I get asked a lot about why I plan menus and how do I plan my menus. I started planning the meals in our family years a go when we were a 1 income family and broke.( At the time there was a lot of hamburger helpers on the menu.Gasp!) It was a way to try to get control on our excessive spending at the grocery store. Before I started planning menus we would go to the grocery store with no plan and buy a bunch of stuff that we wouldn't use and it would go bad. At the time I had to figure something out to save money for us and the grocery list was the 1 way I knew I could do it. It hasn't just saved us money but tons of time. If I don't do a menu for the week (and I have done that 2 months ago because I was lazy) I am LOST!! Not only at the grocery store but also every night for dinner.
The first thing I do is I look at the weekly sales add for Kroger's and Sprouts. I love shopping at Kroger's because I get money off with my gas and they let me load coupons onto my Kroger's card. Sprouts has AWESOME deals with Fruits and Veggies that is locally grown. I write down things that are on sale that I know we will use that week or I need to stockpile for weeks to come or just my normal staple items.This week I will also be shopping at Dollar Tree. I need to stock up on tooth paste,, Shampoo and mouth wash.
Next I take inventory of everything that is in my Freezer, Fridge and Pantry. My Hubby is amazed at how I can just make stuff that I have in the pantry without worrying about grocery shopping that week. I do have a lot of stuff stocked-piled to cook and my staple items we are good to go. I always use the oldest bought food first.
Alright, Now to pull out my cook books and my computer (Hello Pintrest and Google+!) and start making a list of what I can make with what's on sale and what I have in my inventory. I always write up 8 meals for dinner that I can change on the menu just in case. (Back up plan always!) I then go through and write up what I need on a grocery list.
ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO DOUBLE CHECK YOUR INGREDIENTS!
I have to remind myself that because I am human I have forgot to add key ingredients to my grocery list before.
Now the fun part. I place the meals on my Menu for each day. I always place a dinner and a lunch.
I have been hooked on menu's for a long time. I do keep my old write up menus so if I am stuck on a meal I can go back and pick one out that way.
Even my family knows that I have a menu and what is on the menu each day. Thanks to the dry erase board I have on my fridge.
I know I have saved tons of money by making a menu. It's easy to start even if it's TV dinners and Hamburger Helpers it's helps you focus, not only at the grocery store but also everyday for your dinner time.
I am attaching some of the menu plans I have found on Pintrest to help you start your menu planning.
This sight also have a Monthly Meal Menu
Also I wanted to give you 2 GREAT blogs about saving money with your menu.
The 1st one is:
And One of my favorite sites to go to is Blissful and Domestic. She just posted a DIY Meal Planner that is super cute!