Tuesday, April 3, 2012


So, we are all better at the House of Babe, but I haven't been keeping up with any sort of schedule, meal or otherwise. No joke, this week's menu had "leftovers" in four different day slots :) I'm trying to finish out our freezer stash, which we started 8 or 9 weeks ago as an experiment, which by the way, I mark down as failed. Here is why:

We decided at the end of Jan/beginning of Feb to blow through approx a month of grocery budget in a day and stock our freezer with meat and pantry with sale items. Wegman's had the best prices on meat, so we went with them. The premise was if our freezer was stocked with meat, and our pantry stocked with dry goods, then supposedly we should only need to supplement with fresh produce, milk, eggs, and cheese every week, keeping our budget waaaay down. I don't know how, but every single week, with the exception of one week, we blew the budget. Without fail. We didn't buy anything different, fancy, foreign, just the normal stuff to fill out a week's worth of meals. So, buying in bulk did not save us money. It cost us normal money, and extra money, and I can't figure any reason for it except we like to eat and I am really bad with money.

So, it's back to the sale papers and weekly shopping. Here's another grocery conundrum, since I know you're on the edge of your seat; when working, I tried to keep our grocery budget at $50/week for our family of three. Since I was working nights, we only made dinner 3 or 4 nights a week, and Deej fended for himself the rest of the week. Baby was eating grilled cheese or oatmeal, so no budget busting there. Now that I don't work, and the toddler eats a lot more, we need more meals at home, and we can't do 21 meals plus snacks on $50 and still eat healthily. The conundrum is I'm not willing to compromise on health and food safety, so I buy my milk, eggs, baby snacks, and produce at Trader Joe's because everything in their store is non GMO. Call me silly, but I don't want animal DNA in my apples. I buy our meat and other staples at Shoprite, because their prices are good, I like their savings club, and it's clean and I grew up with it and will always think it's the best place on earth. No lie, when we used to go south for a conference every year, I called all the Food Lion's "Shoprite." If its a grocery store, it's a Shoprite. Anyway, the conundrum. It is exponentially cheaper to buy processed "foods" but it also is not always real food and I really think America's health problems are environmental and diet based. So, I don't want to compromise there either. I bake my own bread about 50% of the time, and make most of our meals from scratch. I think the long term health benefits of not eating a highly processed/non food diet out weigh the short term wallet squeeze...But we still need to be in the black at the end of the month. Choices, choices.

I love not working and being home with our critter, and I would not go back unless I was physically forced to, or Deej wanted me to.  Thankfully, Deej LOVES that I'm not working, and can feel a palpable difference in our home atmosphere, and the meals ready when he comes home from work don't hurt either. But I still want to contribute to the family income in some way. It just seems right. I'm going to try selling aprons on an Etsy, since vintage is back and they really are a great help with cleaning and cooking. Our grocery budget will also be a little looser June-September since we joined a local CSA, and I'm growing produce out front. All this to say...there's no super simple easy way to run a house. There's choices and consequences, checks and balances, faith steps and risks, successes and failures. I really do enjoy learning it as I go along though :) We are very blessed.

Time to put the peanut head to bed. What are you guys cooking this week?


  1. Not cooking. Sewing and emptying my freezer. Thinking about the desserts you're making for Easter:-)

  2. Ditto here, ditto lol. I was just thinking this morning "uh oh...desserts." Tell the truth now, did you like Korban's birthday cake? Do you think the fam would like it? If not, I'll think of something different. Be honest!

  3. You SERIOUSLY inspire me to make a weekly dinner menu. And to have my husbands dinner on the table when he gets home. Then I remember that 98% of my time at home is unpredictable, and by the time my hubby gets home, I might be called out to a meeting or something. But maybe I can pick up things for three meals each week and just fit them in where I can? And PS....do you think if I buy one of your aprons it will put a fire under my butt to start getting all June Cleaver up in my house? Because I am going to buy one and that would at least be a nice perk.

  4. LOL Laur I am not kidding, it does make me want to clean more. If I am in sweats all day I am on the couch all day. If I dress with an apron, I am cleaning something! I have to write a post on weekly dinner menus, it really does help so much. Sometimes stuff changes so we just edit mid week, but it's a big help. Start small! Three meals a week is great, even one planned family meal is great! It doesn't need to be big or fancy, I think it just means something to our families that we put in the effort. Even if the effort is setting the table for delivery pizza :)

  5. We should talk some more about this. I feel like buying in bulk has its place. i do a once a month BJ's run and get some things and then I do Trader Joe's and Acme(it is my Shop Rite). I'm a super good shopper and you've got a better grasp on the meal planning thing so maybe our heads together could get both of our families eating for $50. a week!

  6. Jess that would be a really good idea. I think bulk shopping in itself definitely has it's place, and is a good thing - I am just bad at it and need more self control lol. I've wanted to get a deep freezer forever and split a cow with someone, no joke. I have a BJ's membership through my ma and I always forget about it when I need to stock up on TP and paper towels, etc.