August 4, 2012

Meal Planning Part 2 - Monthly Planning

Ha!! That's me, I love a caricature drawing.
This post will be broken up into three parts
food budget-posted
monthly planning
weekly planning

Shopping: First question - What works best for your schedule regarding grocery shopping? I have tried many different things, Costco, couponing, 4 different grocery stores to find the best bargains, stocking the pantry, only buying stuff on super sale.

This is what I found - it really didn't work with how we work; even though I was getting great deals...we weren't always eating food we loved. Or I'd have so much stuff in the pantry it would expire before I used it! Maybe this is just me, but I realized I needed to change our grocery shopping to fit us, how we live and how we eat. Remember you need to have your plan fit your life and budget. We are a family of two, just me and the honey, if you are wondering.


1st of the month Costco trip, my budget $40 - I have a staple list of about 15-20 things that I get at Costco and I rotate through it as needed. I've priced stuff out so I know things that are better to get at a grocery store and what to get at Costco. Example - I love to bake so I get my butter at Costco saves me a lot, for you it might not work to buy 4 pounds of butter at a time. I keep track as I'm putting stuff in my cart, when I've reached my budget, I'm done shopping. We also get dinner while we’re there, so that's a great cheap dinner and guess what, that means one nights of food for the month is always planned!! That was easy...
Shopping time: 20 minutes + dinner

Here’s what I bought on Aug 1st-
Butter $7.59 (this will last me three months in summer, two months in winter)
Tortilla $2.99 (this will last two months)
*Romaine lettuce $3.29 (this will last two weeks)
*Vine Tomatoes $4.49 (this will last two weeks)
Granulated Garlic $4.49 (lasts two years or more)
*Eggs $2.99 (this will last one month)
*Items I get every month

Total with tax $25.84 + dinner at Costco+ drive thru McDonald's for $1 cones and we still have $6 left! Perfect, I’ll add this to my staple shopping fund for Saturday.

1st Saturday of the month Wal-Mart trip for staple/pantry stock shopping, my budget $80 + my $6 from Costco trip,yeehaw!! I go to Wal-Mart to get all my staples for the month, cheapest. I have a staple list of things that we typically go through in a month. Examples- 1cans of pork and beans, 2 cans black beans, 2 can refried beans, any baking items, toiletries, Ziploc bags, salad dressing, stuff like that. So this Saturday I'll look at my list of monthly staples and go through all of my cupboards and through the bathroom and ask myself “do I have enough whatever to get through the month?” If not, than I get it. I also use only cash, so as I'm shopping I keep track of how much I'm spending. Same as Costco when my cash is up, I’m done shopping. This shopping trip and budget includes regular groceries for the following week.
Shopping time: 1 hour + 30 minutes at Grocery Store for produce/meat (I hate Wal-Mart’s produce, it always looks a little funky)

The key for me is to make a list at home for what I need at the store, making a list is the best way I have for staying in budget.

That’s it party people, check back tomorrow for my weekly stuff.

P.S. Tomorrow I'll also tell you about the meal planning service I use and LOVE! That helps makes all of this super fast and easy.

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