Friday, January 13, 2012

I must be doing it wrong.

We made a slight miscalculation in our budgeting this pay period, so we tried to stock up on enough groceries to last us two weeks last weekend. We didn't want to have to dip into our savings, so we've been eating on the cheap. Everything was going well, except...

I forgot how much this kid eats. We'll have to go shopping again tomorrow.

For lunch I made eggs and toast and turkey sausage. No big deal, but he ate 2 eggs, a piece of toast, three sausage links, and a glass of orange juice. Then he asked for more. I told him to wait for more, and he was grumpy. Half an hour later he stopped playing trains to come back and ask for more food.  I said fine, have a banana.

He did.

I didn't think a 2 year old should be able to hold all that. And that's not an isolated case. No matter what it is, he eats a bunch of it. He's not just asking for seconds on bacon and cupcakes, he'll ask for 3rds and 4ths on carrots now. He ate a (small) entire chicken breast earlier this week. He ate 4 pieces of plain lettuce from my salad when I told him that was the only snack he could have before bed time.

So this afternoon I wrote up a new grocery list. Almost all of it is fresh produce or perishable groceries. How do those people on TV shop only once a month? Do they just not have fresh fruit after the first week? Do they skip on fresh veggies? Do they drink powdered milk?

Even harder to imagine, do they have an extra fridge to hold all of that? Two gallons of milk and a gallon of OJ lasted us only 5 days. How could I fit 6 times that (18 gallon jugs) into my fridge? How could you fit that even into a second fridge?

I frequently see magazine articles touting the benefits of making and freezing a whole month's worth of meals in advance. That sounds like a good idea in theory, but HOW CAN A SANE PERSON DO THAT?

You'd still need snacks on hand. You're not going to want to defrost something every time you get a little hungry before dinner.  And if you forget to set dinner aside, aren't you screwed? And really, who has that many dishes?  Who has the space to freeze that many meals? Do they buy several extra sets of casserole dishes just so they can freeze their 30 dinners and lunches? Who wants to put aside the first of the month to actually make 30 dinners and lunches? I am tired after making 1 day's worth of dinner, much less 30. (Don't even talk to me about freezing bread. It never comes out good unless I plan on eating a bunch of toast or making croutons. And the grainy breads that I like especially don't seem to freeze well.)

I must be doing something wrong, because I can plan for meals and have meats and sauces  and side dishes waiting in the freezer but... I need the produce. I need the milk. I need the bread.

I just can't see any way around that. So tell me, you wise shoppers, what am I doing wrong? Is there any way around having Jared stop for milk & produce on the way home?

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