Cleaning out the Kitchen: Day 8

So Day 8 of the Don’t Waste the Crumbs cleaning out the kitchen challenge is supposed to be Make Bread, but the reality is I haven’t found the time and I really really want to keep going on these challenges.

And yes, I’ve read How to make bread and not spend all day doing it. The only time I’ve spent more than 3 hours in the house this month has been to sleep. So I’m going to have to nix this one. I’ll come back to it if things sane out a bit.

I do, however, appreciate a blog that isn’t all “I don’t understand why poor people don’t just make their bread. Gosh, it’s so easy to just put the ingredients in my handy lil’ breadmaker, and dontcha know bread just pops on out!” So thank you, Tiffany, for being a real person who understands that we can’t all dump $200 on a breadmaker. Really, thank you.

So when I got to Sunday and it was time to start thinking about the week ahead, it seemed like the perfect time to skip to Day 9: Plan your meals.

The past two weeks have been a rather unique situation in our household in that we really don’t have a lot extra to spare. With a field trip coming up that’s going to cost $28 for all of us to attend, the $50 left in our bank account after everything was accounted for wasn’t going to go far. So instead of shopping at the store this week, we shopped in the pantry and freezer.

Here’s where we landed after an hour in the kitchen prepping things for this week.

As we went, we made a shopping list of what we’ll need to supplement what we have. Our list: Milk, bread, creamer, an onion, eggs.

This we should be able to handle. Look for the check in at the end of the week and I’ll let you know how well we stuck to it.

As to the meal plan itself, I followed Tiffany’s lead, I filled in what we’ve got happening this week and then planned around it. But due to our schedule, I plan for both lunches and dinners. I keep trying to plan out what we’ll have for breakfast, but honestly, the little one is the only one who consistently eats before school. Here are two ways to meal plan from Don’t Waste the Crumbs

The biggest challenges we face with meal plans revolve around the fact that everyone is on a different schedule. For example:
We sleep in shifts: There are 3 sleep shifts in our house. Bedtime is 8-midnight when the little one goes to bed. I’m still at work and T stays up to get some things done around the house before getting him up to come get me. (We’re down to one car.) Then we all come home and sleep until 7 a.m. and get up to get him off to school. Then T and I go back to bed for another three hours or so (usually).
Work and school don’t line up: As mentioned above, I get up with the little one to make sure he gets breakfast, but I don’t like to eat “in the middle of the night.” We send him off to school with his own lunch and come home to rest some more before we make lunch for T and me. That usually ends up being a double cooking session so that we all have meals for the evening.
Fridays are special: This is the one day a week that I get to pick the little on up from school. Plus, after hes in bed, we have one of our game nights. On Pathfinder nights, we stay at home and make something extra to share with the group. On Werewolf the Apocalypse nights, we go over to a friend’s place. So meals are more simple and compact.
Saturday is market day: This is the only day that we do a big breakfast, but it’s still not one I feel the need to plan. While making breakfast, we throw something portable together to bring to the market with us. And Saturday nights are often an unknown.
Special circumstances. This week, we have a field trip on Wednesday so all of us need a packed lunch and dinner needs to be packed for me before we leave in the morning. But I don’t need

And of course, as soon as I wrote this out, I was informed my schedule is changing at work as of Nov. 3. So we’ll tackle that beast when we come to it.

Day 7 update: Since starting to use Swagbucks less than a week ago, I’ve already earned a $5 Amazon gift card and am well on my way to a second. So, I can officially say that it’s legit and I thoroughly endorse it. That said, one should definitely make up a new email address exclusively for special offers (so your real email doesn’t get spammed). The highest value Swagbucks rewards always come from giving out some personal information so a separate email address for those offers is perfect. I go in every other day and unsubscribe from most of it and keep the things I like (coupons and free samples, mostly). Don’t get sucked in by sweepstakes, though. They really really aren’t worth the amount of time you put in.

This series

Oct. 4 – Clean out the fridge
Oct. 5-6 – Eat the old stuff
Oct. 7 – Create a grocery budget
Oct. 9 – Ditch hydrogenated oils
Oct. 10-12 – Clean out the Freezer
Oct. 13 – Eat a Simple Meal
Oct. 14 – Make money
Oct. 20 – Bake Bread Plan meals for one week
Oct. 30 – Clean out the pantry and cupboards; Create a signature company dish; Use food twice
Oct. 31 – Budget check-in
Nov. 1 – All the rest


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