Project: Food Budget (Week 11) & a gift idea

Another week of zero food organization.  No meal plan.  Only a fuzzy sense of the numbers, but I’m here.  I’m here because taking charge of our food budget and meal planning is important.  It’s important because the less money I spend on food, the more I can slip into savings for unexpected things like unexpected car repairs.  That means less stress!  It’s important because having a menu for the week allows us to eat healthier, and have…guess what…LESS STRESS!  I’m seeing a pattern here.  I’ll write more about my new year’s goals later, but for now let me say that I’m choosing “peace” as my theme for 2012.  Being smart and thoughtful about what we eat and what we spend is part of bringing about the peace that I crave for my family right now.

Here is an estimate of what we spent this week:  Groceries $125; Eating out $20.  Despite not having a firm meal plan this week, I made some yummy things.  We had creamy chicken tacos one night (very much a family favorite), and we had a nice chicken casserole.  I was excited to find a fairly simple casserole that didn’t begin with canned soup.  Everyone enjoyed it.  Success!  The “Eating Out” was well worth the little splurge.  Hubby and I had a breakfast date while the boys were in school.  Charlotte was with us, of course, but she just hangs out.  I have no idea what next week will bring.  We will be with family much of the time.  I’m sure we will do some dining out, and there are always treats at holiday time.  I’m not worrying about the totals for December because it’s been a wacky month, but I’ll be a bugeting queen in January!

Here is the list of my food budget peers, but keep reading below!

The Week 11 Participating Blogs:

On to teacher gifts…

We are a family of teachers.  Hubby is a teacher.  I’m a teacher at heart, if not in practice at the moment.  My sister is a teacher.  My brother-in-law is a teacher.  I have one uncle and one aunt who are teachers.  My cousin is studying to be a teacher.  Another cousin teaches in dear little Catholic school.  I have many teacher friends.  My mom has been a Sunday School teacher forever.  You get the idea.  I have a HUGE respect for educators, and I have a soft spot in my heart for all things school related.  Anyway, I’m always looking for something different, special, and simple to give to teachers at Christmas or the end of the school year.

This year’s homemade ymminess:  Pecan-Molasses Granola.  I found the recipe in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food  magazine, and it seemed like it would make a nice gift in a pretty little jar.  So my three-year-old and I made two batches of the crunchy granola.  This is a very kid-friendly recipe.  Lots of measuring and stirring.

I bought one cup Ball jars.  I’ve been saving Christmas cards for years, always looking for just the right craft opportunity.  I found it!  We traced a circle with the jar’s ring on to a Christmas card.  Cut out the festive circle, and taped it to the jar lid.  We used another rectangle from the card to make a matching gift tag.

J chose a gingerbread house (quite emphatically!) for his Musikgarten teacher.  We had fun making these little gifts for the special teachers in our lives.

2 thoughts on “Project: Food Budget (Week 11) & a gift idea

  1. we’re glad you’re here! really. and sometimes just an awareness around the budget, and what you want to accomplish is the only thing you can do.

    ease your way into planning. maybe pick one or two meals for the week, instead of having the entire thing planned. might help you feel like you are making progress.

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