Back when I worked as a CPA, I referred to my office as the Nerdery, which was also the name of my house during grad school at Miami. (What you didn't name your houses at your university? Boring!) My days were filled manipulating numbers, with the goal of maximizing profit or reducing tax liability. I could add, subtract and rearrange numbers and their descriptions with the best of them. Despite having a "math intensive" reputation, I truly never used anything beyond addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
So last night and this morning, I set my sights on the grocery budget. I've been meal planning for each pay period, picking up all the non-perishables and the meats to freeze, then only heading to the grocery for fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the week. While meal planning for this month, I took it one step further and put it into a spreadsheet. This way, I'm not keeping random notebook pages of weekly menus for reference, and I can begin analyzing and manipulating the data, tracking ingredient costs, managing waste, eating seasonally and reducing expenses.
This is just a first draft and needs to be tweaked and updated as I get more specific data on just how many ways a head of cauliflower can be used in a two week period. It may also keep me from getting stuck in a dinner rut, which Ryan should appreciate too.