August 6, 2012

Meal Planning Part 3 - Weekly Plan

These are earrings that me and my sister made this weekend, I love them! I'll post the DIY later this week.
food budget-posted
monthly planning-posted
weekly planning

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 Sunday
Wednesday – 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 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?


  1. You are so smart to start date nights, even without kids! Hubby and I haven't had one since our baby was born 2 months ago and I seriously miss it. Gorgeous earrings, btw - can't wait for the tutorial!

    1. You guys need a date night!!! Earrings are so fast and easy, you'll love it.


Love to hear from you...