Phew! I am back. What a week. We traveled north last Friday. I went to my sister's with my parents, brother and his wife and the fabulous dude headed to the "home country" to play hockey with my cousins. The rest of us headed over there Sunday morning in time for church. Then, the visitation for my Grandpa was on Sunday evening and the funeral on Monday. After the funeral, we all headed back to my sister's for another night and headed home early Tuesday morning. In total, between Friday and Tuesday we spent 26 hours in the car. Fun.
The weekend with my family was great. It is always good to be with family, although the circumstances for the reunion were unfortunate. It was an emotional time for everyone as we said our goodbyes to our grandpa, dad, brother, uncle etc. Grandpa was a farmer so Emily placed a toy tractor in his casket along with giving us each a cow to give to him, one to represent each grandchild and great grandchild. The funeral service was a beautiful tribute to his life. The preacher at his church led the service and did a wonderful job. Two of my cousins, Joel and Emily, gave beautiful testimonies to our grandfather. Joel counted down the top 10 reasons you know you're part of Grandpa's "herd" (the cows). They both spoke of wonderful memories of a great man and spoke of his love for life, his family and most importantly, his God.
By the time we got home late Tuesday evening, we were exhausted. So far, I've gone to bed before 9:30 both nights since I've been home. This is also my reading week, so I was glad that I didn't have to miss any school while traveling, although it does mean I have a lot of catching up to do to be sure I get done everything I need to get done before going back to class next week.
Okay, so, I'm sure by now you're wondering how in the world this post is about being thrifty?
Well, my tip for this week has to do with reducing the chance that you abandon your budget on weeks like this (when you're busy, traveling, tired, sick, lazy etc). This tip only really works if you've got freezer space. When I make a casserole, pasta, soup, chili or basically anything else, I try to cook double what I need to freeze for later use. Usually, I do a major cooking day at the beginning of each semester to have pre-made, healthy, homemade meals on hand.
This week, my doubled up meals have come in handy. While trying to get caught up on work, unpack, get laundry done and so on, I don't have time to organize meals, grocery shop, or cook. So, I have been using up some of the pre-made meals from the freezer.
Although at the time, this doesn't really save money, I do find it does so in the end. The nights I use the pre-made meals tend to be those same nights that, in the past, I would have called the hubster at work and said, "pick up something on your way home". These are the nights we would generally eat out, grab take out, or another convenience meal from the grocery store. As you know, all of those things are quite pricey. This way, I have a meal that has already been paid for and is (usually) more healthy than the other options.
Having pre-made meals on hand in the freezer reduces stress and doesn't break the bank!