November Habit #5 Menu Planning – Is My Thing

Dear FlyLady,

Finally! A habit I don’t need to learn! Menu planning is my thing.

I once menu planned for 6 months, and then shopped carefully, and spent 1000.00 that fed my family of 5 for the whole 6 months. My DH had gone back to school to finish his degree and fulfill a life long dream of becoming a teacher.

He had to do 3 months of student teaching, where he would work in the
school all day but did not get paid. We also felt it would be a good idea to have food for an extra 3 months while he searched for a teaching job after he was through with the student teaching thing. We all brown bagged it for lunch everyday, and ate breakfast at home. My kids were aged 16, 5, and 4.

We ate very well for those months. Better than usual. We had steak once a week and filet mignon once a month. We had meat with every meal, and salad from my little garden, for a few months. I made bread in my machine, and made baked goods for desserts and snacks. I even deep fried tortillas cut into triangles, and shook them in a bag with different seasonings to make my own tortilla chips. I had saved a small amount of that thousand dollars we had for food, so that each week I could buy milk, cream, and other things that weren’t freezable, or were to be used fresh like lettuce and things like that.

We didn’t have much fresh veggies or fruits during the cold months, but we did have a large supply of apples, cabbages, turnips, and carrots, in our cellar, that actually lasted till a week before the 6 month. I have always kept a well stocked pantry and freezer. My mother did as well.

We had some hard times when I was a kid, but we were never hungry. My
mother could open the pantry and only have a box of jello, a box of elbow macaroni, and a box of oatmeal and she’d figure out a meal out of it, lol! She made us a meal of elbows, with an undiluted can of tomato soup poured over it, and a can of peas, drained. She put some onion and garlic powder in it, and served it to us kids. She felt very bad about it and apologized but said it was all she had. Well it was delicious and we used to beg her to make it every week.

I made it for my kids and grand kids, and they love it too. Nothing makes me feel more calm, content, and safe, than opening my cupboards or my big freezer and seeing that no matter what life throws at us in the next few months, I know I can feed my family. Add to that a neat and fairly clean house, clean clothes, and the bills up to date, and I am rich beyond measure.

Thanks for helping me get to that point. It feels awesome!

JJH from Goffstown, NH

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