Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dinner and budgets

Tonight Pen did some grocery shopping, so I wanted to make something quick for dinner that would be almost ready by the time he got home.  I decided on sloppy joes and macaroni and cheese.  I use my dad's sloppy joes recipe, which is about as easy as you can get.  Brown a pound of hamburger, then add BBQ sauce (we prefer Sweet Baby Ray's).  Friends of mine have explained their sloppy joes recipes to me, and I can't help but think that our recipe is the easiest one out there (I don't like the crap that comes in a can). 

Pen doesn't like the boxed macaroni and cheese, and I grew up with my mom making mostly homemade, so we've always had that.  In fact, the Piglets won't even eat the boxed stuff if it's offered to them.  We add three hand fulls of elbow macaroni to boiling, salted water, then cook until done.  Drain, then add about a cup of cut up Velveeta, 2 tablespoons of butter, and about a half of cup of milk.  Easy!

I've been working on out budget for the month of October.  It's much easier now that I know how much our monthly bills are!  We came in under budget for groceries and fuel, but we decided to keep those as is for a few months ($400 for groceries, $350 for fuel) and tracking it a little more before making any changes. 

Here I told you that we paid an extra $622 to catch up on bills, but I lied!  I forgot about our cell phone bill that was due today (we paid the bill that was due in August during the first or second week of September).  That brings our total to $715.  I never dreamed that we would get all our bills paid off in one month.  That just shows me how much money we were wasting! 

We've switched most of our bills to electronic bills for two reasons.  The first reason is because it's just better for the environment.  The second reason is because I generally always misplace the bills.  Instead, I've started to keep track of the all our bills and their estimated due dates in a Microsoft Word document.  I've put all our bills in the order they're due, as well as our estimated paychecks (I underestimate our income and overestimate our bills!).  I fill out the projected portion of our budget at the beginning of the month, but it helps to know when bills are due compared with when we get paid.  For this, I've included all our normal bills (mortgage, car payment, insurance, daycare, Internet, utilities, etc), as well as groceries and fuel.  This has shown me where our tighter weeks are, and where we can afford to go a little over budget when needed.

This month we're going to focus on our grocery bill.  As I said above, we've budgeted $400 per month for groceries, and we're trying to break that down to $100 per week.  Pen will go grocery shopping on Wednesday or Thursday nights and buy groceries that we need for the following week.  I make our our menus a month in advance, so the grocery list pretty much writes itself.  We were 98 cents over budget for this week's worth of groceries.  Here's our dinner menu for the week:

Tonight: Sloppy joes, macaroni and cheese
Tomorrow: Pizza and french bread
Saturday: Pork Steaks, yet-to-be-determined-side-dish-but-probably-macaroni-and-cheese
Sunday: Smoked ham, cheese potatoes
Monday: Spaghetti, homemade garlic bread
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Soup & grilled cheese
Thursday: Pork burger sandwiches, chips

Now I'm off to watch Grey's Anatomy.  And probably cry.

No comments:

Post a Comment