Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stocking the pantry and Father's Day Sabotage

I finally got to my pantry shopping. This is significant because I have been writing my list since the beginning of the month as I let things dwindle down. I was out of everything! I like to freshen my ingredients every six months or so. This way I have no nasty surprises such as inactive baking powder or old yeast to foil my baking endeavors. I managed to hit the case lot sales as well and stocked up on some staples such as tomatoes, mushrooms, toilet paper and tuna. Then I hogged the whole bulk aisle for a good half hour as I carefully measured, calculated and poured manageable amounts of dry ingredients into those little baggies. I already have my "canisters" (recycled Folgers plastic coffee containers, they have a great handle and I have several now) at home . I managed to get all that plus some fresh things for the week, like milk, fruit and meat for $135. I am hoping there will be no more grocery spending this month. I thought this was very good and while there is still room to trim in the grocery budget, we are improving over months past, so that's all I can ask for, for now...

When I got home, I unpacked everything and finished fine tuning the menu plan. Then I precooked some chicken breasts and marinated some pork and threw some dry beans in a bowl with water to soak overnight. .
Then I made the pizzas on my new pans for dinner! I had already made the dough and threw it in the freezer earlier in the week, so it was a snap. I wish I'd had a photo, they were gorgeous, but we ate them too fast. I used half the ingredients, and threw the rest in the freezer. Next time I will just have a batch of dough to make. When I think about the money I save over take out and how much better my pizzas are with a little pre-planning, it is truly astounding to me how overpriced take out pizza truly is. I also cooked some potatoes in the microwave and used up some leftover onion and garlic bits for breakfast on Father's Day, Sunday. I made waffles, bacon, eggs and home fries and maple syrup. I don't usually do waffles. I am impatient for the waffle iron to cook, but since it was a special occasion AND I wanted to use my new-to-me mixer, the boys got a treat. As a bonus, the leftover half dozen will be frozen for toaster waffles. I used the rest of the bacon and a bit more maple syrup in my pre-soaked beans and put them Into the Crockpot.
I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Father's Day was a hit, I went slightly over budget on his gift, but still not bad. The menu was planned with that night's dinner marinating and ready to go. Then I went to work for the evening. The boys were off to the public pool, which is only three dollars on weekends.

I was almost smug... this should have been a warning sign.
Never let yourself feel like you are fantastically frugal because that's when disaster strikes...

When I got home late last night, I opened the frig and was horrified. Absolutely horrified. I backed away, slowly, with my hand over my mouth, gasping, "How could he?"

Now, I don't want to be unreasonable, because I am all about elbow room in the budget, but this was just too much for my sensibilities. I was at a loss!
It almost makes me want to give up the whole menu and budget. This is the second fast food splurge in as many weeks. He was "too tired" to cook...

The worst part? There were pre-cooked chicken breasts sitting beside this... this... intruder in my home.

I wish I had more uplifting, inspiring frugal things to say right now but the fact is, I am at a crossroads. I have got to figure out a way to be frugal, but not cheap.
Careful, but not controlling. Flexible, not rigid.
Apparently, having a menu plan is cause for rebellious behaviour!

Am I the Frugal Soup Nazi?
No soup for you!

How do you deal when "someone" in your home doesn't go along with the frugal ways? Please, just give it to me straight. I need to hear the truth. Leave your advice or comment below.


Angela Barton said...

My advice would be to get your husband to get your husband on board, get him to be a partner so you're not the "mother, cop, enforcer" role.

If he agrees that he'd like to save money and be healthier, then work out something he can do. Maybe have 1 or 2 "free" nights, where he's on his own or there are no rules. Or he can have fast food if he chooses. I never made rules for my husband other than "don't bring it into the house" (regarding his McDonald's habit, I couldn't stand the smell) and believe it or not, after a few years he couldn't stand the smell either.

You might even ask your husband if he'd like to cook dinner one night a week, and then let him make anything he wants. I love it when my husband makes pasta or pizza once a week. he gets his "bad" food craving taken care of, he's part of the plan, and I don't mind eating that way once a week. I love pizza and pasta, as long as it's not more often than that!
good luck!

Angela Barton said...

By the way, a comment won't go throught the first time. I had to do it twice. This used to happen to me and I found out it's a blogger kink. You need to go into your blog settings, and change the comments from "under the post" to "pop up window." That should take care of it. Ask a friend to help you test it out.

hiptobeme said...

Great advice Angela. I've decided to back right off, I needed a break anyways, and I went out to see a film tonight. When I got home, he had made fajitas with some leftovers. I think my husband just thinks rules are made to be broken (part of what attracted me to him in the first place!) so, I can't change that. I can only do what feels comfortable for me, and maybe one day he will come around...who knows? It seems like a case of one step forward two steps back. Apparently greasy chicken comes as part of the deal... Also, thanks for the tip on the comments settings!

Jacquelyn said...

Oh, I can sympathize. I've found that when I leave my husband in charge of dinner for whatever reason, it usually involves a trip to the store or take-out, even though we may have plenty of food in the freezer and pantry. His cooking skills are just different than mine, especially since I currently do 99% of the cooking in our household.
I try to give him opportunities to feel like I'm not the 'soup nazi' - sometimes we'll just pick up some fancy steaks for grilling, or go out for a burger (happy hour!) or something. This keeps us all from feeling deprived, since we love eating out and just don't much anymore.

hiptobeme said...

I think he's back on the wagon. We packed snacks to go to the beach today and when I asked if we should buy something else, he said, "Why? we have everyhing we need." He also asked me what we are having for the rest of the week...

The Frugal Engineer said...

One thing my mom used to do that really helped all of us was to post what was for dinner every night on the family calendar, along with the page number and cookbook if it was a recipe that wan't familiar to us (we could all make homemade fajitas from scratch, but needed a little recipe help with things like lentil chicken stew).

That might help him figure out not only what you have planned but how to prepare it, especially if it's clear the main ingredients are already "done".

hiptobeme said...

Good idea, too, thanks. I think I will try again fresh for July. We did not too bad this month!