Sunday, January 4, 2009

One day down, 364 to go...

There's a bunch of anecdotal stuff out there about it taking 30 days to form a new habit, but I don't buy it (at least not for me). I'm gonna set the more realistic goal of one year. If I can push myself to do something for one year, perhaps it will be "programmed in" at that point. Today was the first day of my cleaning checklist plan. As I prepared for this (cleaning up things that were WAY beyond needing cleaning, so I didn't have such a daunting task the first day), I quickly realized that I was going to have to make an effort to "schedule" this into my day. My solution? A new rule for myself: the computer does not get turned on until the cleaning checklist is finished. I dutifully got up this morning and completed my daily and "extras" checklists in about an hour and a half. Not bad at all! You have to keep in mind that daily chores include cleaning the kitchen counters and sweeping (things where I was definitely NOT starting with a clean slate). I suspect it will take me less time tomorrow now that I have less to clean. Sierra was even excited to help me...when I started sweeping, she got out the dustpan and asked to help. And I've found it's much more satisfying to clean each dish/knife/cutting board as I use it when there is no other mess around. Here's to clean houses (or at the very least, clean kitchens) in an hour or less a day!

On the meal planning front, tonight's dinner will be red beans and rice:
1 cup dried kidney beans $0.40
1/3 pound sausage $0.75 (Josh's mom bought this while she was here, not sure how much it cost, so I'm guessing)
1/3 onion $0.10
3 cloves garlic $0.05
3 1/3 cup water free
dash of cayenne $0.01
several dashes chili powder $0.03
4 cups cooked rice $0.80 (I'm using organic brown rice I have leftover from making baby food, regular white rice would be cheaper)

Total: $2.14

Will also be making bread again today. I like to triple my recipe and get 5 loaves (from regular sized loaf pans, like you'd use for banana bread):
6 cups water free
2 cups sugar $0.21 (stock up when on sale for $1/4 pound bag)
4 1/2 tbsp yeast $0.32 (purchased in 1 pound packs)
4 1/2 tsp salt $0.05
3/4 c vegetable oil $0.27 (purchased in 1.25 gallon jugs)
16 cups flour $1.28 (includes flour for kneading, stock up when on sale for $1.50/5 pound bag)
2 tbsp butter $.12 (to brush tops so crust is softer, stocked up at $1.89/pound)

Total: $2.25---$0.45 per loaf

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