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:
- Know what you’ve got on hand in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.
- Devise meals based on what you already have on hand.
- Know what else you need to make your upcoming meals.
- 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
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
Dinner: Last of the Spaghetti and salad