As I continue my painful, knee-scraping tumble down my path of chaos, I’ve realized that we need to buckle down on our budget. Our move sucked us dry due to the lack of warning and any move into a new place will cost us as well (U-haul, utility deposits, possible bribery), and I’d prefer to keep from having to borrow money from the family who has already over-extended themselves to help us out.
Step one to buckling down on a budget is to decide where I can cut corners on meals. Since this isn’t an area I can simply cut out, I find it’s best to start here and see how much of the finances are left after. Don’t worry, I’m still doing what I can to keep them healthy and frequent enough. I realize these meals aren’t balanced, but this meal plan is more of a temporary band-aid for our financial issues.
Between my hypoglycemia and my pernicious anemia, it’s best for me to eat on a regular schedule that consists of several small meals throughout the day. I try and pair this with a water schedule in which I set not-annoying-at-all alarms on my phone, which go off every couple of hours for twelve hours. Keep your personal health needs in mind when creating a meal plan and tailor it to your own tastes and budget. Also, it’s typically a good call not to put yourself in a situation where you’re eating the same food everyday.
The silver lining of a rather cloudy situation is that while we’re staying at the in-laws, my husband is spending most nights at a friend’s house in order to save some money on his commute. During that debacle, he won’t be here to need groceries — instead he’ll simply mooch off them for a change.
So, let me explain this plan a little. First off, I kept dinner rather fluid. While we’re staying with the father-in-law, occasionally dinner is brought home or cooked for the whole family and that gives us an amazing opportunity for some variety in our meals as well as save us a bit of money when buying our own groceries. Also, although most of this appears to be plain, low protein, and a bit repetitive, I swear it’s not as monotonous as it looks. The oatmeal, salad, and yogurt can all be topped with a variety of things to switch up the flavors. From fruits to veggies to berries to nut butters, most meals could be created rather diverse. Oh, and by “cold oatmeal”, I’m actually referring to overnight oats.
Furthermore, I feel it is important to note that the flavor packets in Ramen aren’t the most healthy of choices. I tend to leave them out (my husband uses them for flavoring other dishes, the unhealthy fiend) and toss in soy sauce, vegetables, chicken, or even a hard boiled egg.
The best part about this meal plan is I was able to buy two weeks of food — I could even stretch it to more, if necessary — for less than $90. Yes, you read that right. I was even pleasantly surprised after the cashier rang me up.
Here’s what I bought:
I found this list to be the best way to get a large variety of meals from a small amount of food. Once again, I urge anyone reading this for suggestions to tailor this to your own needs and tastes.
And always eat your fruits and veggies.