It’s hard! Too much work. The food I make doesn’t taste very good. Ugh!
But you know what, I’m saving money and I have to stick to it. I have to learn how to do this if I want to have a little bit more to save every month and not see the fresh produce that I buy go bad. It’s not the most convenient thing to do but if I have to do it to be able to spend less on things that I can have with a cheaper price tag, so be it. I have to be disciplined and stick. to. it!!
So I did. At least for last week, I planned my meals and stuck to most of it. Did I mention it was hard?
But you know what, I learned some hard truths, both good and bad. Mostly, I learned a lot about myself than I ever did ever since I started adulting. Yes, there is a time in my life when I was an adult but never really got serious in adulting, so here’s one hard truth – I was HORRIBLE at saving!!
I remember at one point in my life when my tithes reached RM1000++. You know what that means? I had earned RM10k and I didn’t even realize it!! Boy, do I feel so terrible right now. I had opportunities to save more money and I did. not. save. much. If not any. Well, the best time to turn things around is NOW.
I have decided to make this video a week in advance (than I had originally planned) while I still had some extra ingredients leftover, like cheese, butter, cooking oil, and dishwashing liquid. Yes, dishwashing liquid. You can’t really do much if you have none of those to do your dishes, you know. Sure enough, this week’s groceries was an extra RM60. But that extra RM60 meant being able to stretch cheese and butter for an additional week, and oil and dishwashing liquid a lot longer, hopefully about a month or so, so I didn’t mind. Oh yeah, I also bought a bag of kibble for my cat.
Last week I managed to spend only about RM105. I say that because I realized much later that the cashier had missed scanning a few items. I pre-calculated that I was going to spend about RM125. So I had a pretty bad feeling about my math (I mean, it’s not great but I made sure even the taxes are calculated in so it shouldn’t be THAT bad). When I checked the receipt, she had missed out about 3-5 things. So I guess I was lucky in that sense.
I won’t be so lucky next time, I know.
So anyway, here are some of my ideas when I was planning my meals. I didn’t really stick to it but I made sure I cooked every day. Hard truth number two – not the best idea to go about this. I should have prepared more on my day off like pre-cut the veggies and group them in the same container for meals that have those ingredients. That could have saved me a tonne of time.
- Breakfast cups, 2 for each day
Lettuce wraps (turned into chilli lime chicken salad because wraps was too much work to do at work)
- Tuna salad
- Veggie curry
- Chicken and broccoli stir-fry
Stuffed chicken (instead, just plain ol roasted chicken with sauteed veggies)
Eggplant Rollatini (didn’t happen. made some quiche-inspired thing, see below)
Hard truth number 3 – when listing out the grocery list, I realized I didn’t have to get as many items as I thought I needed. Well, thank God because my fridge is too small and now I don’t have to worry so much about the temperature in my fridge increasing. For example, I find myself needing only 1 cucumber as opposed buying to 2-3 like I used to. I used to always get at least 2 pieces (for lack of better word) of every kind of veggies that I was buying, and then I never really want to eat them. By getting only what I really need, I had no choice but to cook and eat it.
Hard truth number 4 – Eggs have easily become my quickest source of protein. Also cheaper. So in times of dire need (of more cash for other things), my knowledge of many different ways to cook and style an egg will increase. Maybe instead of Meatless Monday, it will become meatless week instead. Because sustaining a week with chicken can be a little too expensive. Had the cashier not missed some items, my grocery bill would’ve been a little too high for my monthly expenses. So, get cracking! (get it?)
Hard truth number 5 – seasoning is important. When trying to cooking 2 meals every day, it’s always easy to miss out on making sure my food taste good. Especially on the last day when I didn’t have time to make eggplant rollatini. I had all the ingredients but not enough cook time because I had to be at work pretty early that day so I just chop, cut, and dump everything in my glass containers, make an egg mixture that had no seasoning, pour it over the layers of veggies that also didn’t have any seasoning, then baked it. It was so horrifyingly bland that I almost felt nauseous trying to finish the second container. It was not yummy and satisfying.
Hard truth number 6 – portion-control is important. Ever since on the keto diet, I still have a hard time trying to get used to smaller portions because I still miss rice, noodles, and pasta a lot. The way to go about this is to eat more to replace the missing carbs. I mean, fat is more expensive so I’m still doing my best to keep up with my diet. But other than that, the smallest portion of food this week was my roasted chicken and sauteed veggies. Boy, was I hungry again 2 hours later.
Hard truth number 7 – stop snacking so much. 2 palms full is enough for the rest of the day. I have to continue reminding myself this otherwise I’m going to depend on it and have my insulin levels spike up unnecessarily.
So I made a little video documenting my eventful time in the kitchen for the last one week. While I had fun learning and coming up with new recipes, I’m just glad that I am able to feed myself and not fall into the temptations of conveniences. That said, I will get better at meal planning and hopefully, the next post about meal planning will be much better.
Otherwise, care to join me laughing at my own downfalls. See you next post!