Skip to main content

Waste Not Wednesday - Lunch At Home

When you are living on a budget, wasting should not be in your vocabulary! There are many areas of a budget where the "dollars" are wasted, and by doing a budget, you will be able to detect your own personal weaknesses in certain areas. We use Quicken to set our budget and can see the areas where we tend to be "always over budget." By the way you guys.... Quicken is an AWESOME way to keep track of your budget. It's easy, informative, definitely not that expensive and gives you good solid insight into your personal finances. I highly recommend it!

For us, our over budget area tends to be food and that is embarrassing to say considering all the food we buy. More specifically it is our "Dining Out" dollars. We have our regular Date Night dinners out and then there are the lunches. Before my husband retired, I didn't eat out for lunch very much. Maybe once or twice a week. And then we'd go together on the weekends and treat ourselves to lunch. Having him home has been a different story. I don't mind making a sandwich or eating leftovers, but he is still adjusting to the idea of eating the majority of our lunches at home every day. So we are finding ways to trim that lunchtime budget.

Today its mini pizzas and I'm going to see if I can decorate up the plate a bit so he feels like it just came out of a Pizzaria! I bought 6 little mini pizzas the other day at Smart & Final for $7.99, that comes out to $1.32 per pizza or $2.64 for the two of us. I'm going to make up some lightly sweetened tea to go with it and that is going to save us BIG TIME for lunch. If I had chosen to make those pizzas from scratch and freeze them it would have been even more economical!

Later this week, I'm going to make a pot of soup using up the leftovers in our fridge. This week is going to be homemade chicken noodle using some grilled chicken tenders, onions, celery, carrots herbs and spices and some homemade noodles. YUMMY! We can use it for lunch or pair it with sandwiches for a soup and sandwich night.

When we go out to lunch we generally spend between $10 and $15, sometimes up to $20! And, we were going out for lunch more days than we stayed home so you can imagine how much we were spending a month. My plan is to cut that down and go out maybe twice for lunch and once for dinner a week and see how the budget changes.

So... Here are our new dining out goals

  1. Plan for lunches in your grocery shopping plan so you have something for each day
  2. Make lunch fun and as much like going out as possible
  3. You could even do a "destination" lunch picnic on a beautiful day
  4. Don't cut "dining out" out of your budget, just try to do better
  5. Set an adequate budgeted dollar amount and then don't go over it. When the money is spent, its lunches at home for the rest of the week. 
Hope you are having a glorious week!



Popular posts from this blog

Baby Shower Busy-ness

Ok, you probably thought I fell off the face of the earth right? Nope, there is just alot happening around here. The next event is Beckie's Baby Shower this Sunday. Decided to make my very first Diaper Cake and these are just a few of the pictures.

The first thing I did was watch about 20 YouTube videos describing how to do it. Then I bought my supplies and put it together roughly first then more refined about a day later. This is a close up of the baby sock roses with mitten leaves. Yes, that video DOES exist!

Next is a close up of wrist rattles and a little caterpiller radio that makes soothing sounds for baby. Background ribbon is from WalMart and the blanket set is from the Jungle Adventure Collection at K-mart.

The topper for our "Jungle" themed cake is a Silver Back Ganz Gorilla.

These little links slipped easily over the ribbon and added a little extra bling to the sides of the cake.

Each layer consists of diapers along with extras like washcloths, burp pads and Ones…

Hey Retirement! Don't take OUR Date Night Away!!

"Wait! Did we budget for Date Night??"

Wednesday night is Date Night at our house. It's been that way for a LONG time! And we didn't want retirement to do away with our weekly fun. So today, I'm going to cover some good ways to keep that fun coming and be able to pay for it with slightly reduced funds.
Put some money in the budget. Analyze what you can afford and how many times you will be going out during the month. If you get paid twice a month, budget for two date nights. If you get paid weekly, you only need to budget it in for the week. For us, we are getting paid once a month so we will budget for 4 to 5 nights out. We set aside about $20 to $25 per week for date nightRemember, it's about spending time together not how fancy the dining is. You can make a picnic one week and then spend double the following week at a nice place. You can make dinner at home and go to see a play or movie. In our case we could go to the beach with some hot dogs, potato chips a…

Sourdough Bread

A few of you have been asking about the recipe for Sourdough Bread that I use and I figured this would be the easiest way to give it out. This recipe makes 2 loaves.

260 g. of actively fed sourdough starter (about 1 cup)
460 g. water (about 2 cups)
90   g. Canned milk or milk that has been scalded and cooled. Can use water or plant milk instead (About 6 Tbsp)

20 g. Kosher Salt (1/8 cup)
900 g. flour (all purpose or white bread flour, don't use whole grain, to heavy to rise well) 7 1/2 Cups

Mix the starter, water, milk (or the substitute) together thoroughly. Then add in the salt and flour.
Put the dough in a covered container and let it ferment at room temperature.
After 2 hours fold the dough. How To Fold The Dough
After an additional 2 hours, fold the dough again.
When the dough is is finished fermenting (after a total of 5-6 hours - when dough is bubbly, soft and will pull a windowpane) divide dough into two pieces around 855 g. each.
Do a first shaping of the dough and let r…