As a result of the recent couch purchase, an upcoming Spring Break vacation, and much needed carpet replacement, Maren has tightened her own purse strings. The Cupits are a single income family now and adjusting to that lifestyle again takes a little bit of work. Thankfully the task is assigned to a natural-born budgeter. For proof that money-sense is in fact genetic, consider that many of Maren's memories of her dad portray him sitting at his desk hovering over his calculator, smiling as he finds dollars here and there. The trait has passed on to another generation, too. Little Laurel carries her calculator everywhere, choosing it over a myriad of other toys she could pack away in her purse. Today she presented her mom with her badly broken calculator. It broke in a friendly game of catch with the neighbor... Never fear, Mom will find another one as soon as possible.
So the recent budgeting has been fun. It's been mostly focused around meals. Thanks to a new pressure cooker, a cook book and a few hours of quiet during the day to prepare a meal, it's been relatively easy. Maren has even saved her grocery store receipts to estimate each night's total dinner cost. She proudly presents the total to the family during the meal. On top of this, she gets even more delight in saving leftovers for Brad's lunch. If he takes leftovers instead of his typical frozen meal, she estimates they save enough to pay for a weekly lunch date. These are the joys of a homemaker! One day Maren will put this on her resume when she returns to work in corporate America.
Below are some recent meals we have enjoyed as a family.
Beef and Broccoli (from scratch and delicious enough for Laurel to willingly eat THREE pieces of broccoli)
Chicken Noodle Soup
Bean Soup (gross)
Pulled Pork PoBoys
Shrimp Gumbo (again Laurel ate splendidly)
Chicken Stir Fry with peanut sauce (a.k.a. peanut butter chicken)
ABCs and 123s and turkey sandwiches (no leftovers here!)
Steak and potatoes
Jamabalaya and corn muffins
It's been a fun challenge keeping costs down. It will probably take a few months before the "expense report" reflects the effort. But until then, the Cupits are benefiting from healthy homemade meals and a noticeable absence of chicken nuggets!