A week or so before the accident, Joe and I decided to make a major change in our finances. Our goals are to build up an emergency fund of at least three month's salary (how apropos given that we'd need such a fund just a week later!), start putting more money into retirement savings, and spend less each month. Given these new financial priorities, we decided to cut out our restaurant habit. We have been known to go out or order in four times a week – or more – between lunches with friends, breakfasts with Grandma and Pappy, and assorted “hey! We've got nothing to eat!” outings. We always stick to kid-friendly places, and we don't usually have an extravagent meal, but the bills were adding up to hundreds of dollars per month. We thought that the transition would be easier if we integrated inexpensive, fun food traditions instead of just saying, “We're not going out to eat, period.” Thus, a new tradition was born – Friday night pizza. I have talked with Amy from Mom Advice about her family's Friday night pizza a few times. Friday night pizza works for Amy because her whole family knows what to expect, and they experiment with all different kinds of crusts and toppings. It's predictable, but it doesn't become boring. Amy makes her pizza crust from scratch, mixes it in her bread machine, rolls it out, and bakes it.It's a very inexpensive meal (especially if the pizza is meatless), and it's a fun meal for the whole family. Last Friday, Joe used one of Amy's recipes (cut in half) to make a BBQ pork pizza. Soon, we're also going to try Amy's Pizza Hut copycat recipe and her herbed pizza dough.
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