The good news is that we are still in budget. But it's just been kinda dicey. I mentioned last night that I was exhausted. I think my biggest issue was that I was just getting a little too overzealous.
We are trying to eat healthier and cheaper all at the same time, which is a lot. And we've been sick. I need to figure out how to not spend all of my free time in the kitchen and not have to stay up until 10:00pm to make this work.
Since we are leaving the house every day for school, breakfast has to be pretty much ready to heat up and eat when we wake up in the morning, and lunch has to be made and packed before 9:00am (and ideally the night before).
Based on what I had on hand, what I could buy in budget, and what was a good whole-food plant based meal... I came up with blueberry muffins for breakfast and collard rolls for lunch. Last night I had to go to the grocery store for today, because I knew I couldn't do it in the morning.
So after all the kids were in bed... at 8:00pm... I left for the store. Here's what I got:
All I needed to buy was the collard greens for my recipes. I also got bananas, because we were out and we go through them pretty quickly. That used $4.07 of my daily budget, and I didn't need to get anything else. So far so good.
I also found a rebate for raisins on one of my apps, so I went ahead and used $16.00 of my $19.00 accrued bulk food budget to grab four of those. I will get a total of $3.00 back to use on groceries later.
After shopping I had to make the blueberry muffins, soak beans, cook rice, chop veggies and make the sauce for the collard rolls. The baby would not go to sleep. We got it all done, but it was very late by the time we went to bed.
Being sick I couldn't get up on time the next morning. Thankfully breakfast was made, but I had to finish the rolls for lunch. It took more time than I was expecting, which was frustrating and more tiring and we were late getting to our park for school. No one really like the collard rolls.... so the kids subsisted on carrots and fruit for pretty much the entire afternoon.
We also had to shop for some gymnastics clothes for Stephen, we went to three different stores. By the last store it was the middle of the afternoon, the hardest part of the day with kids. Kyrie came in with me; she was on the verge of a meltdown. She wasn't being bad, she was just tired and I could tell her threshold was low. Stephen was disappointed because we could not find what we needed and then...
They asked to get a treat. I had to do some quick thinking. Option A, get them something that isn't good for them and will use up grocery money. Option B, say no and deal with the consequences. Usually I pick Option B, but I didn't know how ugly that was going to get and I wasn't feeling up to dealing with it. And once you say no you can't take it back!
So I got some Oreos. Three more dollars gone for the day. In the end we only had $3.00 to add to the Bulk Food envelope, not what I was hoping for, but better than nothing. For dinner I re-purposed the collard wrap filling into a dinner bowl and when it wasn't wrapped in greens everybody liked it! Sigh... so they ate, and I didn't have to cook again. Win-win right?
All the bananas were gone in one day. We are more or less out of fresh fruit now. Added some canned sweet potatoes to Hope's meals today. And that's about it. We made it through, but I need a better strategy to make this sustainable!
Up the learning curve we go...