Last month I decided to try planning meals for the entire month in an effort to reduce spontaneous trips to the grocery store, which always results in impulse buys because I am a constantly hungry pregnant lady.
Any hoo, we did really well with having meals planned for the entire month. I used a freebie calender from a local business and stuck it on the fridge. Worked like a charm. It was easy to access and keep up with from week to week.
We stuck to the schedule and only had a couple of changes during the month. Jon’s been fishing and bringing home a ton of fish, so I substituted that for 3 or 4 meals. And one night he accidentally forgot to refrigerate the remainder of the roast I’d made, which was going to be turned into beef and noodles the next night, but we survived.
I did a quick analysis of our food costs from March versus April, and planning meals ahead of time saved us about $50 last month. Every little bit helps! And all in all, I only spent $155.27 in groceries during April. (But keep in mind we have a freezer full of beef and some chicken, so I don’t spend a lot on meat.). Oh, that’s with no coupons, because coupons and I don’t get along all that well. I also stayed away from the prepackaged stuff and cooked/baked from scratch more, so I think that helps keep the cost down, too.
Last night I sat down and planned May’s menus. It’s kind of a fun process. As I pick a meal for each day, I keep a running list of any special ingredients I’ll need to buy for it. Here’s a peek at my calendar and shopping list. I wasn’t quite done planning at this point, but you get the idea:
It’s not a perfect system, but it’s working well so far. I’ll keep you posted on how we fare with it this month. 🙂