We made it to August, and we had a blast last weekend, which I’ll explain more in the ‘Rock n Roll Roadtrip’ section, and based on feedback from my number one food critique, my son, the meals I prepared last week work were delicious.
I’m making a few exciting recipes for the family, and we are wrapping up the extended school year for our son and the girl scout camp for the girls, so I’ll be making a few yummy school lunches for the kids.
Before starting with the usual conversations about stuff we’ve done, birthdays, and other adventures, I want to compare budget and meal planning.
While you might be rolling your eyes about this rather insane statement, it is not far-fetched and might help some of the younger generations understand why we need to plan budgets.
Budget planning is similar to meal planning!
At work, my management team and I will meet in August to start planning the coming year, meaning the next financial year. I have to submit the proposed budget to the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) by early October so that it can be reviewed and hopefully approved in November by the Board.
During my IT management meetings, we discuss what we need to do and what we would like to do in the coming year, and then we start building up the budget proposal.
It often starts with looking at the technology stack (hardware and software) to understand gaps, if some items are going end-of-life in our roadmap, or if new initiatives such as AI need to be added to our investments.
I meet with key internal stakeholders to learn about their upcoming business objectives and challenges, and we will discuss how we can potentially use existing technologies to address or if we have to invest in new technologies.
Once we understand our upcoming projects and investments, we start building the financial year budget plan I can present to the leadership.
In reality, budget planning starts at the beginning of the financial year. We identify requirements from stakeholders throughout the year, attend technology conferences, meet with vendors, and constantly plan to ensure that our operations support the organization’s goals and challenges.
As you can see, it is similar to the process we go through when planning meals. Granted, we do not buy or prepare meals for an entire year, but there are a lot of similarities.
I talk to internal stakeholders (family members) to understand what meat and dishes they want to explore for lunch and dinner.
I assess what ingredients, produce, and other items we have and then prepare the grocery list.
We invested in a quarter cow last year in September, which has lasted until now. There are still some excellent cuts left that we will use in August, and then we have to order a cow.
I also want to invest in half a pig. We do not eat large quantities of pork, but having some excellent pork cuts in the freezer doesn’t harm.
Once I have the meal planning ready, I invest in the groceries.
So yes, budget planning and meal planning are alike.
Rock n Roll Roadtrip
Saturday afternoon this past weekend, we did something crazy. We’ve done crazy stuff in the past, especially during my youth, but we limit craziness as we get older. Our bodies can’t handle all the craziness.
Anyway, we (I) had bought tickets to see Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, and Def Leppard and were looking forward to the concert – although it was three hours away from home.
Driving three hours is not a big deal. Many people in the US happily go 2-3 hours to attend some function or purchase particular goods. However, three hours each way is loco!
We left the house around 1.30 pm on Saturday. It is a simple drive starting with 118 miles on one road, turning right, and driving another 68 miles to the destination. I kid you not!
We attended a fantastic concert. We had never seen Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, or Def Leppard live, so it was a spectacular trip down memory lane with many classic rock tunes from the 80s.
- Alice Cooper brought the show with snakes, beheadings, podiums, giant puppets, and excellent tunes.
- Motley Crue turned up the amp and light show, riled the audience, and pumped a shitload of popular tracks.
- Def Leppard brought some nostalgia back to the venue, and it was clear they had grown older. The raspy voice from the 80s had been polished with a more mature, clean vocal and many excellent songs.
The trip home was hard. We had to stop for food as the venue only had microwaved hotdogs and popcorn, so we tried Mcdonalds for the first time in the US. I have not had Mcdonalds’ meal in almost two decades and was not impressed.
I was randomly flicking my wive’s nose to keep her awake as we crossed NY State during the night. There were hardly any cars on the roads, so staying awake could be challenging. The kids fell asleep shortly after the McD pitstop, so I had to stay sharp by listening to Rock n Roll.
Thankfully we made it back to the house around 2 am, and we all crashed.
Despite limited sleep from our Rock n Roll adventures, I woke up at 6.30 am—the curse of getting old, eating cleaner, and no alcohol during the concert.
I reviewed the meal plan I had created, updated the grocery list, and went to the local supermarket and was surrounded by the elderly community who spend Sunday mornings grocery shopping too.
I fired up the Traeger and slow-roasted a spatchcocked chicken, a few bone-in chicken breasts, and several spicy sausages. I was using the chicken for a white chili with spicy sausages and a simple chicken salad.
In the meantime, I fried a large quantity of ground beef and spices, making the beef mix for our taco Tuesday and the burritos for lunch.
I’ll cook the Salmon Wednesday evening for dinner, and I have bought enough to make a Salmon Rice bowl for school lunches too.
|Monday||Chicken salad with toasted bagel bites||Chicken & Spicy Sausage White Chili|
|Tuesday||Personal Pizza||Taco Tuesday; hard- and softshell taco night with beef bolognese|
|Wednesday||Beef n Rice Burrito||Avocado Salmon Rice Bowl|
|Thursday||Salmon Rice Bowl Part 2||Feeding the masses on the leftovers|
|Friday||Salmon Rice Bowl part 2||Friday Fun BBQ, music, and adult beverages.|
One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!
Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is much easier to make food in advance, although you must invest several hours preparing meals during the weekend.
Stay in touch with me through social media!