Adventures in Homemaking: Month 1

Today marks one month since Justin has lived in what will be our apartment after marriage. If Justin has off from work, and I am not sleeping or working, I am most likely there. Sometimes, I'm there even when he isn't, making food or watching TV. 

The only real complaints that we have so far, is our (upstairs) neighbor lady slams the door every time she leaves and stomps around a lot. We have determined that we never want a bottom-unit again. Justin also gets frustrated when he can hear the kitchen appliances while we are watching TV, so he's changed his mind about an open floorplan (yes!!). Finally, we have a wonky fridge shelf that has made condiments fly out about half a dozen times now. I am still practicing patience with that one. 

I am treating these six months until we marry as a trial-run, or a soft-opening into what marriage might be like. 

Before Justin was even searching for an apartment, we talked about how my contribution would look, even though I wouldn't be living there. Besides helping with rent, I have been buying most of my groceries for a couple of years now, so I volunteered to buy his as well and just keep both in that refrigerator. I just need to remember that I do not eat as much as he does, so doubling my grocery amount is still not going to cut it. I think I figured out what types of things Justin naturally gravitates towards when fixing himself a work meal. 

The biggest thing that has helped manage my grocery budget is meal planning. I have my little calendar I got for free and I write down 3-4 meals each week that will give Justin enough leftovers for lunches and days we don't want to cook. Then, I write a grocery list only including the ingredients I need that aren't already in the apartment for that week's meals only. I then add things like produce for sides and snacks, and breakfast staples that he's gone through. This so far is a pretty good system. I have inherited from my mom an intense hatred for wasting food (that's money down the drain!), so this has given me more peace of mind that we WILL be able to finish this stuff. 

The first shopping trip, I got a bit more ambitious than I should have when it came to making things "from scratch." I have yeast for bread, but no desire to have to return to it after 6 hours, or to fire up the oven on these hot days. I've been using a lot of simple cleaning products like vinegar, soda, and dish soap for basically everything, and I feel duped by all the cleaning products that have previously seemed so appealing.  

A huge blessing is that Justin's mom is an avid gardener, and it is harvest season for berries! While we froze most of what she gave us, they will be put to good use once the replacement part for the blender is ordered. I think that my family really appreciates the bounty that the get from being related to me, as well. Up next-tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini!

Things I've learned:
-just because it's fish does not mean it's better for you (tilapia)
-Justin does NOT like mushrooms
-ground turkey is disgusting to cook but potentially unnoticeable if it's in a big dish
-Mom and Dad were not silly in laying berries to freeze on a baking sheet, THEN putting them in a bag
-wood floors are more comfortable than lawn chairs, in some cases 
-family is so giving with their time and possessions to help us start out. Thank you everyone!

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