Friday, February 28, 2014

Menu Plan

I spent considerably more money on groceries in January and February.  I seriously blew our budget.  As I was looking back at the receipts I realized that what I was buying was all necessary things, but my lack of planning messed me up.  So, for the month of March I'm going back to the planning system.  This will save me from making unnecessary runs - like runs to the local IGA to grab snacks for my daughter's class for $7 when I could have bought them for only $2 if I had just planned right.  It's funny how I always tell everyone the big secret to saving money is to PLAN AHEAD and I didn't do that the past couple of months.
I'm back on track now.

Here's next week's menu:

Spicy Baked Catfish
yellow rice
green beans
cup up apples for the kiddos

garlic bread
Halo's clementines for the kiddos

Cubed Steak with Onion Gravy
mashed potatoes
corn on the cob

italian green beans

Pizza & Movie Night
Homemade Pizza
whatever snacks the kids want


Baked Chicken Quarters

How I do meal plans:

Making meal plans takes a little time and preparation, but is well worth it.  Each week I browse the sale flyers of local stores to see what I can get good deals on. I also look through my pantry and see what I have, what needs to be used up and what I need more of.  My next stop is Pinterest.  I browse around and look for recipes that contain the sale items and that my whole family will like.  A lot of times I eat something different because of my clean eating diet - which is usually a salad and grilled chicken breast.  So, I make sure to add those to the list each week.

Then I make a menu list on one page.  To the side on another piece of paper I list the ingredients that I need to buy to make the meals.  If I don't do this I end up forgetting ingredients and running to the local IGA buying things at full price/without a coupon.

Then I make a Publix shopping list and, if necessary, other grocery store lists.  The little effort I make to do this will ensure that I have everything I need for the week.  I'm usually the "fly by the seat of my pants" type of cook, but all the extra trips to the grocery store getting the odds and ends takes too much time and money!

For breakfasts we usually eat cereal, oatmeal or frozen pancakes/waffles during the week and we cook bigger breakfasts on the weekends.   I always keep a good stock in all of those.  When I'm running low I add it to the list.
My two oldest kiddos eat lunch at school so I just add money to their accounts.  My little one eats pretty much everything so his lunch consists of corn dogs, hot dogs or sandwiches.  My lunch will consist of whatever produce deals I can get that week.

So, there you go - simple meal planning in a nutshell.  I hope this helps you as much as it does me!

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