Jul 21, 2009

Mommy Money Saver #2

Previously, I would head to the grocery store and buy anything and everything I thought we "needed" to eat for the week. Problem was, I'd get home and I'd have a bunch of random food, no idea what to cook with it, and, never fail, I'd end up back at the grocery store 3 or 4 more times throughout the week to pick up a few things I needed to make meals. End result - wasted money, thrown out food, and no room in my pantry, freezer or fridge because of the collection of unused foods.

When I lost my job, I had to re-vamp everything to try and save every penny. So I started planning. Now, every Sunday morning, I sit down with my cook books and plan out the entire week's meals. I make my grocery list to include only the items I need to make these meals (plus your everyday essentials - cereal, bread, fruits, etc.). End result - fabulous meals that I don't have to think about (I know what we're having every day, what I need to thaw in the morning, I have the ingredients, etc.) and I have an super organized kitchen! By the end of the week my fridge and pantry are basically empty as I have used up everything in them, if I planned correctly.

This doesn't take a lot of time, maybe 20 mins on Sunday morning but it saves you hours in shopping time, planning time, cooking time, etc. Not to mention, like I said, the money you save because you aren't buying things you aren't going to use!

Pre-planning I was spending about $125 at my weekly grocery store trip. BUT then I'd spend at least another $100 on additional food so I could actually put a meal together or on eating out! Now, my weekly grocery bill is about $150 total and that's it... no eating out, no extra trips, period. I will only spend more if items I regularly use are on sale and then I will stock up!! That's key!

Hope this helps - give it a try, it's actually pretty rewarding (I'm such a geek)!

Jen :)

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MommyBrain said...

I am a newcomer to this idea of meal planning - well, that's not exactly true. I've attempted meal planning several times but just didn't stick with it. But I've managed it for three weeks in a row now, and I couldn't be happier. You are right; it is so much less stressful this way :)

I love seeing other meal plans for inspiration, so I joined the "I'm an Organizing Junkie" Monday Meal Plan carnival-thingy. Here's the link to my latest meal plan, if you're intrested: http://mommybrainnw.blogspot.com/2009/07/meal-planning-im-at-it-again.html

P.S. The fact that your little one is so young and you've already got this "management" piece in place is so awesome ... it took me almost two years to get my act together!

From one MommyBrain to Another,

Allie said...

You're not a geek - I do this too! :) The only problem is that I make meals that are too big - it's just my husband and me, and we aren't huge eaters - so we wind up having to eat leftovers, without fail, for more days than I expect each week. So I often buy ingredients for a dish or two that don't wind up being made that week after all - then I just have to try to improvise to get rid of the fresh stuff so that it's not wasted! Anyway, have fun with your meal planning! :)

kristie said...

you obviously have must easier cook books than I do...I give up too easy and veg,carb and protein it is....bbq has become my best friend!!
I think I need to print off your recipes and start planning....keener....you make us simple folk look bad!! lol kidding.I love that you are the BEST wife in the world...Dan better relaize how good it has it!
Brad settles for the same ol 5 meals over and over ;)

Jessica and Michael said...

I do this and absolutely love it. It saves time and money! It's really great. People don't quite understand why I have a "menu" on my fridge though. Haha :)