Welcome new contributor moonlight!

When Sir and I moved in together and we opened our bank accounts, it was a huge relief that bill paying was no longer on my to-do list. They always created such anxiety, even when I knew the money was there to cover the bills and then some. It felt as if it were a given that Sir would be in charge of our finances. With very little hesitation, all of the financial situation was turned over to Him. I am in a place where I know that Sir will keep taking care of me and our family.

Of course, sometimes I wonder about how we are doing or find myself wanting to contribute in more obvious ways. What I have come to realize is that even from home, I can make a difference in our financial situation - for better or worse - through my service. Most of this revolves around one particular room: the kitchen.

One of the most obvious ways I can help is through meal planning. Sir and I are foodies and we love dishes with flavour! But flavour doesn't have to mean elegant, extravagant, or expensive. Once a week, I flip through some our favourite cookbooks and a few food blogs to find recipes we have ingredients for already or could make without too many extra items on the shopping list. This week, the shopping list was about half a page and the total came to about $50! Since most recipes feed 4 to 6, we are sure to have leftovers which are easy meals for weekday lunches. The meal planning keeps our grocery list short but it also stops us from looking into the fridge without inspiration and not knowing what to make for dinner. It has also helped us avoid the options of the various (delicious and much more expensive) restaurant food options in our city.

I also keep a good eye on what is still good (have you looked in your crisper drawer lately?) and what items need to be used quickly in the fridge. This week, I turned two sets of leftovers into entire meals! There was a beautiful roast beef dinner, with mashed potatoes, that we had on Sunday night. With what was left of a bag of frozen vegetables, all I had to do was chop up the roast beef, add the frozen veggies, top with the potatoes and a little paprika from the cupboard and now we have a gourmet version of Sheppard’s pie for another day! Pop that in the freezer and when we don’t know what to make or plans get thrown out the window, the restaurant is still no longer an option.

As you know, every item you buy at the store can add up quickly. This makes me mindful of the little ways to save some money - like making my own chicken and beef stock from the bones. I am home anyways, and it only takes water, some vegetables, maybe some herbs that I already have and voila! It simmers away and we end up with a lot of containers of stock. This means less to buy at the store! The same goes for produce we haven’t finished. Right now, it is fall, and apples are all around us but when we didn’t finish all the apples, they can easily be turned into applesauce. That can top a nice roast pork or just be devoured with a spoon. We even put that in the freezer for later. The freezer becomes a great friend because when you look inside, there is always extra ingredients to make another dish extra special.

I don't need to know the numbers to know that if we aren't eating out, the shopping list stays short, and we aren’t wasting the food that we are buying, it means that the money we do have can be spent on things we really need, unexpected expenses, or if there are enough savings, maybe something for a little bit of fun. It is something that I have taken on as part of my service, to be mindful in the kitchen. Food is nourishing for the body and spirit; by giving back to our family through these well-thought-out meals, I am nourishing them to be their very best.

moonlight is a slave to her Master, a proud mommy and a member of a poly group in Canada. She is always learning how to balance her submission with everyday life. She can be found on FetLife:  moonlight_jade