Monday, October 6, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

OK, I know most of you come here for updates on Amelia.
This blog is also a way for me to keep track and refer back to different events and trials.

Yesterday, I was mandated to stay home from work. (I am a registered nurse). They are laying off about 100 full time positions from our hospital next month. I thought my job was recession proof? The reasoning is many people are approaching health care differently and many people are unable to pay their existing bills. This in addition to the hospitals investments going south has racked up a huge deficit. In order to counter this deficit they are laying off many employees. I think in the Twin cities together about 400-500 full time positions will be let go!!! We will be taking on more patients and expected to do more with less. (As if we weren't already!!!) I hope I am not one of the nurses laid off. I have 6 years experience but since becoming pregnant with Amelia I have dropped off the extra curricular scene at work. I also tend to put in a little bit of over time here and there. (I am working on this.) Because of this I am looking for ways to cut some corners and save money.
1.) We cloth diaper. Since we pay for laundry it costs about $3.00-$5.00 a week to wash and dry. I would love to hang dry but it really isn't an option, though I may start to just get them half dry in the dryer and hang them the rest of the way instead of adding an extra quarter. I figure we save about $5.00 a week on diapers so about $20/month or about $240/year + we don't buy wipes either. I haven't calculated the savings on that...but I am sure it adds up too. Since Amelia has been born I have bought a total of 3 packages of diapers. She grows out of them faster than I can use them up.
2.) Eating in more. We are still working on this one. I used to be really good about cooking dinner every night I didn't work...but since Amelia some nights I just don't feel like cooking.
Guy doesn't cook. Though he has tried a couple times. He just needs some confidence in the kitchen. (My children will be confident and competent in the kitchen; no excuses.) Amelia already loves to watch me cook. I will be posting weekly meal plans for accountability and suggestions for frugal nutritious recipes are welcome.
3.) Making convenience foods at home. Like instant oatmeal. (Pre-soak oatmeal the night before and it takes the same time as instant oatmeal and tastes SO much better.) Granola bars. I made my first batch last night. They are TASTY!!! The recipe will be posted soon so stay tuned!
I am thinking about making bread...thinking about it. I will need to borrow my mother's kitchen aid mixer (It's just gathering dust in her closet anyway since they aren't home much.)
I am also thinking about making burritos to freeze. I love those things and for $2.00 a pop for organic frozen burritos it kills me. Any one have a good recipe that stands up well in the freezer.
Also I am buying the big container of yogert and spooning out what I need. If I need to take some to work I put it in a double just fine...kinda like go-gert.
4.) We are rewearing our clothes as much as possible. With a $50.00 dollar a month laundry bill we are really trying to cut back on laundry. Using towels for the whole week or more and rewearing shirts that aren't smelly or soiled. This is a little bit harder with Amelia but I am trying to be better about getting bibs on her to keep her outfits cleaner longer and to reduce changes.
5.) I am home making Amelia's baby food. This is so easy and so much more economical.
6.) Breast's virtually free and the best for Amelia. Win win!
7.) We don't have cable, we use an antenae.
8.) Brewing coffee at home and taking it togo. I actually buy togo cups (I know bad bad...) but I know myself with thermos' and I forget them in the car and they get all moldy and then I get grossed out and this prevents me from using them and I just get a coffee from Starbucks. So I spend $3.00 on 12 to go cups at Target and I figure this saves me money in coffee and lost thermos'. I am going to work on this one.
9.) Making muffins and cookies at home. I love a good scone with my coffee. I have been going to the bread smith WAY too much. I will take a walk with my coffee and home made muffin to a park bench and eat it and be happy I have $5.00 in my pocket!
10.) Making smoothies at home. I use my jamba juice cup over again and fill it with my own smoothie and walk with Amelia. If I need to pitch it while walking I can and I feel like I went out...I know pathetic, but it's true!
11.) Taking fewer showers. My hair is falling out at record pace...a post pregnancy thing. So I have been taking fewer showers. It seems to have slowed it my skin isn't so dry. Win it is better for the environment.
12.) Borrowing or getting used baby gear.


Jennifer said...

Wow. I'm impressed with your organization. Let me know how the job thing goes. My mom is quite influential in the Southdale medical system, if you need help.

The Mattson Family said...

Ok it is already monday and the meal plan is out the window.

I didn't get to making the shepards pie because well having a teething 5 month old is BUSY!!! (I know it just gets worse.) I have frozen pizza tonight. Bla!

I did get to making the muffins I soaked last night. But I didn't have bananas. In my moment of weakness out walking Amelia I was about to enter the Breadsmith and get a scone. On the door was a sign adverizing their pumpkin bread. Remembering I had a can of pumpkin in my pantry I turned right around and didn't buy a thing. Triumph!!! I subsituted pumpkin for bananna and it worked beautifully.
Tonight I premade Guy's dinner.
I used the ground turkey I bought for the shepards pie. I browned that and made rice. Now all Guy has to do tomorrow is open a can of black beans and assemble his turkey black bean wraps.

Some set backs some goals attained. All and all it was a pretty good day on the home front.