The new regime

23 Nov

The hubby and I decided this week that we should have a budget. We tend to spend money like it’s water. Part of the problem is that I just don’t understand the value of the American dollar, having never earned a wage here. The best way to understand any currency is, I think, to have a job you hate, that pays a low wage. Then when you go shopping or out to eat or something, you think “This thing is the equivalent of three hours of work. Do I really need it?” The answer then is undoubtedly “No”. The other part of the problem is the hubby (and I) are not used to supporting more than one person on one wage. So, money trickles through our hands like it’s water.

So, a new regime had to be implemented. Even if the American recession is over. Out came the pen and paper. I made a menu for the week and we went to the supermarket with a list! Something I’m not sure I’ve ever really done. We came out of the supermarket in under an hour! And spent less than $100! Usually we’re there for an hour and a half, buy everything we see and have a little heart attack at the register. This whole list thing, coupled with the weekly menu is a revelation. I don’t have to spend a half an hour standing in front of the fridge, wondering what to make for dinner. It’s all planned. And most things can be changed relatively easy. This week the menu looked like this:

Wednesday lunch: toasted sandwich

dinner: Roast chicken and veg

Thursday lunch: chicken salad sandwich

dinner: gyoza

Friday lunch: at hubby’s work, Thanksgiving party

dinner: chicken curry

Saturday lunch: Thanksgiving party leftovers

dinner: roast pork

Sunday lunch: pork sandwiches

dinner: bolognese

Monday lunch: bolognese

dinner: fish pie

Tuesday – we’re off on holidays. To South Carolina for Thanksgiving.

Except for Friday, when there was a major malfunction in the kitchen and we had to go out, to save me from a meltdown, it all went very well. (What happened? There was confusion over coconut milk and cream of coconut, leading to a sickeningly sweet curry that made me want to cry.)

I’m hoping that we can keep this up. It’s very satisfying. Like a challenge. And I like a challenge. In fact, I think I’m going to challenge myself to some housework by writing out a schedule for it. Not just yet. After my holidays. Have to go and pack. See you next week! (The in-laws only have dial up, and I don’t have the patience for it).

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