• Allie and Ryan

    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Budget and Healthy Eating by Faith and Deployments

Lauren from Faith & Deployments was another quick blogger to get back to me! She is an Air Force wife with a fabulous blog. I have to institute this in our household... both for our wallets and our waistlines! Thank you so much for the fabulous entry Lauren (:

I am thrilled to guest blog for Allie and even more thrilled to talk about a lifestyle change my husband and I have been working on for the past 6 months. We are (or rather "were") big eat-outers and we don't (didn't) eat very healthy. Well during the third deployment I knew I needed to cook more and eat out less. One it saves money and two it is way healthier for us. So I started picking recipes (cookbooks, bettycrocker.com, kraftrecipes.com, etc). I figured out how many would last me for 14 meals: I can make 4 recipes and it lasts for for a whole week. I don't eat large portions and I usually only eat two meals a day. And I would only buy the ingrediants for those recipes. My grocery bills each month (clipping coupons included) were about $30 a week. Pretty decent. Well I knew it would go up once the husband returned, but I was determined to stick to the plan and to add in more veggies and eat less pasta and cheese. We're huge pasta and overloads of cheese eaters as well. So about $80 a week feeds up 14-17 recipes for us. We both have lunch the next day and on weekends it's sort of a fend for all. I do have "emergency" downfalls like pizza rolls or stuff to make bagel pizzas. But our emergency meals have gotten less and less and our overall eating fresh and less processed have gotten more and more. Sometimes we splurge and eat out once or twice, but it's a step in money saving and only buying what we need. Also buying week to week ensures that we use things before they expire or rot in the fridge which was a huge problem of ours. I only cook from the recipes I have chosen and if it sucks, I throw the recipe away. If I like it (or rather we like it) I keep the recipe to use later on if I need a space filler that is fast and easy.

An easy way to cook food with tons of left overs....slow cooker. It's my favorite thing. Especially if I have to work late or have meetings after work and only like 20 minutes to scarf down some food. While I am at work, the slow cooker does all the cooking for me. Don't get my wrong, I have made some DISASTERS in the crock pot. But for the most part, recipes are keepers. We've gotten to the point where I can buy two weeks worth of food and use it all and only shop twice a month. Just start small, and build up from there. It also helps that this new way was a norm once my husband returned and he was just so happy to have real food he didn't care what I was cooking. But I let him look over the recipes sometimes for input, but he eats everything so he isn't picky.

Bottom line, it takes time. Don't expect it to be easy the first time around, but now I am a master at 30 minute commissary trips because I buy way less processed things so I hit up the produce, frozen, and like one dry good aisle. I spend way less time trying to think about what we need because I make a list. And nine times out of ten I can build meals off of things we have in our pantry and only buy one thing to finish the meal. I can usually fly through the coupon section of the sunday paper because I know what we use and what we don't. I know which websites have the stuff we buy and the more I shop at the commissary I know which brands they carry so I don't have to throw so many coupons out. It's been great on our wallets and better on our waist lines. Now if we could just stick to regular work outs we would be set!

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