Menu planning: giving it a try

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about frugality, budgeting, and various other topics in personal finance. I am determined to get my finances whipped into shape!

I’m seeing a lot of suggestions of menu planning as a great frugal tactic.

Menu planning is based on the idea that knowing ahead of time what you plan to eat during a particular time period (say, the coming week) will help you stay focused within your grocery budget.

Other important aspects of meal planning:

  1. Know what you’ve got on hand in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.
  2. Devise meals based on what you already have on hand.
  3. Know what else you need to make your upcoming meals.
  4. Make a shopping list and stick to it!

By the way, I found an interesting site about organization that offers printable planner forms. I confess I’m just OCD enough to have printed out the pantry inventory forms.

I’ve never really planned my meals too far into the future, which– when I think about it– has resulted in an awful lot of last-minute trips to the store to buy curry powder or eggs or bread or zucchini or some other crucial missing ingredient!

Before going to the grocery store today, I wrote out a loose menu plan for the next week, and based my shopping list on that menu. In the store, I did feel more focused with a solid plan. (Who, me? A planner? Huh.)

I can’t say for sure whether I’ll still be in the mood for a veggie burger on Tuesday night (I start school that day), in which case we’ll improvise. Otherwise, this could work.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

.

Here are a few days’ sample menus…..

[Color code: Food Already On hand Leftovers Food Bought 8/29]

———— Thursday 8/30 ————

Breakfast: Last of the Corn bread and coffee

Lunch: Salad

Dinner: Spaghetti and salad (just enough left in the bag)

————Friday 8/31 ————

Breakfast: Raisin Bran and coffee

Lunch: Salad (new bag)

Dinner: Cheese quesadilla (two more tortillas left after this meal) with brown rice and black beans

————Saturday 9/1 ————

Breakfast: Breakfast burrito (scrambled egg and cheese in a tortilla) and coffee

Lunch: Salad

Dinner: Last of the Spaghetti and salad

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Filed under budget, cooking, food, frugal, groceries, menu planning, organization, shopping

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