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As you all know, Mr. Crumbs is out of town for two weeks. He’s only 90 minutes away, but it’s far enough where he can’t come home each night (especially for a bike commuter). We’ve been anticipating this training for a few months now and of course, it was much discussed topic last weekend. One comment that he said couldn’t help but put a smile on my face:
Do you know what I’m going to miss the most while I’m gone? Of course I love you and the kids, but I’m going to miss your cooking!
Ladies, a true testimony that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! 😉
So the topic of discussion was food. His breakfasts and lunches are provided for, but he’s on his own for dinners. We needed to talk about a budget for the 13 dinners that he would be eating while there and during our discussion, we considered these factors:
- He wouldn’t be eating fast food. While a chicken sandwich and fries may taste good, they offer bloating, fatigue and very little nutrition. Not ideal for a learning environment.
- He would be more than likely be eating sandwiches, salads and “simple” foods for the opposite effect of those mentioned above. Subway, Safeway, Quiznos, even Panda Express (for a broccoli/beef combo) were viable options.
- He would be drinking water. Not only is this the most frugal choice, but it’s the preferred choice to keep him hydrated, thinking clearly and sleeping well while in a foreign bed.
- We could bring whatever food we wanted. We weren’t limited to him having to eat out every night, and the hotel and both a microwave and a mini-fridge.
With these ideas and the available dining options near the hotel, we decided to allow $7 for each dinner. But once we did the math, we realized that dinner for just him for these two weeks would cost us over $90! That was a little higher than we were anticipating…
Enter Plan B, which included impromptu trips to Nob Hill, Target and a batch cooking session Saturday afternoon.
The list for Nob Hill was very short and only included one coupon:
Jiff To-Go, $1.50 (free when you spend $20)
Rold Gold Pretzels, $2.50
Snyder Pretzels, $3.29
Texmati Couscous, $7.99
3lb bag Apples, $2.98
We also swung into Target for Kashi granola bars at $0.74 per box.
Once home, I took all the chicken and shrimp we had in the house and made four dinners worth of Greek Couscous with Spicy Chicken and three dinners of Lemon Stir-Fry Shrimp. I also included two additional servings of rice, which we anticipate him using as side dishes for two meals during his second week.
The purchases we made at Nob Hill (1/3 of the couscous was for his meals) and Target, plus using the food we already had in our freezer/fridge/pantry, made seven dinners for $12.91.
I’ll admit that we don’t have much of a plan for the second week, but we’ve already made a significant dent into the cost of his meals by making half of them ahead of time. The best part is that he’s excited to eat what I’ve made him. Do you know what he said to me Monday morning, after our date-night-dinner the night before?
Dinner out last night was good, but I’m really looking forward to your couscous tonight!
Be still my beating heart. Yes, I’m a lucky woman and no, I’m not sharing!
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