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Budgeting, planning, saving, etc....

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:23 pm
by Miyu
OK...I need help with the economic part of Home Ec.

I work full time...my husband is a stay-at-home dad...this works well for us, but there are some limitations...one of which is meals.

He can cook, but isn't good at planning out a week of meals...I can plan, but don't feel like cooking after work...so we end up buying for convenience and spending way too much money on food

Also, he isn't good with money, so I am the one who handles the finances...I do OK, but not great. I tend to do things spontaneously, and not planned out...that gets us into trouble sometimes...

So....What tips can you all give me to do better...

Re: Budgeting, planning, saving, etc....

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:00 pm
by Ramona
Miyu wrote:I work full time...my husband is a stay-at-home dad...He can cook, but isn't good at planning out a week of meals...I can plan, but don't feel like cooking after work...


Can you plan out a week of meals and then give him the plan and can he then cook what you planned?

I am the one who handles the finances...I do OK, but not great. I tend to do things spontaneously, and not planned out...


My tips:
Plan generally for one year, in a little more detail for 3 months, in great detail for one month.

Make a rule that there is no impulse buying. Stick to it.

In your detailed monthly plan, set aside a certain amount for your personal "allowance." Say $40. Once it's in your purse, it has been "spent" as far as your budget is concerned. It's gone and done with. But in real life it's still in your purse. You can do whatever spontaneous thing you want with it until it's gone. Then you have no "mad money" until next month starts. But as long as you have it, you can save it up or whatever.

Save $3 cash out of every allowance in an untouchable box until you want a large amount for something--like Christmas presents or a summer vacation. You will be surprised what a little loss $3 is, and even more surprised what a big amount you'll save by the time you want it.

I don't do all these things perfectly all the time, but it only takes willpower and commitment and I can do those when I truly want to.

Ramona

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:42 am
by momo3boys
My boys have a savings account and they have to learn how to put money in the bank and balance the account with the bank statment. I'm not so good with meals either so I can't help with that. I hope I helped a little.

Budgeting, Planning, Saving...

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:40 pm
by Regina Hogsten
Begin with small plans and later you can build.
Plan meals for 2 days at a time. The third day is for leftovers and making plans for the next 2 days. And so on.
Always write down the foods you intend to fix, needed supplies, and reminder to thaw meat, if necessary.

Don't let the day get away from you. Next thing, it is five or six o'clock, not a morsel prepared, or even a thought of dinner. I am guilty of trying to fit too much into one day. You're all hungry? How about some cereal? Then I have to come up with a meal with usually nothing thawed. Who wants a pizza?

It works for me to plan tomorrow's meal a day or two ahead. Depending on the dish, prepare it in the morning, refrigerate, and cook in the late afternoon. Make doubles to freeze one. This is a time saver.
Crock pot meals, casseroles, and meats are easy to prepare in the morning or a lunch time. It takes very little prep to roast poultry as long as you will be home during the ninety or so minutes it takes to roast. Roast two at a time.
Try something new once a week or once every two weeks. I'll try something new that turns out to be pretty tasty, but if I don't write it down (which I rarely do) it's lost never to be tasted again. Keep a simple notebook with recipes you like and grocery lists.
I hope this helps. Remember to plan, but keep it simple.

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:24 pm
by FLMom
Here is what I did when I started weight watchers and could never figure out what to make for meals. I offer this because I think it might help in your situation as well.

I stared out with a 3x5 box and index cards. I wrote down every recipe I could find that pertained to WW and sorted them by meal type.
(Dinner, breakfast, quick...) You can just write down all the meals that you, or your husband, normally cook, and then add some more for experimentation.

I would grab a weeks worth of meals, write out my grocery list from the recipe cards, and then place them in the front of the box. This way when it comes time for dinner, you have the stuff to make it and don't have to decide what to make. It also makes shopping a ton easier.


Because I was making WW meals and my family was being tortured with them; I added a comment on the back as to whether my kids/hubby liked it.

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:50 pm
by Regina Hogsten
These are helpful suggestions. I might take the idea of the cards and write out breakfast, lunch meals, and snacks for one of my sons. He is learning about and trying to live a nutritious and fitness lifestyle. This is challenging with so many obstacles (one being rheumatoid arthirits). If I make up the cards with nutrition information, it will be easier for him to make better choices. Any more good ideas?

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:37 pm
by KLynneL
There is a web-site called Savingdinner.com that is ran by a nutritionist. You can download a sample Menu Mailer as she calls them. It gives you 6 recipes for healthy dinners, with ideas for side dishes. It also includes the complete shopping list for all 6 dinners and sides. The service was created for women who want to save money and have healthy meals for their families, but don't have a lot of time or know-how.

Karen

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:16 pm
by Calla_Dragon
I have a grid that I make out. My kids and I shop the same time every week - Friday mornings. I plan out what will be for breakfast, lunch and dinner on each day. I generally follow it pretty closely but I allow myself to switch a meal or two if I feel more like eating tacos rather than chili or something. We only eat meat once a week here too so meals are a LOT faster. I don't have to remember to thaw meat or take the time to cook it before I can continue with dinner. I make my grocery list off that meal plan. Our big problem was me not feeling like making dinner at the end of a long day so we'd go out to eat a lot....too much and it's a killer on the pocketbook. This meal plan and getting rid of most of the meat in our diet has helped tremendously since I know I won't be spending an hour in the kitchen and there's little question about what's for dinner.