As I mentioned a week or two ago, we instituted a new budget at the beginning of the year. My love affair with mint.com has not abated, and I am very pleased to report that we are still being really good. This is a total shock. This is absolutely unheard of in our household. Typically, our budgets last about a week.
One of the areas (not surprisingly) where we realized we were spending/wasting the most money was for food. Grocery shopping, takeout, and restaurants. Not to mention lunch at the office. It was kind of scary. However; in the past, I think our budgets have failed because we have gone the total opposite direction and created budgets that were totally unrealistic. "We'll cut our restaurant spending in half!" "We'll eat beans and rice every night for dinner!" It's just silly. So, we made a budget we could live with, and it is working.
That said, it's not always a total walk in the park. Last night, I had no desire to make dinner, Michael was working late, and we didn't have anything pre-made in the fridge. So, we kept it real, and ate a full-on Trader Joe's meal: chicken tenders, canned corn (theirs is the BEST) and garlic fries. Everyone ate it. Everyone was happy. And we didn't order delivery.
Our other meals this past week:
Sunday: Homemade pizza using Trader Joe's pizza dough (I was going to make Pastitsio, but I was sick, so Michael simplified)
Monday: Macaroni and cheese, peas, and kielbasa (I was at a work dinner, so Michael did his part to keep it real - the kids LOVED THIS DINNER)
Tuesday: This recipe, which took 10 minutes to prepare and was well-received by all. (Again, not what I had originally planned, but because I was sick Sunday, my usual pre-prepping did not happen)
Wednesday: Vegetarian stir fry (made with bok choy and broccoli), topped with peanuts and served over sushi rice
Thursday: The above fanciness
Tonight: Family dinner out at Sun Wah.