My sister maintains that in nearly every relationship there is a Bert and there is an Ernie. The Bert character is the serious, responsible one, while the Ernie persona is fun-loving and playful. I’ll give you two seconds to decide who’s Bert and who’s Ernie in me and Jody’s relationship. ;)
Anyway, at the risk of sounding very anal retentive (a trait I’ve never really been able to hide, but that has lessened a bit since having dogs and a child), I did something very Bert-esque yesterday. I took inventory of my pantry and kitchen cabinets and made a spreadsheet of all of the food items we have and how many of each. See, I told you it was anal retentive. ;oP
In my quest to buy and prepare healthier meals lately, I’ve been spending way too much money on groceries. So I’ve been looking around the kitchen and realizing that, while I like going out to the store each week and getting the ingredients to make healthy meals, we still have a lot of food in the house that’s going uneaten. And it’s not necessarily unhealthy food, but just things that can sit on the shelf a lot longer than fresh ingredients.
It frustrates me that it is often much cheaper to eat the less healthy foods than it is to eat the healthy ones, but I’m hoping that by knowing what I have on-hand I can still make up some pretty decent meals with a combination of boxed/canned goods and fresh foods.
I don’t know how good I’ll be about keeping the spreadsheet up-to-date. In a perfect world I’d have my list on a PDA or something that I could take with me to the store and update as I buy more items or subtract quantities as I use them in the kitchen, but that’s not going to happen so we’ll just see how it goes. I’m not all that concerned about keeping it up to be honest. Now that I have a list of our staples, maybe I will just try to do a quick inventory once a month so I always have a general idea of what’s in the house.
I am pretty confident that I can cut down on our grocery bill now that I’m aware that I’m spending too much and know that we won’t starve if I don’t go to the store with a mega-list every week. And it’s not like I really have much of an option since that money is earmarked for other bills.
Speaking of money, I’m happy to say that we are getting a pretty decent tax refund this year. :) Yay! I’d love to just go off and spend it on things for the house, clothes for all of us, a vacation and other fun stuff, but the plan is to pay down our credit card with a lot of it. We do hope to use some of it for a vacation, possibly to California, this summer. Jody has a convention in LA in August, so we thought it would be fun to make it into a little family trip if we can.
Anyway, all this writing of food and money has made me work up quite an appetite. I think I’ll check my list and see if anything sounds good. ;) J/K. I’ll just go do what I always do – open all the cabinets and stare blankly until something jumps out at me. ;)