I am not a planner. I have friends like Lisa Ferguson and Samantha Pealer who plan their schedules out years in advance. Knowing that they have these skills while I remain ferile – unhousebroken – completely failed Home Economics class – and all together Not Domestic: I encourage my friends to spend as much time with my daughters as possible in the hopes that these women will influence my girls.
So it is with trepidation and a great deal of “what were you thinking?!?!?” that I set about to do this Food Stamp Challenge. If I were Lisa I would have it inked in to my calendar “3:27 pm – have wonderful idea to achieve and blog about living on a poverty budget”. But, you and I have been together for 7 years or so now. You know I just thought it up between updates to my Face Book and fighting with the Microsoft Excel table properties for my log at work and made promises without planning. Hence, the urgent planning for August which is just 2 days away.
Step 1 Planning meals for the month. I have weekly meal planners ready and a shopping list attached. The internet has been searched and indexed for previous attempts at this by greater minds than mine – and recipes are at the ready. Fortunately I am doing this with a 2-year-old so lots of fresh fruits and uncooked veggies will be needed and I can avoid cooking. As long as I have items cut up and in separate plates and bowls and containers she is happy to grab what she wants and set it at the dining table to snack on between meals. Also in my favor : Darla doesn’t know about junk food and candy yet. Sadly, I am all too familiar with Limon Potato Chips that are my favorite “stress snacks”. Well, fudge – wait, no fudge either.
Step 2 Coupons! I happen to have a friends copy of the Sunday paper with coupons and Von’s has a “just for u” program, and I have a Costco card and the internet. Tonight match coupons with the shopping lists and enjoy living by a Food 4 Less and Costco.
Step 3 Where are my storage containers. Many of these meals serve 6 to 8 people so there will be left overs. My mom served us left overs for years without a trace of the original meal. I think I can do this for a month.
Step 4 Cook. By the time I get home from the welfare GAIN office every night I am exhausted. The work is not physically tiring – but emotionally I am drained and want to sleep from the moment I sit down. Knowing this about me, I think I will need to cook ahead of time. Sundays will be cooking. Most people reserve Sunday as a day or prayer – well, given my cooking skills we will need lots and lots of prayers :)
Step 5 Photograph, log, blog, eat and share.