Thursday, February 5, 2015

Monthly Experiment Update

January was over before I knew it.  My simplicity experiment for January was to use a regular meal schedule.  It was to go like this:

Monday: Crockpot meat
Tuesday: Pasta
Wednesday: Soup
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Baked potatoes/toppings
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Tuna casserole/Salmon cakes

The idea was that I would not have to invest a ton of time in making a grocery list and shopping.  It hopefully would cut down on the amount of dinner-prep time as well.  So, did it work?  Did it even happen?

Yes and no.

On the yes side, we only bought out one night.  I did make pasta each week, and that was a nice, simple meal.  We had more leftovers than I though, so that covered us for more than one day.  My grocery budget was $50 under budget, and I ended the month with meat in the freezer for future meals.  I also bought a little $18 toaster oven and it has really been put to use!  Baked potatoes turned out great in it.  Soup was the big winner for January, along with a beef roast that lasted a week in various dishes.

On the no side, I did not make pizza from scratch or open one can on tuna or salmon.  We did have some frozen pizzas that were happily ingested.

Final conclusions?  I don't like being tied to a regimented schedule.  I do like planning for a week, especially when I review what we have on hand and try to keep buying to a minimum or what's on sale that week. I like stretching a big hunk of meat through several meals.  I can't wait for winter to be over and fresh produce to be in season locally!  It's good to have one or two "easy" nights during the week;  every night doesn't need to be a major production.  Dave and I are happiest with "bowl food."  This month has also made me curious about things like home canning and homemade pasta.  I'm dreaming of a pantry filled with homemade goodness.

February experiment:
This is a little one for a little month.  I use my iphone as my nightstand clock, but also do a final check of everything and a game or two before bed.  When I wake up it's the same.  I lay in bed for a good 20 minuets, checking facebook, previewing email, and playing something.  I've started keeping my current phone in my purse overnight and am using an old one with no service as my clock.  It's only been two days, but I've been up earlier and had a less hectic morning.  Of course, things are a bit stressful at work, so that may account for the getting up early.  We shall see as the month progresses!

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