Several of my mommy friends and I have been talking a lot about grocery bills and meal planning lately. The prices at the grocery store keep going up and our budgets keep getting tighter. I tried clipping coupons once and saved a decent amount but there is no way it's something that I'm dedicated enough to do on a regular basis. I pretty much stick to the same list of stuff each time I shop and those don't seem to be the items that I find coupons for. I refuse to get stuff just because I get a good deal on it. It's not a good deal if you throw it away, now is it?
The MommisaurusRex Meal Plan:
How you can be cool like me!
My own personal OCD-type issues demand that we not eat the same meat 2 nights in a row so I started with the staple of our diet, CHICKEN. I used my handy-dandy label maker and put Chicken on the menu every 4 days.
Next up, the weekends. Knowing how my family loves pizza I printed 3 labels that said Pizza and stuck them on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday, every other week. I love to NOT COOK on occasion, so I printed 3 labels that said Take Out (This could also mean Take Momma Out) and I placed those labels on Friday or Saturday the remaining 3 weekends that we're not having pizza. I put in a couple of Sunday Soup labels and went on to the rest of the calendar.
I printed 3 labels each of Pork, Turkey, Beef, Seafood, Pasta and Fajitas. For the more work intensive meal, Meatloaf, I only made 2 labels. I filled in days with all these labels spreading them out so we don't have the same meal 2 weeks in a row. There were 2 spots open so I plugged in BBQ and Kabobs.
Did Someone Say Shopping?
I don't focus on the entire meal, just the main dish. I take inventory of what remains in the freezer and then make my list of what I need to complete the plan. If I have 3 Pork days that I need to shop for I buy 3 different things, like pork chops, a pork loin and then a small sliced ham. With the Chicken, I have a huge assortment of marinades that I alternate through for a variety of flavors. I also try to mix up how I prepare main dishes, baking, grilling, broiling or even in the good ole' Crock pot.
With every meal, we either have steamed veggies, whole grain rice, or salad and I keep a variety stocked and on hand. I usually decide what to have based on what seems to go well with the main dish. I make up my mind about the time I start cooking. Occasionally I'll make beans, rolls, deviled eggs or fruit salad as an extra. I end up making mac-n-cheese about once a week for the kiddos since neither of them eat much salad (or leaves as Big Red calls it).
I have a magnetic shopping list on the fridge that I use to keep a running list of other things I need to pick up. I always shop from that list and have been saving on average about $200 a month on groceries since I got organized. We're wasting a lot less food and it's much easier to eat healthy when I'm not scrambling for something to throw together 10 minutes before dinner time.
Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully this is helpful and please feel free to share your tips & tricks.