Gearing Up & Counting Down....

As of today....Two days left to work! Today and tomorrow are my last two days at work, and that's it!

As of 7:01 p.m. tomorrow night, I'll be starting my new job as a full-time Domestic Diva...and hopefully very soon after that - as a full time stay at home mom to Isaac...(Hurry US Embassy & Korean government---get Isaac's emmigration permission approved, his passport & visa ready! Hurrrrry!!!)

This weekend I had to stock up on a few Tools of the Trade. We visited a nearby outlet mall and hit their Kitchen-gadget store. Here are a few things we purchased, below...some awesome things...and one big DUD which we promptly returned...

A pair of really fab Glam-Gloves...something every Domestic Diva needs to protect her dainty hands:

A Vacu Vin pineapple slicer - What a fab item!!! This is SO fast & easy to use, and doesn't waste a scrap of pineapple!! If you love fresh pineapple -- this is a MUST HAVE for your kitchen. It's awesome:

The Cuisinart Griddler. It has interchangeable plates...it's a panini press, a contact grill, or it opens fully to be an open griddle. This thing is the friggin' Hummer of kitchen grills...it makes the old 'George' look like a beat-up Geo Metro...lol

The biggest Dud:

This wins the "Don't Waste Your Money" award from me!

It's the Progressive International jumbo Potato Cutter. Saw it online first and since they had it at this kitchen store, thought we'd give it a try. It's supposed to cut potatoes, sweet potatoes and other veggies such as carrots and zucchini into french fry shapes. It comes with two sizes of blades/grids. We followed the instructions, inserted the potato, and with firm steady pressure, began trying to push the lever to get the potato through the blades. It was almost impossible to push...and the blades suddenly broke free of the grid and went flying everywhere! When we returned it, the clerk was happy to take it back and sort of mumbled something acknowledging the problems (I think this was not the first return they had!). So from now on, we'll be hand cutting our own potatoes. Oh well....live and learn! Buyers Beware!

I've been browsing quite a few home-organization and kitchen management websites. Been working on learning more tricks for organizing, budgeting, reducing costs, and meal-planning. We've started by really using coupons, going to lower priced stores, following sales...and I'm boycotting Diet Coke right now....The price is too darn high! I've been drinking the off-brand diet soda from Wally world, and it's really good. And HALF the price of name brands.

I am finding that spending time doing some meal planning can really save time & money too! A few of these planning websites suggest talking to your family and picking a plan or routine for your weekly dinners - and then finding & filling in your recipes and shopping for two weeks. We came up with this plan below, to give it a try. We know we can swap nights if we need...but it's helpful, because when I'm planning, I know what types of recipes I need to come up with. Leftovers can become lunches or incorporated into other nights' recipes. There are literally thousands of recipe choices that I can find online to keep it interesting.
  • Mondays- Chicken
  • Tuesdays- Pasta
  • Wednesdays - Beef or Pork
  • Thursdays - CrockPot or Soups
  • Fridays - Fish/Seafood
  • Saturday - Something New or Asian
  • Sunday - Something EASY

Do you follow a weekly or bi-weekly meal plan? If so, what's your plan look like? Any really good tips for big grocery savings? Are you making changes in your buying habits or what products you are choosing because of the higher prices and economic situation? Share your ideas, comments!


Nicole said...

My boyfriend and I don't follow a meal plan because we're just too busy to even sit down and eat together. I do my best to use up left overs before they go bad. I don't have any money saving tips besides going with the off brand, which is usually just as good, as you know with your diet soda. I have been making sacrifices to deal with higher prices like not buying junk food or soda, not going out to eat, and cutting down on the amount of meat we buy. We have 2-3 vegetarian meals a week where we just eat rice and veggies or salads.
Happy Monday!

Ron said...

our meal plan is whatever we can find in the cabinets to put on/put in to whatever we pulled out of the freezer .. then we determine if TJ or I or one of the kids will be doing the cooking (backs deciding) .. if it turns out great (often) we try to make sure we remember how we did it ..

Apple said...

I don't cook very often (especially not often enough to have a plan). Honestly, I can't stand to have a plan or schedule. I just never follow it. I kinda feel like a kid with a schedule, like "ha ha, I don't have to follow it if I don't want to". I know dumb, but that's me. :D

Gudrun from Kitchen Gadget Girl said...

my neighbor down the street has one of those pineapple gadgets and swears by it! Maybe I will need to invest in one :-)

I used to do a complete meal plan, with all the recipes and leftovers built in, when I was working full time. Now that I am working part-time from home, I kind of let things come as they may, whatever I feel like cooking. Of course, there are weeks that I feel like a plan would be a better way to go - do I really need to spend that much time a the supermarket?

Melissa said...

We make a weekly trip to Trader Joe's to supplement our farmshare. We plan out menus and buy only the ingredients needed to make those dishes (plus a few snacky type items for the pregnant lady and soon to be pop). We don't spell out which meals we are going to have on which days, but we know that by the end of the week we will have cooked all the food we bought and not wasted any money. It feels good to be able to stick to a plan. We also always go together to the grocery and we make a game out of guessing the total before we get to the checkout. Most of the time Matthew wins. That man is a human calculator!


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