rice, you can put that in the bottom of your casserole dish and ladle the Leftover Surprise over the top of it and leave it at that…or you can top it with leftover mashed potatoes and call it a Shepherd’s Pie Of Sorts…or you can top it with cheese and/or biscuit dough and/or buttered bread crumbs, bake it for a while (usually around 20 to 30 minutes at 375), and then present it to your horrified children as dinner. Makes for great theatrics from the kids, who will immediately fall to the ground clutching their throats and feigning their deaths. Which is fine, as it leaves all the more for We The Parents, bwa-hahahahaha.