Hubby and one of our sons have been at a 52 hour round the clock baseball tournament since Friday night, so other son and I have been hanging out here at the house. Usually I have a vehicle at my disposal, but hubby discovered a nail in his tire, so he has my car. It has been really strange to not have a car. It has made me realize how much I depend on my car.
It feels weird staying home all weekend. Actually, I did get out to go to our dinner groups biweekly dinner out, so I haven't been completely home bound...Mark (other son)went with me to dinner so between the two of us, we spent $40. Not the cheapest dinner by far, but it was good, the portions huge and the leftovers fed us for lunch on Saturday. One good thing about not having a car is the fact that I didn't go out and do any impulse/boredom shopping. Actually, pizza really sounded good for dinner tonight and I almost let my fingers do the walking, but instead Mark and I walked to the video store (I discovered I REALLY need to walk more!) for cheap movies and some video games for them and then came home. I cut up a pork loin that I had picked up at Sam's Club on Friday and fixed dinner at home. The rest of it is roasting in the oven for Tuesday's dinner. I bought a lot of meat at Sam's on Friday and froze some of it already. I have a package of hamburger meat in the fridge that has to be divided up into 1 pound sections before being frozen--that has to be done tonight.
One of the things I discovered Friday is that we just do not have enough freezer space for me to buy in bulk. As a result, we are going to get a chest freezer. Not a big one, just 7-8 cubic feet. I really don't think we would keep one of the really big ones stocked (since there are just 4 of us here at the house) and that makes the freezer have to use more electricity to keep the foods frozen. Every time I go to Sam's there are some really good meat deals. However, our freezer can't handle large purchases so often I have to pass it up. When I am at the local grocery store, they often have really good prices on frozen veggies etc, but again, not enough room to stock up. So I often have to stop by the store to pick up "one or two items"--which never goes successfully. I wish I could say I was one of those people who could come in for one item and leave with only that one item, but that never happens. Quick trips to the store always end up costing at least $50, usually more. A freezer will allow me to go shopping in bulk once and then not have to go to the store until the next planned shopping trip. Luckily the freezer is small enough to fit in the back of my friend's Saturn Vue, so at some point this week or this coming weekend, I will have hubby come along and help us load it into the car.
I am going to have to unearth my freezer cooking books that are in boxes and I ordered 2 more freezer cookbooks from Amazon (32% off retail price plus free shipping for over $25 order) to increase the possible recipe bank I have to chose from. I figure once a month I will have a marathon cooking jag and get entrees prepared. That will allow me to have a planned menu--finally! This will also allow me to have the entree defrosting in the freezer while I go about my day and be able to pop it in the oven at the proper time. I have done a couple sessions at Super Suppers and Simple Suppers before, but I want to do it a little more inexpensively. While I loved going somewhere and preparing the meal and having someone else take care of the cleanup, it is a pretty big bite to the budget, which defeats my goals. One my side bar under "Blogs I adore" are two really good sites : Simple Mom and Small Notebook that talk about meal planning and family budgeting. I'd highly recommend taking a look at both of them for ideas on menu planning.