Yesterday was a BUSY day for us. Unusually busy. Like, we’re rarely that busy.
- I had to go out of town (40 min drive) to get some blood labs done.
- I had to nurse the baby before we left for home. So while I fed the baby, and since we had gorgeous weather (high 60’s in mid Nov!), the kids got their wiggles out at this super cool park:
- Ran into Aldi to get some pecans for a Thanksgiving recipe.
- Rushed home to meet my husband. We had to take our son to the Children’s Hospital for an outpatient appointment. He had an accident/head injury in October and needs to have a couple check-ups.
- And the long drive home through a crazy thunderstorm.
Basically, we were in the car all.day.long.
It would have been SO EASY to buy food and snacks for everyone while we were out.
But, with proper planning, we didn’t spend a dime on food while we were out.
What we did yesterday:
- Ate breakfast at home before leaving to get my labs taken.
- Packed several canteens of water and water bottles for everyone for our AM outing.
- During that quick stop at home for lunch, we:
1) packed several non-messy food items for lunch & snacks: peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly), deli ham, swiss cheese, peanuts, raisins, chips, protein bars, and apples.
2) Literally threw in the crockpot a fryer chicken, some water, and some herbs/spices.
3) Got the rice cooker going (it automatically turns off when done).
4) Refilled canteens and water bottles.
5) Hubby and I grabbed a pop each, just for us.
We had plenty of food and drinks for the car ride. And when we came home from the hospital, dinner was 80% ready. I simply threw some frozen veggies on the stove, and voila, dinner was served in a jiffy.
I’m not gonna lie, that quick trip home at lunchtime was a tad crazy. But I assigned everyone with a job and we were able to get stuff done in an organized, very fast fashion.
When I menu-planned for this week, I took into account this crazy day. I knew we were going to be gone most of the day. So I specifically made sure we had quick and easy food items on hand so we could just GO.
I had the fryer chicken previously thawed and waiting in the fridge, because I looked ahead at Friday’s activities the day prior.
With proper planning, trips out do NOT need to be costly.
Sure, it would have been EASY to run through McDonald’s and buy food for everyone. But I’m telling you, with a family of 9 (well, 8, because the baby is nursing), we could easily spend $40-$50 at McDonald’s. Convenience has a price.
But with proper planning, looking ahead, and some prep work, you can save money by not eating out on those super busy days. Especially if you KNOW those super busy days are coming.
Sometimes the unexpected occurs and you can’t plan ahead and you do have to eat out. I get that.
But if you know, just be prepared. Save yourself a wad of cash. $$$