Sunday, January 27, 2013

Planning for the Week Ahead

I'm starting to see the light at the end of the sickness tunnel. Thanks to +Mark Holmes I can breathe again.  He was a great friend and brought by a bottle of essential oils and some Zombie Shuffle Packs.  The oils have really helped.  Now if my asthma would quit being wonky and this cough would leave.

I'm in a planning phase.  I'm planning the budget for the next month.  I'm looking at what we spent in January to see where we can be still cut spending or what needs to be increased.  I'm planning how we're going to start Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.  The first step is to create an emergency fund of $1000.  Hopefully I can do this with our tax return.  I filed our taxes on Friday.  I think this is the earliest I've ever had them done.  I'm planning meals ahead of time.  I spent this morning making a meal plan for the week before I went grocery shopping.  This will become part of my weekend from here on out.  It helped me with couponing and shopping.  I was able to see what we had, what we needed, and work with it to keep the grocery store spending under $200 today.  I knew today would be a big trip as we needed meat and other staples that have run low.  I'm still looking for couponing advise so if anyone has any, please leave a comment below.

Breakfast for the week:  choice of - eggs, protein shake, smoothie, waffle, sausage biscuit, cereal

Lunch for the week:  choice of - sandwich, salad, soup, leftovers

Dinner for the week:
Sunday - baked chicken, whole wheat pasta, fresh snap peas
Monday - spaghetti and meatballs
Tuesday - ground turkey soft tacos and vegetarian refried beans
Wednesday - red beans, turkey sausage, and brown rice
Thursday - lasagna rolls and salad 
Friday - white chicken chili
Saturday - leftovers

Notice there is no eating out planned.  We are really trying to be better with our food budget and only allow eating out once a week.  I would imagine that Friday or Saturday night we will end up going out, but we will see what happens.  The good thing about having a plan is that it can change.  I'm allowing flexibility with this.  I found some cute meal planning templates that I can use to write out the menu and put it on the fridge.  I plan to get a 8x10 frame and make a wipe off board with the menu plan in the frame and write on the glass with the thin markers.

I'm almost done reading Total Money Makeover and I've learned a lot. I'm trying to be open with Liberty about what I'm learning so she doesn't fall into the bad financial habits we have.  I know it's going to be a long process, just like working out.  We didn't go in debt over night so we can't become debt free over night.  It's going to take a lot of sacrifice and change for the 3 of us.  One way I hope to cut the food budget is having some "meatless" meals.  We may be eating a lot of rice and beans soon, but in 5 years we'll be able to live how we want to live.

I'm still competing in the 52 Week Money Challenge that I blogged about earlier in the month.  Instead of following each week, I've decided to use the sheet like a BINGO card and mark out amounts as I add them to the envelope.  This way I can get some larger amounts knocked out now instead of waiting until the end of the year.  The envelope is hidden and I'm acting like I don't know there's cash in the house.

Now that I'm able to breathe again, I'm hoping to start working out this week.  Two weeks off has been hard. I'll start slow with just yoga and strength a few days. I've still managed to drop a few pounds by watching what I eat.  I am really enjoying MyFitnessPal to help me track food and exercise.

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