This Week In Running A Gym - August 21, 2014

Remember a few months ago, I leaped into the abyss and offered to be fully responsible for my household meals every other week, when I wasn't working the evening shift? Yeah, well that didn't get far before I had to skip a couple turns. There has been a lot of travel for me this summer which has scrambled my schedule. But this week I've been on it and want to update y'all in the hopes that you gain some insight into your own habits from my experience.

My objectives, apart from relieving some of the burden from my wife, are to refine a menu that will be healthy, tasty, easy to make, and economical. The idea was to repeat my menu from last time so as to get good at making those meals. But my brilliant plan was undermined by the fact that we bought a quarter of a cow earlier this summer and have a freezer full of meat. I learned from previous cow-shares that it's better to just eat the good stuff while you have it, otherwise you're sure to waste some. Plus I've had some veggies ripen in the garden that need to be eaten. So rather than stick to the script, I've been making meals based on what's at hand.

For that reason I've been able to get away with only spending about a 120 bucks on groceries this week, although I've made it a point to use up what's already in the fridge so that doesn't account for all food eaten.

I've gone on two shopping trips and should have what I need for the main meals until Sunday. I might need to go again on Saturday if we're low on staples. Monday I went to Duris farms in Puyallup where I got fresh veggies and cukes for pickling, also went to Fred Meyer. Tuesday I went to East Asia Grocery and La Huerta for fresh produce and tortillas & spices respectively.

This second time through, I don't find myself as stressed about the logistics of it all so much. Something that has helped is when I cook, to cook big. Triple what I need for the next meal so that there is enough to last for a couple snacks or another big meal. I'm also prepping everything. If I need half an onion for something, I'll make sure to chop all of it and save the rest for later. I've always done this stuff when I've cooked, as I'm sure most of you readers do too, but the power of it seems particularly apparent right now.

I'm basically just planning for dinner, breakfast staples (which for me, usually means eggs plus whatever I have already prepped) and using left-overs to fill the gaps. Something I found helpful this week was to take a scrap paper and write out the daily dinners with ingredients next to it, which became my shopping list. Later posted it on the fridge so the family could see it and I could remember what I'm doing. Last time I was more seat-of-the-pants, this time there is more forward thinking.

There you go. Nothing revolutionary. If you're a food ninja you might have more sophisticated habits, but the point is to share insights as I go, however rudimentary.

By Morgan on Thursday, August, 21, 2014