Growing up.

I am officially a grown up. Despite having three children and being pregnant with number four, despite being married, 30 and owning a business I have only recently become a grown up because I purchased my first Roth IRA AND I actually understood what the financial adviser was talking about! Sure we have other investments, life insurance, etc, but Will always dealt with the planning; this is the first time that I have made my own investment. All of this financial planning has only caused a domino effect in my brain. How much money do I spend every month? And on what? I realized that I need to be on some sort of budget.

My biggest vice would have to be eating out. I spend a ridiculous amount of money on eating out. This should be a once in a while treat, not an everyday occurrence and I probably eat out at least once a day. It’s just so much more convenient to stop at subway on my way home from running errands. Coming home, thinking of something, preparing it, sitting down to eat, then cleaning up after myself is just too much work! Then I saw a picture on pinterest the other night and it was like a light bulb went off in my brain. I could prepare a weeks worth of meals for myself!

Now that the kids are back at school it’s usually just me at home. I wouldn’t have to prepare something that they would eat and then try to figure out what I want to eat because it would already be there, waiting for me. I wanted to start with something simple, I wouldn’t include dinners (for now) only breakfast, lunch and snacks.

I started by getting some Ziploc containers, 10 small square and 5 xsmall rounds. I would only start with five meals to see if I could actually eat five days worth of the same thing. I put instant oatmeal, blueberries and dried cranberries in five containers for breakfast. For lunch I started with a simple romaine and spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. I also baked off 5 chicken breasts that I could cut up and add to each salad. For snacks I boiled a dozen eggs, bought a bunch of bananas and filled each xsmall container with Greek yogurt which I had planned on adding granola to each day.
The results?

I’ve done pretty good, but I must admit eating oatmeal every morning isn’t for me, I’ll have to figure something else out for breakfast. I’ve alternated eating yogurt for breakfast along with bananas and boiled eggs. That seems to be working out. Lunch has been great, I’ve only eaten out for lunch once this week. Will and I were in St. Cloud and we stopped at Fuji Steakhouse to have a bento box lunch (which was amazing!). I’ve been pretty successful with the salads because I’ve been able to add variety with what dressing I use. One day I used a chipotle ranch and added croutons, on another day I used a boiled egg, ranch and some goldfish crackers. I think that I can handle the salads for lunch, maybe next week instead of making 5 chicken breasts I’ll only bake a few and plan on incorporating some beans or tuna for protein. Then again, when Will comes in he has been grabbing a breast out of the fridge and eating it for a quick snack.

Overall I think it’s a great plan for me, it’s easy to just grab something out of the fridge and go with it. I did buy some canned soup as a backup, but I haven’t used them. Oatmeal everyday is a little difficult but I can work on it because I’m saving a lot of money by eating at home. As for eating out, this week I’ve only had one lunch away from home, one dinner (Will and I ate out the other night for a business meeting) and I bought a latte yesterday, which was a nice little pick me up. Getting up at 7am every morning this week has been a challenge too but I’ll save that for another day.


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