First is that it is unhealthy. Serving sizes are huge when you eat out. There is a ton of butter, oil and salt added to so many things that is completely unnecessary. And, cereal for supper? I don't think a heaping bowl of Apple Jacks is considered a well-rounded dinner. I have always made it a priority for the boys to eat well, but now they are really able to eat table food consistently. They are no longer only surviving on black beans, sweet potatoes and homemade baby food! So, if they are going to start eating what Jordan and I eat every night, it's going to have to be something other than cereal and japanese.
Secondly, it is super expensive to eat out or run in the grocery store every other night to grab just a few things and walk out with twelve impulse buys! We try to convince ourselves that it's not expensive. But, when you get right down to it, you can cook a nice meal for $6-7 for a family of four (we'll talk about that in a few minutes :)) or you spend at least $15 to eat (and that's fast food - it's more anywhere else)! And see, I also mentioned family of four. Because we have these two little monsters that inhale food! Seriously, they eat more than I do some meals. They are tiny but I'm telling you, they both have crazy appetites. And, from what I hear, with two boys, it's only going to get worse!
So, I've decided to get serious about having a plan. I have actually kept this going for like three weeks, so that's a good start. The theme of my life lately has been start something, get super pumped about it, and then fall off the bandwagon. But, three weeks is a good start! So, I've started choosing the meals I want to cook at the beginning of the week. Putting all the recipes in the front of my recipe binder, buying the ingredients that I need for those recipes and then choosing each day which one I feel like making. It gives me enough flexibility to stick with it. Also, I found a bunch of new recipes which helps because I'm excited to try something new instead of cooking my same old things. A ton of the recipes have been crockpot meals because I've realized that it may just be the key to my success for the next twenty years. 4:30/5:00 pm is a difficult time. The boys are up from their nap, Jordan may call and say he's going to be a little late, the boys are under my feet as I try to pull something together and I get frustrated and it quickly becomes an equation for a difficult night. So, now I cook supper at 9:30 am. When the boys go down for their morning nap. Then, I don't think anything else of it until 6 pm when it's go time. It's fabulous. I decided maybe I could take it one step further and look into crockpot freezer cooking.
With crockpot freezer cooking you throw all of your ingredients in a gallon ziplock bag (with instructions written on the bag) and freeze. Then, you just dump the contents of the bag into the crockpot and bam, you're done. I found my recipes here and here and convinced my girlfriends that they needed to do it too so that I could actually enjoy the process of making my bags. So, on Tuesday night we got together and went to get our groceries. Then, came back to The Taj and spent a few hours dealing with more raw chicken than we could have ever wanted to in our entire life.
We were able to make all of these meals!
And, get this, the total for my seven meals was $44. So, $6.28 per meal for a family of four. It's awesome.
The only catch?
If the meal isn't good.
We had the first one tonight and it was a total bust. It was the honey rosemary chicken. It will not be making the list for round two. That's for sure!
But, at least we were quick on our feet and found a good backup plan.
How's that for sticking to my plan?