Saturday, July 7, 2012

What Hat are You Wearing Today?

Who knew when we were little that we would grow up to be a CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CFO (Chief Financial Officer), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Financial Analyst, Manager, Chauffeur, Inventory Control Officer, or an Officer of Waste Management?  Maybe not of a large corporation but in one fashion or another, we are all of these titles in our own homes.  We wear so many hats at any given time.  Sometimes it's amazing that anything gets done.  However, when we start at home, we are able to make a larger impact in our community affecting leaders of great companies.

We vote with our wallets.  We talk about the high cost of gasoline and yet we have smart phones with outrageous phone bills each month.  We talk about the price of groceries and yet we eat out in restaurants or waste the food that we do bring home.

Do we really need to have “up-to-the-minute” information all day?  My husband and I found ourselves (not just once) in a nice restaurant or even a fast-food joint and not even enjoying each others company, our surroundings, or the food because we were both on our phones reading emails, text messaging, checking the internet, basically talking to everyone else.  When was the last time you were out in public and noticed this exact behavior by those around you?

We may not have wasted food that evening but we did waste precious time together.

Relationships require a lot of work, patience, and love.  They are not that different from a beautiful rose garden.  It’s hard work cooking balanced meals that everyone in the house will enjoy.  Sometimes we have picky eaters and it just seems so much easier to eat out.  So, we eat out and last week’s groceries get thrown out.  Now we feel guilty.


Put that heavy guilt aside and move forward.

Start with going through and completely inventorying your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.
  • Donate non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food that you know you and your family will not eat to local food banks, soup kitchens, shelters, etc.
  •  Freeze some of the food you currently have on hand if you know they will go bad before you’re able to eat them.
Now that you know what you have, think about the next few days and what meals you’d like to serve for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Can you eat tonight’s dinner for lunch tomorrow?
  • Create a shopping list of items you need from the grocery store for this week’s meals.
  • For the first few weeks try shopping for three days at a time and purchasing smaller quantities.
  • Try having a theme for each day of the week.  For example; Fish on Sunday, Pasta or Rice on Monday, and so on for the week.  Say you had (Eggs) quiche assigned for Wednesday but the weather turned out much warmer than expected so you can make egg salad sandwiches.
  • Or, have seven separate meals and change the days around depending on your mood or the weather.

Get your family involved!

You may spend more at first but in the long run you will end up saving more money and time.  I say this because you will learn what your family enjoys, how and when you prefer to do most of your cooking.  Do you prefer to do all your cooking at once, chop everything up so it’s available for when you’re ready to cook, or do you cook one complete meal at a time?

Once you learn your personal style of maintaining and rotating your inventory and adding new foods, cooking, and shopping, you will be able to shop less often and purchase more and save time, food, and money!  You'll also save in wear and tear on your car and filling up the gas tank!  In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal on March 21, 2012, “The Average U.S. family of four spends from $500 to $2,000 a year on food they never eat, according to researchers’ estimates.”

Free Money!  How will you use the free $500 to $2,000 you’ve saved?  Will you splurge for a romantic get-away?  Will you pay off a bill?

P.S., Here are some websites that have nice templates to get you started: