“This is a time to put up or shut up…”

Yesterday marked the first official day of our descent into what I keep calling “poverty mode.” It’ll be good practice for us if/when we ever end up with 2 children in daycare at the same time. My biggest fear is that I’ll get complacent with the budget (and yes, it’s kind of on me, since I’m the one who manages most of the accounts in our household), and we won’t be anywhere close to being able to get our new furnace. But we’ll see. I’ll make it work. I have to make it work. One winter, our ancient clunker furnace is going to go out, and we’re not going to be able to fix it.

One reason that we don’t save as much as we should is the fact that we eat out far more than we should. It really is a balancing act when you work full-time, and you’re trying to raise a family. There just aren’t enough hours in the day it seems. I can see why so many people succumb to hitting a drive-thru after work, or just popping a pizza in the oven. Lord knows we’ve done that enough ourselves, but I do try to cook more often than us eating out. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, so eating out was a treat for us. I try & do that now, too–Just make a dinner out a special occasion, rather than the norm. One of our big weaknesses as a family is pizza. Jay & the bambino are more interested in toppings, whereas I’m a crust person. When I saw Dan from IslandEAT had a post on Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza, I knew I was in trouble. I LOVE deep-dish pizza, although I’ve never eaten it in Chicago.

The crust was actually easy to make, even without a stand mixer (which is what the recipe calls for). I just have to post this picture, though, because sometimes my brain reverts to my 10-year-old self, and 15 hours after-the-fact, this is still cracking me up:

Yeah, like I said, I’m still immature at times. Anyway…While Dan did far more gourmet pizzas, I just followed the recipe as it was (the sauce is delicious as well!), just adding sausage to the pizza Jay & I ate.

The sausage was a little too spicy for the bambino, so I left his plain.

He ended up not liking the abundance of sauce–He’s like me. I don’t usually care for a lot of sauce on my pizzas either. The pizza was delicious, though.

2 slices was plenty for me, but Jay finished the rest.

Delicious, buttery, flaky pizza crust. There’s about 1/2-lb. of sausage left over, and since the bambino didn’t eat more than about 2 bites of his crust, I might just add the rest of it to his pizza and take it for lunch next week. I think overall the only thing I’d do differently is to bake the pizzas for a full 30 minutes instead of just 25. I wanted my mozzarella just a little more melted.

Baked chicken will be tonight’s dinner. I should get to work on a menu for the rest of the week, as well as start work on a grocery list for next Saturday. It’s back to the $40 grocery budgets from here on, so I probably ought to work out a menu for next week too!

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5 Replies to ““This is a time to put up or shut up…””

  1. I so agree! When I was also working we would eat out almost every other night because it is so hard to think about cooking when you are exhausted! Now that I’m home we eat out maybe once a week if at all and its amazing how much money you save. You can do it – you just have to be organized & plan ahead. good luck – think heat!!!

    • @Gabriela–You’ll have to come back tomorrow! :)

      @Erin–It’s a good thing I like list-making and paperwork. I have a feeling I’m going to be doing a lot of it over the course of the next year!

  2. I am horrible about grocery budgeting… I can budget money for everything else and save save save, but when it comes time to be responsible about the prices of my groceries, I just can’t or won’t do it. Maybe because I almost never go out to eat?

    • I wish I didn’t eat out as much as I do…I’m weird about grocery shopping in that I love it & even if I make a list or have a budget in mind, I’m easily distracted by something, and more often than not, I end up going overboard!

      And congrats on being my 500th comment…I feel like I should give you a prize or something! :)