Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cookin' For Two

I love to cook. I love to bake. I love trying new things in the kitchen. 
The problem is, I don't really follow recipes. 
So if I try to make something again, it never turns out quite the same. 
Sometimes the second time is even better, sometimes... not. 
Brad will say things like "That was SO good! Too bad we'll never eat it again!" 
He's only joking, but it's totally true. I don't measure things. I don't remember which spices I used,
 and if I do, I don't remember how much of each, etc.
So, in an effort to document my kitchen adventures, I am going to post a recipe here each week. 
It will be a bit difficult for me to get those measuring cups and spoons out, and let me warn you... 
these won't be your normal recipes! But it could be a whole lot of fun! 

To start out, I thought I would share how things work out in our kitchen.
 I figure there are a lot of people out there just like me! 
When I first got married, I only knew how to cook for 5 or more people! 
I had no idea how to cook for just two of us, and there isn't a whole lot of help out there for 
how to cook great things for two. Now before you get too excited, I often still cook for 4... 
even with just 2 of us. This is mainly because Brad would much rather take leftovers for lunch 
than a sandwich. For the first couple of weeks, I didn't know that and I would go to get something 
out of the fridge and it would be gone, but all of the lunch meat and bread were still there. 
As soon as I realized that, I just made a bit more for dinner, 
and it actually ended up saving us more money. 

As newly married people, we are definitely on a budget. 
We are both still in school and living on one pretty low paycheck plus a couple of piano lessons. 
So pinching pennies counts. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. 
So what my wonderful momma taught me is even more valuable than I had originally imagined. 
Here's how it works: plan meals for two weeks at a time and only go shopping every other week. 
You will spend less money simple by shopping less frequently. Milk lasts at least two weeks. 
Buy some green fruit so that it's good for the second week. Most veggies will last that long. 
You probably won't be able to have bananas for two full weeks, but hey! 
at least you get them every other week. If you absolutely need something, 
you can run to the store again, but try not to. 
Check on what is on sale that week, and plan your menus accordingly. 
If a staple in your home is on sale, stalk up so that you don't have to buy it when it is more expensive.
Buy at least one or two things that can go into food storage. 
Even though you don't have a ton of extra money, you can slowly stalk your shelves 
and you will be blessed for your obedience. 
Seriously, I am talking just an extra bag of rice or two cans of whatever veggie is on sale.
Grab a gallon or two of water. Whatever you will use and like to eat in an emergency.
Start small. It's okay. It grows!

I keep a calendar of what we will be eating on the fridge. I make note of "extras" that I need to pick up at the store that I might not get off the menu... Brad also writes me cute notes! Lucky girl...

Then, I make my shopping list every 2 weeks
Buy only what's on your list. I can't go to the store when I'm hungry... I buy more. If I stick to my list, we have exactly what we need, and I don't go over budget. Now sure, ever now and then I will notice
a sale that I didn't realize before I went to the store and I will get something extra... but not much.

And then, stick to that menu! Avoid cravings for take-out pizza or laziness in not wanting to cook. 
Plan so that on your busy days, you can stick something in the crock pot or
plan something simple that can be thrown together quickly. 

So, does it work? All I can tell you is my experience. 
I usually spend about $55-$65 on groceries every two weeks. 
There are 14 days x 3 meals/day x 2 people, or 84 meals in two weeks! 
That comes out to 65 to 77 cents a meal! 
Even less when you consider that some of those things are going into food storage. 
You can't eat off of the dollar menu for that little, and you get way better food! 
Now, I understand that we probably could spend less than this.
I'm not a crazy coupon lady.
I use them, but not extensively and I don't buy 10 newspapers to get them.
I don't go to a billion different stores. 
We eat well.
I suppose if we had to, we could eat ramen for 25 cents a day... but we don't. 
So this might not work for you, but for us, it's good.
We like to eat a balanced, relatively healthy diet. 
And we do it on a budget. 
We also don't eat stake and prime rib. We're somewhere in between.
I think that lots of you are in-betweeners too,
and I hope that this little post and our upcoming recipes will help you. 
They are simple, family friendly dishes, and I think that they are things that most people will like. 

And let me tell you, I love making something that Brad really enjoys. 
I love when he asks for something specific ("that one dish... with the chicken... and the corn...?").
I love that he is eating well while going through law school instead of living on Cup-of-Soup.
(Not that there is anything wrong if you are doing that... do what you gotta do!)

I am excited to share some of my "recipes" (even to write them down!) and hope you enjoy them!


6 comments:

  1. Great post, Kailei! I can't wait to try out some of your recipes. Favorite part of the blog, "I can't go to the store when I'm hungry... I buy more." So true!! Let me just add, I can't go to the store when I'm pregnant...I definitely buy more! Haha! Thanks for the tips.
    ~Rhonda~

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    1. Rhonda, you are too cute! I don't have the experience of shopping while pregnant yet, but I will take your word for it!! That will surely be an adventure!

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  3. You made me laugh so hard! Como que no me usa medidor? Como que no anota? Consider this: your 'anotated' receipe book will be a great gift for your daugther / daughter-in-law in the future... Besos, Sister.
    Fernanda Falcón

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    1. Hermana Falcon, Usted tiene razon! Tengo que anotarlos! I'm going to write them down so that I can give them to my family like you say! Gracias Hermana!

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  4. I can't wait until you start posting recipes! I am always looking for yummy food! (We obviously love eating)

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