Friday, August 12, 2011
Now that summer is over and we've both gone back to work, I absolutely have to get back into making my weekly menus. I do so well with them for the majority of the year, and then June and July hit and - POOF - those menus just seem to disappear. And, when they disappear, so does our money.
For instance, last night we decided to go to Panera. We both absolutely love Panera and, while it's technically 'fast food' - it kind of isn't. It's healthier than most fast food for one thing, and we both think it's just far better quality. Of course, that also means that it's more expensive, too. We each got the "You Pick Two" meal; I had a small bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup (outstanding!) and a small fuji apple chicken salad, and Kevin had half of a turkey sandwich and the same kind of small salad as I had. We also each bought a cinnamon crunch bagel for breakfast this morning, and a small container of hazelnut cream cheese. We just had water to drink. Our bill came to $24.11. OUCH! That's for just four meals!! As good as it was, this kind of makes me sick to think about --- so much money for so few meals.
So, this morning I made a meal plan (still in my head, need to write it down when I finish this post!) and went grocery shopping. I bought enough food for the two of us for a minimum of 9 days. I say minimum because some of the things I bought will last longer than that and will be parts of other meals in the future. I thought I'd use the 9 day figure to give a conservative estimate. So - 3 meals a day X 9 days = 27 meals. I used two $10.00 off coupons with my grocery order, so I purchased $107.64 worth of food for $87.64. So ... $87.64 divided by 27 equals just $3.25 per meal! Now that is just a HUGE difference from what we spend when we go out. Kind of sickening, isn't it?
It definitely makes we want to not go out to eat for a while. (Disclaimer: we will go out next Thursday to celebrate our 10 year anniversary, but that will be it for quite some time!)