Start Where You Are…

start

A dear bestie is establishing a relationship with her father, after a 40+ year estrangement, and she mentioned this quote in reference to figuring out how to cross the bridge.  It stuck in my head, for it seemed applicable to many facets of life.  I have a terrible habit of berating myself for the things I have or haven’t done, and bemoaning the position I currently find myself in.  Not once, in 37 years, has that been helpful.  While I admittedly would like to be able to turn back time {you’re singing Cher now, aren’t you?}, I realize that’s impossible and thus the only solution is to accept life as it is and… Start where I am, use what I have, and do what I can.

My last post here was July 2017, and I’ve been about as bad an example of frugal living as I could be without rendering myself homeless.  Okay, so maybe not quite that bad… but it hasn’t been good!  I’ve definitely spent way too much money on things I had no business buying, especially since much of it was on credit.  I have a hard time even saying that aloud.  {Or typing it for the public to read.}

Without a doubt, my worst crime has been the restaurant food.  For most of the last 6 months or so, the majority of our meals have either been fast food or takeout.  There have been days we’ve had food delivered two times in one day!  I don’t have any sort of excuse to mitigate how bad this is, except to say I love to eat, and I really love it when food just appears without my standing in the kitchen and cooking it.

Obviously living this way is not living in service of my financial goals, unless my financial goal is to put myself in the poor house with delivery food.  I’ve said before on this blog that I love to eat, and how true that is.  Sometimes I tell myself the money we spend on restaurant food is worth it because it makes me so happy, but that’s simply justifying a bad habit.

And so, now it’s time to stop eating with wild abandon and start to make responsible decisions with my money.  Making the decision is, of course, the easy part.  Implementing it is a whole other battle.  I’m determined to make better choices, with food for sure, but with other aspects of life as well.

homemadeWhile there are surely tips for shopping and eating extremely frugally, it all starts with cooking and eating at home.  Simply buying food and cooking it will likely slash our eating expenses in half or more, even without applying other frugal grocery shopping and cooking concepts.  That should alone should be pretty damn motivational!

Not to toot my own horn, but since no one else writes on this blog, I guess I have to. I’m thankful to be able to say I’m a pretty good cook.  I’m not a gourmet chef, but I’m very decent at cooking.  Thankfully I am also pretty good at working with what I have, with or without a recipe.  Because Hubs has foods he won’t touch with a 10 foot pole, and I have one or two myself, I’ve gotten good at making substitutions and tweaking recipes over the years.  Often I don’t use a recipe at all, I just look around the kitchen, see what I have to work with, and create something.  That is definitely a skill that will serve me well when cooking frugally.

My goal is to get back to the status quo we had at one point where we ate every meal at home except for having lunch out the day we go grocery shopping each week.  I know I’d never last at giving up restaurant food altogether, so I feel like this is a fair compromise.  The only catch is having to motivate myself to cook the other 6 days.  I have a friend that says motivation is BS, that you have to just do things whether you want to or not. Pretty sure I’ll be channeling her a lot of days to get dinner on the table.

So we started yesterday, Sunday, with our first day of not having any restaurant food.  The goal is to make it to Thursday or Friday, whichever day we go shopping, without zipping through any drive thrus or ordering any delivery.  It’s going to be a big change from how we’ve been living, but I have faith that we can do it.  Once we can get into a routine of cooking at home, it will get easier.  I just have to remind myself of that and keep pushing.

And with that, I am off to make some breakfast for Hubs and I before we take Ginger to the vet this morning.  Photo of the pupper enjoying the sunshine at the park yesterday included for your enjoyment.

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