Friday, February 5, 2016

Flushing money down the drain

I've been using Quicken for about 20 years now to track expenses/income, balance various accounts, yadda yadda.  I'm sure you know what it's for.  Every year on December 31, I resolve to do better about itemizing the shit out of my expenses.  It really does make it easy at the end of the year to just click a few buttons and find out your taxable expenses, such as sales/property tax, charitable contributions, etc.  And I do, obsessively, enter all these itemized categories in, routinely.  Generally, I do really, really well at the beginning of the year, and then I start to slack off and "forget", or run out of time.  If I let it go for more than a week, it's a day-long event to try and catch up.  Last year I stopped over spring break while we were on vacation, and I was never able to catch up, and eventually I just stopped.  So figuring out my taxes this year is going to be awful, but back to the point of this...

I started itemizing again on January 1st.  By the 19th I had made a startling discovery.  

We had spent $941.71 on eating out...IN THREE WEEKS.  See, that's the danger of itemizing, it makes you aware of your spending habits, and sometimes those habits are hard to swallow.  Sat the finger puppet down and said, "Yo, FP.  We gotta get control of this.  This is enough to pay for two books if the boys ever get into college."   And he agreed.  Brown baggin' leftovers for lunch, and dinner at the house, every night, with very rare exceptions.  

As I'm writing this it's been JUST a little over two weeks since we've stopped going out to eat.  Like, not a single dime.  Seriously.  While I have enjoyed cooking at home, I do love to cook, I have discovered that I am addicted to eating out.  Like, my chest and stomach HEAVE, daily, at the thought of not going out in public to eat.  And maybe it's not so much the food, but the communing with others.  Whether going out with friends, or just giving a service person my order and being able to talk to strangers...I MISS the ACTIVITY of going out to eat.  

BUT, I enjoy the challenge of cooking at home and finding something we can all eat without crying about "I hate that" or "This tastes yucky" (Jed really needs to expand his vocabulary). I wrapped up the last two weeks of January with some of our favorite foods, tried some new foods, and then came up with an idea for February...

February was designated #29daysseducedbybruce month.  That is to say, I obsessively stalked internet food websites to come up with 29 different crock pot meals, one for each day of February.  Giving Bruce, and the family, a challenge.  That's a good thing.  It takes the pressure off of rushing home from work to throw something together.  I'm now 5 days into this challenge and will post the meals/recipes for the first four days, as well as keep up with the next 24 days for you to follow along.  If you have any of your own favorite crock pot recipes (or any other easy quick family pleasing recipes), please feel free to pass them along.