There are women out there, amazingly organized women, who have this astonishing capability to cook meals for the whole month in one day. I know it’s possible, don’t be shocked. I’ve tried it when I had one child who was a mere wide eyed infant. The results were amazing and I loved it. The results with homeschooling, working from home and three small children would be quite a different story. Not something I feel like adding to my plate, so full already.
Like everything else, I find my middle ground. Once a month doesn’t work, but I can do a little extra every week. I allow for a slow buildup over time by setting aside a few hours a week to work on one or two ‘convenient ingredients’ or meal type things to have in my freezer. For instance, two weeks ago I cooked three pounds of dry black beans in my crockpot all day. Easy and took hardly any effort. At the end of the day, I divided the beans into 2 cup portions in quart sized freezer bags and labeled them. I had enough for dinner that night, lunch the next day and seven bags.
Why not use canned beans, you say? Well, I’m cheap and somewhat picky. Canned beans have been cooked twice, once to cook and again to process in the can. Much more nutrition is lost. Canned beans are also about $.89 a can, or you can get store brand on sale sometimes for as little as $50. One can, once drained, is about a cup (I think). So I have 17 cups. 17 times $.89 is $15.13. Well, my beans are organic from the Dekalb Farmer’s Market and cost $1.39 a pound. I cooked three pounds. $4.17. Thus for the time it took me to throw some beans in water, turn on the crock pot, and divide them into bags several hours later, I ‘made’ $10.96. That’s my ‘mom wage’.
My ‘Mom Wage’ is something I try to keep in mind when I’m working on saving money. A reminder that what I do to is VALUABLE and that I can ‘earn’ more money by being cheap as…. well, more than I would otherwise. I try to see how high I can get it. It’s a fun challenge but typically it’s around $20-30 an hour. I spent less than half an hour total fiddling with the beans. Pretty good wage for the time I invested, right?
So, every week I’m going to post my ‘Mom Wage’ of the week. Just something I did to EARN a savings. Keep an eye out for it. See it in the list of categories? Click there sometime. I hope it can inspire. Feel free to comment and add your ideas, too!
I’ll also be periodically (translate-when I get a chance to breath) adding recipes that I find simple and helpful. I make so much from scratch. It sound so overwhelming until you really try it. Like making the beans. It was simple. basically foolproof, unless you have a tendency to knock crockpots off the counter. I cna’t really help you out with that one. Things like cream soups to use in recipes. What recipe DOESN’T use cream of something? Did you know it only takes a few minutes to make it yourself for much, MUCH less? You don’t have to be some crazy supermom or Martha Stewart. I’ll tell you how. But not tonight. Tonight I am going to be in bed at a reasonable time. I promise!