BIG PROBLEM: We've been having a decent dinner only 1 or 2 nights a week. The rest of the week we are ala carte. The kitchen is a wreck and I have no room to work..
BIG PROBLEM: I'm grocery shopping 3-5 nights a week.
BIG PROBLEM: I don't have a grocery budget currently, but if I did... It wouldn't be nearly as big as the spending has been over the last 3 months. This needs to be halved... minimally and immediately.
As part of "FOCUS" more organization is needed in my life. This organization should carry over to helping out with Finances...
FOCUS ON HOME ORGANIZATION
I've started organizing the house. I have a pile of stuff to garage sale and I've been going through a drawer, a shelf, a cupboard over the last couple of weeks and the stuff is looking better in areas. This is ongoing and I'm making continuous progress... and the best news? Lately, you can tell, that this has been happening. There is a difference, small right now, but a noticeable difference. The kitchen is looking better, too.
FOCUS ON FINANCES
Good News!!! We HAVE a budget again. I think I'm beginning to crawl out of my pit of denial.
I think Bountiful Baskets is going to help me out on a couple of levels. Less trips to the grocery store trying to stay stocked up on good clean healthy eats which means less opportunities to throw a little something extra into the cart. which means SAVINGS at the grocery store in addition to the SAVINGS I get just buying my produce from the CoOp.
FOCUS ON PLANNING
Something I've decided to give a try is BIG OVEN. This program organizes recipes, (you can even import a recipe from a website), let's you set up meal plans with those recipes, and generates shopping lists based on your meal plan and what you say you have on hand when you are creating your shopping list. It also helps you organize your nutrition information for the recipe... a very very nice and necessary feature. Set-up of this is going to be pretty labor intensive to get the recipes I want organized into the program, but there's a lot of stuff already there, so I can use some of their recipes. Click here for a review ABC did of the program.
After using it for a few days I've ran into another BIG PROBLEM: BigOven does not do the dishes or clean the kitchen, so I have had to pull away from learning / customizing the program to take care of these chores. I'm still dealing with a learning curve, so BigOven is not a "tool" at this point... more of a "project" (like I needed another one of those. ;)
How It's Worked So Far:
I've done two shopping lists from it, or the equivalent 6 recipes... put together a couple of loose meal plans for and generated a shopping list... and took it to the store. While there I saw some "other items" that would be good to make something with, and put it in my cart. Then I took it OUT of my cart saying that once I got it on a "meal plan", I would come back and purchase it later. I had items needed to cook actual meals, I got to cook actual meals and I've had fun doing it. The planning time really pays off. When I make sure to find planning time. I'm still learning, so I'm a bit slow... but this all takes time and if I had more of that... I'd be screaming on this already. So I expect to see real benefits after I've had it awhile.