It's fall, back-to-school and the perfect time to get back on that train.
So, in that spirit...
Goal #1: Start cooking again. I'm not trying to get crazy with it, just get with it enough that we have some kind of dinner every night that comes from my kitchen. This goal has an associated challenge. I put us on a strict food budget (due to calculating how much money we spent on food in the last 30 days...appalling). I determined the budget by trying to figure out how much money we would get in SNAP benefits. Trying to figure that out for Maryland was a no-go. The closest I could determine from other state calculators is we would receive $668. per month. Honestly? I think that's a lot. I dropped us down to $400 per month. While Ryan is doubtful I can do it, I know how to cook, I have access to several grocery stores (financially poor people often don't), I have a stocked pantry and I'm creative.
In terms of actual cooking, I started with dinner last week. Going to add lunch this week. Breakfast the next. Breakfast is hard. Because I'm not a morning person and I get up and leave way to early.
So far, so good on the budget part. I had $32.67 leftover from last week.
I should probably be upfront (for you people who are wondering "Does she think those meals are healthy options?") about the fact I'm not even really thinking about nutrition at this point. I'm rationalizing that with the basic understanding nearly anything I could make is better than any of the take-out options and overly processed shortcuts we've been relying on. I will say I didn't make anything out of a box this week. Actual cooking. :-)
Monday: Corn chowder with a kale salad and fresh pumpernickel bread
Tuesday: Beef and black bean burrito with garden tomatoes and avocado
Wednesday: Salmon patties, rice pilaf (I can successfully hide all kinds of good stuff in there. :-) ) and peas
Thursday: Grilled kielbasa with onions, mushrooms and bell peppers
I decided Friday nights are going to be "breakfast for dinner" nights. The decision came after I took a 4.5 hour nap in the middle of the day (after school) and wasn't feeling like I could be bothered with cooking anything (by then it was 9 at night). I'm pretty brain-dead by the time Friday night rolls up and my kids never complain about breakfast for dinner.