Well, let’s face it, I’ve fallen off the wagon 100% when it comes to planning my meals for the week. Which has led to a few nights of a plate of nachos, a few nights of just a glass of wine and a many nights of being HANGRY which is never, ever a good thing.
So I figured, what the heck, the new month starts on a Saturday and I might as well get back in the groove of things and just DO IT.
The concept is simple and honestly, once you get used to doing it weekly, it becomes so much easier and you really will save a lot of money AND time!
1. Take a look at that family calendar. You really don’t want to put your menu together without looking at this first! On those busy days or late nights, obviously, that will be the night you want something EASY!
2. Take a look at your pantry, freezer(s) AND refrigerator(s). See what you have on hand as of this very minute. Take inventory of the meats in the freezer!
3. Come up with TWO meals that can be made with what you have in house already. Me? Adult grilled cheese sandwiches and Tacos!
4. Slap a leftover day, fend for yourself day on the calendar (I generally do this on a day that I know will be busy for me).
5. Look at the sales papers. I do this online now and check Aldi first, then Publix, then, sometimes, Winn Dixie. Not a fan of Winn Dixie. I will almost always hit up Walmart every other week when I go see my dad and look for any marked down meat and then sometimes Whole Foods as well for a few things.
6. Fill in your remaining 4 days with a ‘suggested’ meal. Honestly, I keep mine simple in that I always have a soup/salad/sandwich day so now I’m down to THREE days. You should be planning the balance of these days based on what is on sale to keep things frugal.
7. If your spouse/significant other likes to cook, give them a day. In my house it’s generally Saturday which we treat like date night around here. We entertain over the weekend so since he’s the chef of the night, I leave that open for him to decide. This will usually require a trip to the store as he seems to always need something 😉
8. Pull any recipes you need for the week. I’m a firm believer in this as it makes life SO much easier!
9. Make your list. Pretty detailed if you ask me. Sometimes I write the menu and then write the foods needed next to it THEN organize it in to a grocery list!
10. Shop. And stick with that list! I think the #1 thing that derails a grocery budget is those spontaneous things. If you see something that’s a great stock up price, then go ahead, pick up a few, but you will need to make adjustments to your list AND possibly your menu! Coupons? Sure, if you use them and have them. I’m NOT a huge coupon fan anymore as I found it caused me to buy MORE than I normally would and at the end of the day, I wasn’t saving that much money. *I hate shopping on the weekend so I try to do my shopping either on Friday after work OR Monday … just sharing that!
Now that you have that all done, it’s time to meal prep that afternoon, or the next day and SHARE what you are planning to eat this week!
Here’s what we are looking at:
Saturday – BBQ chicken thighs and sesame noodles. Princess and her Hubby are coming for the weekend so I anticipate quite a few people here earlier in the day so this will be pool party food that we will just spread out in to the evening (they have a wedding to attend).
Sunday – This is my meal prep day … I’m looking at burgers on the grill with roasted broccoli (part of meal prep) and sweet tater noodles (recipe coming this week!)
Monday – Salad night – Cobb Salads all around
Tuesday – Been a LONG time so I’m looking at a Taco Tuesday night! Yippee!
Wednesday – Adult Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with a side of slaw. That side of slaw is really just coleslaw mix from a bag and some Tessamae’s Lemon Garlic dressing … DA BEST!
Thursday – Leftovers OR out for the night … I’d like to aim for leftovers because my theme for April is Money Control 😉
Friday – Smoked Sausage and Pineapple bites with a side of coleslaw.
And there you have it! Remember, nothing is set in stone and if something needs to get juggled around, I do it! Other times, I tell Hubby what I’m planning, he takes control and we end up with something totally different. It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a matter of trying to keep our finances in control by having some sort of plan, not just winging it!
How about you, do you menu plan?? Let me know and share your weekly menu plan in the comments for others to see as well!
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