Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fifteen minutes a day to frugality, and a meal chart

Trent, over at the Simple Dollar, has a post giving you quick solutions that add up to big savings. Each one of them (there are 20 in all) can be done in 15 minutes a day or less. Some aren't everyday tasks, so divide the time investment over a week or month.

Combining #2 (write a grocery list), #6 (make a meal) and #16 (make food for a later date), DW and I made a food chart this weekend. We had had a pretty deplorable week of spending cash on fried food (that honestly stopped tasting good months ago) and decided to get it together this week. We looked what was in the freezer, thought about what would be good and paid attention to what our days looked like: I'll be home late this day, we'll both be home late that day, we'll be going out early that night, etc.

We planned for a week, even what we'd plan to eat at the ballpark last Sunday. The benefits so far have been:
  • We've stuck to the plan (We haven't ordered take out yet)
  • The food is healthier
  • The portions are normal sized
  • Lunches are made (we make four portions, two go right into lunch containers)
  • The cost is far less expensive. Our only splurge has been for quality/choice instead of convenience; $4 fresh salmon steaks vs. $4.29+ turkey burger on a soggy whitebread bun.
  • We've reduced the amount of waste from (over-)packaging.
  • Time saved thinking about what to have has been decreased to roughly 0 seconds.
  • The time saved idling in the supermarket has been decreased.*
  • The time investment for the week-long chart was about 10 minutes.
DW made two meatloaves last night, each of which makes 6 servings. As with tip #16 from Trent's list, one went right into the freezer. In the not to distant future, we have a meatloaf to reheat that only took an extra 15 minutes to make. That right there is the beauty of batch cooking.

Link: Can You Devote Fifteen Minutes A Day To Frugality?

* DW will tell you about the day I walked around Fairway, miserable and hungry, sent to get dinner. An hour later I came home with three boxes of cereal, shampoo and a bottle of lemon juice.


I. M. Bitter said...

lol, I can't tell you how many times I've wandered the isles of Fairway , starving and looking for dinner but unable to make a choice.

Shampoo, cereal, and lemons. That's classic.

On a side note, I walked past the Chirping Chicken yesterday afternoon and thought about you guys.

kitty said...

I love your Fairway anecdote. Oh my.

As always, great stuff. I love the topics you choose to write about. Reminds me how I should plan my lunches.

Hear, hear.