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Help-yourself meals

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Since hubby and I regularly go to restaurants, we often bring left-overs home to have for lunch or dinner later in the week. And when I cook, I sometimes use the recipes that make 6 or more servings as when we were raising our family. Add to that, the simple sandwich makings we keep in the house—sliced meats, sliced cheeses, peanut butter, tuna etc. We always have apples and bananas and yogurt on hand. I like to keep salad makings and cottage cheese around as well. So a "help-yourself" meal means putting together a meal from leftovers or making a sandwich or a salad or all of the above. It often means that hubby and I are each fending for ourselves and may even be eating at different times, depending on our personal schedules.

Take today's lunch for example. I opened a package of sliced turkey and made turkey sandwiches with mustard; mine also had a generous helping of black pepper. We shared a Red Delicious apple, I pulled out "baby carrots" and ranch dressing, and we finished things off with pumpkin muffins I had baked this morning.

My plan is to reduce the number of restaurant meals and increase the number of cooked-at-home meals—with or without leftovers. We are blessed to have a decent income, but I don't want to be as much of a spend-thrift as I have been in the past. For the time being, it's not about money since we don't have any worries there. But it is about putting in place good habits that will stand us in good stead when retirement time gets here. So, I'm stocking up on stables. I'm cooking more meals at home. I'm making my own stuff from scratch. I haven't gotten to the stage of paring down and getting rid of the excess we've accumulated in the past 40 years. But that's a thought, too.

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