Tag Archives: food

Home at Last

I’ve spent the last three weeks in Europe (mostly Switzerland), where the food is really expensive.  I’m glad to be home to see Daughter Person and Dad – I actually missed her. I’m also glad that we had food in the freezer – I went to the grocery Sunday morning and only bought fresh stuff, knowing that there was plenty of food in the freezer.

According to the freezer inventory, we have a whole ton of food still left – however, Dad admitted that he wasn’t very good at marking things off when he used them, so we’ve got a bit of a guessing game over the next few months.  I think we can make it through November without having to make a meat run at Costco.  I will probably make a mini run in late November, early December, and make a new (much smaller) batch of meals to last us through the holidays – if I need to.

Our bank account is a little bit lighter until I get paid at the end of the month since I used cash for a lot of things, and I pulled it out at the ATM (from our account).  I get reimbursed for it (including all foreign transaction fees and conversion fees), and I could ask my boss for a check before my paycheck, but it’s not that big of a deal.  Thanks to YNAB, we can float the difference until my paycheck with no problems.  It did mean however, that we won’t be paying as much to debt this month as I would like, but we’ll be making up for it next month thanks to the additional money in my paycheck.

Massive Freezer cooking session planned

I’m planning on being out of town for pretty much most of September and October.  Some of that I’ll be overseas in Switzerland, but some I’ll be in the states.  I’m taking off the week after Labor Day to just chill and plan all of our meals for September and October.  I’ve never actually meal planned more than a week, so this will be entertaining.  I’ll be planning over Labor Day weekend, and shopping at Costco that Tuesday, then cooking Tuesday evening into Wednesday.  Leaving Dad with two months worth of food for him and Daughter Person.  I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be able to enjoy some of the fruits of my labor, but that means I’ll also be cooking things that I wouldn’t normally eat so that Dad has more variety.

I’m looking forward to the challenge, and as soon as I’ve got things planned out, I’ll be posting here to share details.

Warehouse shopping

One way we save money is by warehouse shopping.  We’re Costco members just because it’s close to us.  I would assume you can get just as good prices at Sam’s and BJ’s.  My parents shopped at Sam’s growing up, and Sam’s and Costco seem like the same thing to me. I’ve never been to BJ’s, but since I have a Costco membership (and BJ’s parking lot is horrible), I see no reason to try.  I’m operating on the assumption that it works much like Sam’s and Costco.

Pretty much anything that is shelf stable or can be frozen we buy at Costco (and a few other things too).  We rarely buy fresh veggies/fruits there just because we can’t finish them before they go bad.  We will buy them if we’re entertaining or making up a big batch of something for the freezer though.  We don’t drink bottled water (I drink tap water and Dad has an RO filter system), and we don’t drink sodas, so we generally aren’t buying those either.

The meat at Costco is significantly better than at our local grocery stores.  We can even occasionally buy prime quality meat (try to find that at your local store).  I’ve done the math on our meat (at least), and we end up paying a little bit more for meat at Costco over a sale at the grocery store. (ex: chicken breasts $1.99/lb on sale vs $2.49/lb at Costco)  However, the quality isn’t very comparable, and I can buy meat whenever I want – it doesn’t have to be on sale, and on average, I would guess that we’d make out ahead overall.

One disadvantage to Costco is that we end up stopping at two places – and it’s practically guaranteed that I’ve got perishables in the car after a Costco trip – so we have to make two outings.  It’s really not that bad as our grocery of choice is in the totally opposite direction of Costco, and we’d have to drive past our neighborhood anyway.

We do have an upright freezer to store things in – as well as quite a bit of storage space in our basement in which to keep all of the extra things we get at Costco.  We used to just wrap the meat in freezer bags and put in the freezer “plain”, but we’re trying out putting the marinade in the bag with the meat so that we don’t have to remember to thaw the meat, then marinate for 24 hours.  So far, it’s working, but I’ll save a separate post for that later.

Generally, we spend about $400/every other month on meat at Costco (about 50-70lbs of various meats).  I’m a *huge* meat eater, so we have about 4oz of meat every night, and that goes quickly.  The good thing is that we almost never have an empty freezer, and there’s always *something* to cook.