Menu planning is a lot harder than it sounds. I mean, even if I cut a recipe in half I still seem to end up with tons of leftovers. With that in mind I plan for L/O (left over) nights. So yesterday I did my weekly menu plan and it looked like this:
Monday: Cauliflower Marranca
Tuesday: Gingered Carrot Soup
Thursday: Pad Thai
Saturday: Tempura Veggies
Sounds great, right?? Well, the problem is this. I still have L/O from LAST week's menu plan. I have at least 2-3 servings of the Provençal soup, and 3-4 of the Transylvania Eggplant casserole (yummy stuff, by the way. I'll post that recipe soon, too. It's nothing like what you'd expect).
My question is this: how the hell are you supposed to plan, plan, plan when you can't begin to guess at what you'll have left over? I'm thinking I'm going to start slashing the recipe amounts into about 1/3 of what they call for - just enough for left overs for me for lunch the next day, maybe an extra dinner. I'm wasting money otherwise and that's the last thing I want to do.
Speaking of money (fucking money!), I went to Wholefoods yesterday to get approximately 30 items for this week's cooking; almost completely fresh produce. I walked out of there with a $165 bill. $165!! WTF!! I know Wholefoods is expensive, don't get me wrong, but I was trying to SAVE money by making a weekly menu (+ baby items like lotion, applesauces, and a gluten-, dairy-free mac'n'cheese -wish me luck on that one). I didn't buy meat, cheese, or booze, which is usually a killer for the budget.
I asked my mom how much money she and Terry spent a week on groceries. She said she had no idea and that it had always been her philosophy, ever since we were little, to not care. She wasn't going to pinch and save on something as basic as food. She wanted quality, period, and there was no wiggle room on that. I kinda feel her on that. I could cut back on other things to save money - like getting my hair professionally colored (I could go back to the box and save $100 every 3 months). I could stop getting pedicures every couple of months and instead parlay my need for some heel lovin' into some quality time with Anthony. I could stop my clothes-buying habit for myself and Hollis and just chill for a while (until we're out of debt).
I'm sick and tired of killing myself with guilt every week I go to the grocery store. I'm not buying crap, after all. I'm buying healthy foods, an occasional snack, and making healthy meals every day. I should give myself a break.
I don't have a clue how these other moms do it for $100/week for families bigger than mine. No. Fucking. Clue.
Back to the menu plan issue. So, because of all the left overs, Anthony and I will be cleaning out the fridge tonight - for dinner, that is. We'll have Transylvania eggplant casserole and salad. Tomorrow I'll pick up the menu plan with the Gingered Carrot Soup and remember to cut the recipe in half, at the very least, and hope I don't end up with a similar situation next week.
What the hell, man. Why is this so difficult??