I'm linking up with one of my fave blogs, a bowl full of lemons this week to learn how to plan a menu, shop for only those items on the menu - and be frugal while doing all of this!
If you like menu planning + frugal, you may want to check out 5 dollar dinners she has TONS of recipes on her website and if you want to, you can pay to sign up for her weekly or Since we are on Dave Ramsey, I'm not doing that, but I am using some of her menus for this week to make up my own $5 dinner plans. The cool thing is, I picked all menus that include food items that we already have here at home, so this week its like $0 dinners;) Anyways, I've only planned this week, and have only done dinner - since Ash and I are both in school all day (her learning, me counseling) and Dave sleeps during the day and works late at night (nurse) dinner is really the only meal we all eat together. Of course, our breakfast and lunch items take up a bit of our weekly grocery budget too - but more on that later.
Anyways, here are some pics I took of me planning our menu this week, and getting ready for weekly menu planning from here on out:
My Recipe Binder, which you can read more about how I made it, here
Anyways, so there is a lot that goes into this. Couponing, meal planning, organizing, recipe building and searching, being frugal and being healthy (April is my BE HEALTHY month, I promise the Happiness Post on that is coming....) it's a lot to think of!
Saturdays I get my paper, I will sit down and find 7 meals (or 6 if we are going out that week, which we usually do once) and recipes from my books, my binder, or the internet. From those, I will make my list of what to buy, trying to be as frugal as possible, which is why I like $5 dinners and coupons!! Then, I will clip coupons from the paper that I know I will use, the rest get recycled. Never buy an item just because you have a coupon, only buy it if you actually eat it, and honestly only use them if its a good deal! I also get on the computer and search coupons that way, again ONLY printing ones I know I will use. Using the circulars from the paper, I will figure out where to buy my food. Usually I go to the ShopRite right across the street, but if Target or Wal-Mart have a really good sale (last week W had 24 pop tarts for $5, can't pass that up since Ashley eats about 4 pop tarts a day! She's gotta cut back...we're trying!) Then, after gathering my coupons (I use little coupon pouches from Target), deciding what stores to go to, I'm off to shop!
I'll still be tweeking this process as I go. I'm new at this. But there is something nice about KNOWING what is for dinner every night, and preparing in advance. It's also easier on our wallets, which is great since we are doing our Total Money Makeover!
So that's how I am planning my meals and menu! Any tips or sharing of your process would be awesome!
FYI - I did finally finish Sense and Sensibility, it was SO good as I already said, way better than the movie. I'm starting Book 2 of Hunger Games, I'm so excited:)