Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is It September Yet?

I have been just waiting for this month to end lately. My patience with August is just about up. Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but I am so ready to just get back to our normal routine.

First of all, I want my kitchen back! I have been trying out different things all summer long in order to incorporate healthier foods and preparations into our meals, as well as to make sure we were eating plenty of the summery meals that we all just love. Because of that, and because of all the fresh produce we have been going through every week, I have also been experimenting with grocery shopping every week. That really is just not working for me.

I've found that with the weekly grocery shopping habit, I don't feel as pushed to make out a strict menu plan and grocery list. And even when I do, I am having a harder time sticking to it. I guess I feel like it's not as important when I know we'll be going back to the store in a few days anyhow. I realize this isn't the right attitude on my part, but I guess I've really gotten into the habit of this monthly shopping thing.

Another part of the problem is kind of ridiculous, even to me, but at least I'm being honest. (Hey, that's gotta count for something, right?) I love having a stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer after a monthly shopping trip. And I love the fact that, two weeks later, it's still stocked. Maybe I just have not been doing the weekly shopping thing right, but I tend to always feel like we don't have any food in the house just because the shelves aren't as full. Back when I consistently shopped once a week, we were eating very differently and I wasn't cooking from scratch as much. So I think the shelves just seemed fuller then because of all the boxes and cans.

So basically, I'm just ready to fall back into my old habits, with a few new, healthier additions thrown in to the mix also. I'm looking forward to spending some time the rest of this month re-examining my master menu plan and updating my master grocery list. I know I also need to reevaluate our monthly budget. It needs to be upped some with the rising prices and with some of the healthier changes we've made, I'm just not sure how much. Our grocery expenses have been all over the map this summer. We have been spending more than normal, but a large amount of that has been on produce expenses that won't be as high in a month or so. And part of it also has to do with my lack of planning. See, that's why September can't come soon enough.

I think the novelty of summer is starting to wear off on the kids too. The more structured our days are, the better they do. I've noticed this especially with Isabelle the last week or so. She's ready to get back into school work.

As I type this out, I'm realizing that my impatience is being counter-productive. I obviously have a lot of planning work to get done these last days of August. I better get to work before it is September and I'm wishing to have August back!


Blessed Mommy 11:02 PM  

I know what you mean. August is a prep and review month for us with our home school---boring! Ready for September 1st. Also, our grocery has been all over the map this summer, I think I am going to the grocery store three times a week, ugh! Enjoy reading your blog.

Michele 11:18 PM  

I love having a stocked pantry, too. It took some time for me to stop thinking "I don't have any food!" when the shelves looked bare. But after awhile, I have been loving all this new-found space in my kitchen! :) The fresh veggies are cramming in my fridge & freezer, instead of in cans, filling my shelves. :)

I do mostly monthly/bi-monthly bulk buys for staples, and then just do weekly Farmer's Market trips for produce. This keeps my pantry stocked, and our meals filled with veggies. :)

I have a basic idea of what types of produce I can expect each month, and if I am surprised by a change in availability, I can make a slight change in the meal plan. (Most Farmer's Markets/Farms will have a list on the website, showing which month each produce item is available, which helps.)

I am really looking forward to fall produce, and cooler weather! :) Squash, yams, apples, pears, cider, hazelnuts, and corn- yum! :) We do have a year-round market, here, though.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store for September!

Amy 10:20 AM  

We do so much better during our "school year routine" even though I don't homeschool and my oldest is just now in kindergarten. I don't know... maybe because we are more "scheduled" because daddy is more "scheduled" when he goes back to teaching and coaching. When I know we have an evening school event to attend (yea, football! coming righ up!) I am so much more productive during the day.

Nancy 4:03 PM  

I've felt unorganized all summer in my kitchen. I know it's been for a lot of the same reasons that you mentioned. Now that the girls are back in school, I'm ready to get back on track too. I did good last week and this week with sticking to a planned menu and I started my menu for the next 2 weeks and a grocery list last night. I'm ready to cook some of our family favorites which will be soon as the weather begins to cool; I'll be thankful when I can turn on the oven w/out making it hot in the house. I've read a couple of cookbooks the past few weeks for some inspiration.

Jennifer 7:53 PM  

Well, when I tried to change my shopping strategy it didn't work for me either. I guess old habits die hard. There is no reason why you can't still shop once a month, but on those runs for milk, grab fresh produce as well. Instead of holding back $5 a week for milk, hold back $10 for milk and produce, or whatever makes sense. That doesn't mean you have to go every week, but if you are going to make a run for milk, might as well grab more produce too. Would that be the best of both worlds?

My grocery budget has been all over the map too. We have had so much company this summer it is ridiculous! I have increased my budget to $250 every 2 weeks to cover company and hopefully more for the stockpile, but I haven't added much to the stockpile and I am still running short on money by the end. And here I was planning on dropping it back to $200 again in September. These rising prices are killing me! Plus my garden is a big flop and I had anticipated a lot of fresh produce out of there. ugh! I do agree though, I can't wait for Sept!

Sonshine 10:05 PM  

I know what you mean! We are going on vacation in a week for 5 days and when we come back I will be starting up school and let me tell you something...I am no where near ready to start! LOL

I like doing a weekly shop because then I can get the deals. But I am finding that when I do bi-monthly shopping it is actually better on the budget and I still have a satisfied thinking of having a full pantry. :)

I am interested as to what your master list is going to look like with your changes. :)

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