Well, I said I would let you know how my menu/budget went the last time I went grocery shopping. I am happy to report that I spent $143! Only three bucks over budget. So, I have learned a lesson: it’s better to cook awesome meals than crappy meals, because awesome meals cost just as much.

This next two weeks, I am going with the same philosophy and asking myself, “What am I craving?” Also, Aaron’s parents are coming next week for spring break! And so I’m thinking about them as well. My next menu is….

(holy moly, I made this two weeks ago, and it was so good!)

We are going camping at the Grand Canyon, and my momma-in-law is going to be heading up that department, so our menu is pretty small. Check out the links for the recipes!

I hope you have a lovely weekend! I will be deep cleaning my apartment and resting up from my millionth cold since teaching….

Being Suzy Homemaker…again

Okay, remember that one time when I said that I cook the same exact things every single day of the week? Well that grew really old, really fast. Sure, it worked for a time. But now, just thinking of tacos and fried rice makes me want to throw up.

In fact, I knew it was time to start cooking again when last night Aaron and I didn’t even have a real dinner. The thought of homemade pizza was so repulsive, we just ate crackers with Nutella and salt and vinegar chips and went to bed. That is not a lie, guys. It really happened.

So, I sat down to make up our meal plan this morning and for once, I am not repeating one single meal. See, when you live on a budget, and you go grocery shopping, it’s like your meals have to correspond, they have to relate, even if they are just distant cousins. If I buy 5 pounds of potatoes, I will not waste a single potato. If I buy tomatoes, we are eating tomatoes, and you had better like it because that is my paycheck and it is not headed to the landfill!

Here is what I am making for the next two weeks:

Oven Fish ‘n’ Chips
Moroccan Stew with rice
Fried egg sandwich (for when Aaron is at drill)
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan with noodles.  

Aaron is making soup, hobos, and omelets.

As you can see, I went off the deep end, here. This menu couldn’t be further in taste and texture than my go-to meals. I just want to taste again! My normal budget for groceries is $140, so I’m praying that it all works out…I’ll let you know. (I realize that the “hope it all works out” mentality + strict budget are two opposite concepts, so I’ll let you know how that works out, too 😉

Being Suzy Homemaker

I love meal planning. When Aaron and I got engaged, one of the things I looked forward to the most was being able to plan all these glorious meals that I saw on Pinterest. They would be nutritious and beautiful and organic and I would blog about them and show pretty pictures and everybody would ask me for my recipes.

And then reality set in. The reality of working full time and having a gazelle-intense budget and just being tired. And so all my Pinterest-y fantasies got thrown out the window.

I have no doubt that there are some women who are superheroes. They probably work longer than me and harder than me and maybe they get paid less or they have children to feed and they still manage to cook things like beef stew or pork roast or something phenomenal. Plus dessert. But, I am not that woman. Maybe one day, but not today. Or tomorrow. Or probably this year. This is the year where I get my bearings being a real-life teacher and cook the same things each week. This also happens to be the year where I lasso Aaron into the kitchen and force him to cook twice a week (in spite of the anxiety on his face, I think he secretly enjoys it…he really is so wonderful).

And so, out of desperation, tiredness, hatred of my mini-kitchen, and because I can, darn it, I have created the most simple meal plan in the universe. It goes something like this:

Sandwich Sunday

Salad Monday

Taco Tuesday

Pizza Soup & Sandwich Casserole Whatever-Aaron-Wants Wednesday (this is the day that clearly caused the most anxiety 😉

Pizza Thursday

Breakfast Friday

Fried Rice Saturday

Ta da! You can steal it if you want to. Originally, I wanted Fried Rice Friday, but Friday is Aaron’s day to cook and he wants to make breakfast. So fried rice got moved to Saturday.

I know, it’s pretty pathetic. I promise if you ever come over for dinner, I’ll make something really special. I’m just waiting for the day when Aaron tells me enough is enough and demands something that takes more than twenty minutes to make (and to be honest, I really wouldn’t blame him).

Working ladies across the world: what do you do to keep meal times simple, nutritional, and inexpensive, yet super delish? I need your secrets!