|These are earrings that me and my sister made this weekend, I love them! I'll post the DIY later this week.|
WEEKLY: Saturday Grocery Shop for the following week, local grocery store - Budget $40
So, for the first week (last post “monthly”) I get staples and next week’s food, for the other three weeks I just get what I needed for the following weeks meals.
Shopping Time: 30 minutes
I have learned the more I plan the less stress I feel. So I have certain days that I do certain things and everything just flows and falls into place. I also have a lot less waste, I feel like sometimes people over shop and then they are throwing away so much stuff they just bought. This is what I found with us when I would stock up on sale/coupon stuff, I’m not saying I don’t use coupons or sales, I love a deal, but I’m not over buying just to save money, then not using the stuff and throwing it away because it’s expired or bad.If on Friday I have a bare fridge we did a good job. Here is my weekly meal planning template, if I follow this we tend to stay in budget and we don’t waste food. Again bring a list and cash.
Saturday- Make Meal
Sunday- Make Meal, Sunday is when I’ll try to make something bigger. Then I can practice being an Italian Grandma, so when I have kids and they have kids I’ll be ready for them all to come over and eat dinner. This is usually when I bake a treat for our week too. I love cooking and baking, so really Sunday is my day that if I want to spend the whole day in the kitchen I can.Monday- My honey is off of work, so he cooks me dinner. I know he is a sweetie! So on Mondays I come home and dinner is cooked and he also does the dishes! I would be fine with dollar menu too, if he decided on it. But it’s really nice knowing one day a week; I don’t have to make any decisions on “what’s for dinner". He'll grill other times for me too, especially in the summer, but Mondays are a for sure, he is wonderful to me.
Tuesday- Make Meal or Leftovers from SundayWednesday – Something very simple and inexpensive, grillies and soup, deli meat sandwiches and salad, mac and cheese and hot dogs, cold cereal…something along these lines.
Thursday – Leftover clear out! This is a must to have no waste grocery shopping. I take everything out of the fridge that is leftover and we each create our own dinner from the items. We’ve had some pretty funny combinations.Friday- Date Night!! We have a $20 budget and make no plans until we are home from work and then decide together what we want to do with our $20, then any money left over we spend on Sunday after church for Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or Breakfast Burritos. This has been a really fun addition to our marriage; I would label this as a “MARRIAGE SAVER” for sure. Who says you have to wait to have kids to make a date night??
Now on a side note I’d like to share with you the meal planning app/service I LOVE-
Plan to Eat, amazing….it really does all the stuff I did before by using spreadsheets and meal calendars on my computer. But using Plan to Eat it's all online so it's super easy. Here are some reasons why I love it-
1. I input my recipes including a picture of the food I made (i love this, makes me feel like a famous cook/baker!)into my recipe book, including ingredients. Once you’ve done this your recipe will always be online for you.
2. There is a monthly calendar, on Saturday I just drag and drop my recipes into the day I want to make it.
3. Since my recipe is in the calendar it knows all the ingredients that I need to make it, I just click on"shopping list" everything I need to make the weeks’ worth of food is listed for me! I can look at this on my iPhone too, so all I need at the grocery store is my phone and when I check something off of my list it disappears....oh......and it's all in order too. Produce, can goods, dairy, so on.
4. I can save menus, so at the end of the month I save July 1-31 as a menu then next July or whenever I just drag and drop the ENTIRE months’ worth of meals. Then I can edit certain days if things need changing.
5. Kind of like how you"pin" stuff you can copy a recipe to your Plan to Eat site, so when I'm on Pioneer Woman site and I like something I just copy it over, amazing!
6. You can email a recipe from your Plan to Eat, so say I'm with someone and they are like, "Wow, Jolleen these are the best Sloppy Joes I've ever had! Can I have your recipe?" I say yes and take out my phone and go to the website and email it to them. Done!
7. You can make your own categories for recipes. Example- When it's over 90 degrees out; I don't like to turn on the stove top. Over 80 degrees I don't like to turn the oven on....so I have a category called "warm weather food" so when I'm making my meal plan for the week, I check the weather forecast. If it’s over 80 I just look for recipes from this category, it’s so nice.
Plan to Eat - You can get a free 30 day trial, then it’s $39 per year
I really could go on and on...but I think 7 favorite things is a good amount.
My meal/budget wrap-up:
Budget- Costco $40, Staples at Wal-Mart $80, other three weeks local grocery store $40, Date Night $20 = My Monthly Food Budget $320 (this includes all house stuff too like shampoo, cleaning stuff, contact solution)
Plus my honey makes me dinner night, I don't give him a budget, but he usually spends around $10 (he does his own shopping too for this, but can use anything in the cupboards or freezer) = Approx total $360 for the month
Ok this really was a lot of stuff to tell you all, I hope it is helpful and maybe you got some good ideas. Just remember you need to make whatever you do work for your family. I really love doing budgets and meal planning, so it was really fun to share all of this with you.
Do you have any meal planning tricks you use?