Well it seems that I am really getting into food/budgeting/meal planning and thanks to readers spurring me on, in particular Lulu, who has started doing meal planning on her blog, I am enjoying sharing it here on mine. Now you may think I am a bit of a weirdo for this, but I don’t care, ha HA! I just returned from the supermarket. Probably from when I was a teenager/university student, I loved putting fresh fruit and vegetables in my shopping trolley. It was almost as if I felt I was getting healthier just by anticipating all the yummy meals I would cook (not that I could cook very well at that age mind). There was plenty of not so healthy food too, but I’m a great believer in balance. Today was no exception. In fact, my basket (the teeny baskets they give you to shop with here are NOT big enough for my weekly shop, and the bottom layer where you can fit another basket is useless to me because that’s where I put MY basket) was full by the time I left the fruit and vegetable aisle, so everything was all cockled on the top after that. I really wish I’d done the milk and juice aisle first…
So when I got home with my shopping, I remembered this programme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRl080cGDcE&feature=related In it, she always laid out the week’s food on the table that they SHOULD be eating and it always looked like SO much, but oh so yummy. Lots of fresh fruit and green veggies mostly, but a whole table full. So I decided that I would lay ours out just to get a better perspective on quantities, etc. I think I’m a bit of a geek for this, but I also think it has something to do with my style of learning/understanding. I like to see things laid out in front of me to get a better idea of quantity. I think that’s why I like writing a shopping list or working on paper more than on the computer. Anyway, I’m quite surprised at how little there seemed to be. I wonder if we are eating enough? I suppose the flour will add more bulk to the picture, because it’s going to produce lots of bread!
This week’s shopping is rather late. I got lost on time and we had a few things left over, so I made grilled fish and peppers with salad on Saturday for lunch, pasta in a chicken broth and vegetable sauce and then Y cooked fish stir fry for lunch and ate dinner at MIL’s with the children. Then yesterday we went to the hospital again with H. She got an all-clear on all of the tests and was diagnosed with constipation, so although that’s a big weight off, it’s also frustrating that there’s no miracle cure. She was given an enema and some laxatives in case she doesn’t go to the toilet for a few days. I think that contributes to the fruit and veg. focus this week too. I’ve been giving her prune juice, which she hates, but she is so good that she barely complains, and we found if we mix it with ice cubes, water and apple juice, that she quite likes it. So yesterday I had no time for shopping and we had a very crap (but at least enjoyable for the children and I) dinner of rice, egg, french beans and salad. Y was a bit put out, but I’m sure he’ll survive.
This week’s plan is as follows:
Tuesday – Tofu and Steak stir fry with mixed vegetables
this is a common one in our house, as it’s so easy and contains a lot of veg. I usually do it without the steak, but it was on special today so I will add about 50 grammes of it
Wednesday – Chicken Pasta Bake with focaccia
Thursday – Chicken Satay with rice and salad
Friday – Home-made Pizza and salad
Saturday – lunch – Paysanne pasta with chicken
– dinner – Curry with steak and home made naan
Sunday – lunch – B.L.T. and fruit salad
– dinner – Grilled mackerel with soy beans and rice
Monday – Spanish omelette and home-made honey wholewheat bread
This week’s shopping came to 5,555 yen. It included all the above ingredients plus fruit and juice. Today there was no brocolli on the shelves. I think it’s coming to the end of the season, which is a real pain because it’s the only vegetable that L will eat very happily. So I bought frozen, which doesn’t taste the same. I’m usually a fan of frozen vegetables, because they are frozen early and can be nicer than fresh, but this brocolli is a bit weird tasting to me. The children don’t seem to notice though, so that’s a plus. I didn’t buy and frozen bento goods for Y this week because I’m hoping to cook and freeze for him instead. I realise what a waste of money the frozen stuff is, and only really matters if you want tons of variety. Y doesn’t mind eating the same stuff, so I think I’ll be ok if I just cook three or four dishes (mains and side veg.) and seperate them into little tupperware pots in the freezer. I bought peppers today, even though the red one was 198 yen, but the orange was 98. They are for the satay, so I’ll have to ensure that I don’t start munching on them beforehand! I also bought butterbur today, which I have eaten, but never cooked. I’m planning on putting it in the tofu stir fry and also making some bento stuff for Y with it. We already had some things in, sauces, milk, eggs, so as I said before, it’s not a true representation of a typical week, but I’m hoping to be posting on this every week and we’ll see how a month’s plan goes. I count our months from pay period to pay period in terms of the budget. Y gets paid on 21st, so that’s when the budgeting begins.
Ok, so remember I said that Y was taking over the budget? Well when I handed him the bank books on pay day, he was a bit confused. We had a miscommunication..again..or I should say that we are STILL having a miscommunication, because I don’t really know what the hell he wants. He said he wants to know what we spend the money on. He also said that he will work out the big things like the car check-ups and other things and divide them into months so we can pay for them little by little instead of all at once. He’s also going to look into getting cheaper internet service and phone plan for him (I’m already on the cheapest one). I’m fine with that. I find it hard to get my head around it. But has he done it? No. I said to him, “you want it to be organised, but you don’t want to be bothered doing the organising” jokingly, and we had a giggle about it. I suppose I’ll just keep at it and one day he’ll do it. He doesn’t think that we need to be budgeting the food, because it’s a necessity. Well of course it is, but there is so much to be saved when you are smart about it. If he buys things that we already have, I tell him that’s a waste, but then he says, “no, it’s ok. I’ll eat it.” He doesn’t seem to understand that that’s not really the point. When I said waste, I meant a waste of money. Not sure if I mentioned it, but he often says that he likes cheap food, so will buy himself a “snack” from time to time, which is what I would consider an extra meal. Then he’ll say, it was only 300 yen, etc. He doesn’t seem to understand that 300 yen can provide a whole meal for our family, and he is spending it on food for just him. Anyway, I am not having a bitch about my husband, but just explaining the different thought processes. I’m also trying to talk to him more about the budget, just to keep him in the loop. I’m not sure if he’s bothered, but I’m sure he’ll tell me to shut up when he’s no longer interested.
What’s on your menu this week..?