In January, I typically don't make resolutions, but I do give myself some small challenges to get our household back on track after a season of merry making. It feels really good to cut back, pare down, and get back in a groove. To do that, my goals for January are:
- Buy only secondhand, except for food and household supplies. For anything else, I turn to ebay, thrift stores, craigslist, or barter with friends. Shopping this way requires patience and takes away the instant gratification of buying, which helps me redefine "need". It also is much more exciting to find what I need, after waiting and looking for awhile!
- Declutter 5 items a day. After all the new things that come in to our house during Christmas, I always have a January pare-down. So far, I have tackled the laundry room and fridge. I plan to tackle the medicine cabinet today.
- Spend no more than $65 a week on groceries. Our freezer and pantry are bursting at the seams, which is a wonderful "problem" to have. But even there, I want to have a little margin, so I will be focusing on making meals with items we already have. This week, I spent $59. $29 ($12 of which was for 1/2 of the $25 yearly fee that goes toward farm education, tours, etc. My neighbor and I shared the fee and order together.) at our online Farmer's Market on fresh veggies, bacon, and whipping cream, $20 at Sam's on raw almonds, dried cranberries, and popcorn kernels, and $9 at the grocery store on soap, bananas, and milk.
These are some of the recipes I plan to make over the next week or two, based on foods we already have on hand (with the exception of spring roll wrappers and sausage). At the end of the month, I plan to head to either Savannah or Atlanta to stock up on things I have trouble finding here, such as dried cherries (LOVE Trader Joe's dried cherries, which were #42 of their favorite items in 2010. SO GOOD.), white whole wheat flour, brown rice syrup, raw nuts, etc.
Nut and Seed Granola
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Whole Wheat Waffles
Spring Rolls with Peanut Love Sauce
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
Shrimp skewers with Fried Rice
Corn, Crab, and Potato Soup
Curried Lentil Soup