Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Money and Sanity Saver!

Here is the number ONE way I save money at the grocery store! I menu plan. Seriously, it works. I go through my cupboards to see what I have, then I go through the circulars to see what's on sale and base my menus off of that. Keep your menu in a place where you are not going to lose it and where you can access it easily. I have a little calendar-type thing magneted to my fridge. I write my menu on that.

Of course, being a girl, I am slightly fickle. (Hey, changing my mind is totally within my rights as a wife, mother, and woman!) So, I always have two or three backup meal ideas in place just in case I do not want what I have planned for that night.

Then I write out my grocery list and head off to the store. Before I started menu planning, I would go to the store all the time...consequently spending a ton of money. I would think of a meal, and find that I was missing one or two key ingredients. So, I would make a grocery store run for those 2 things and come home with 10. Not terribly cost effective.

Another blessed side effect from menu planning, is that my life has become so much easier. How many of you get a little stressed when dinner time rolls around? I think my mantra for a long time was...and still on occasion is..."What the heck am I going to make for dinner?!?!?" After a long day of chasing around a 2-year old and a 4-year old, the LAST thing I want to think about is what to cook. When I have it written down already, it saves me a lot of headache.

Here are some fun websites that can fill you in on menu planning and enlighten you with new, delicious recipes:

*Real Simple 6-menu planning websites
*Simply Recipes
*Kraft Foods Meal Ideas
*The Pioneer Woman LOVE this website
*All Recipes

1 comment:

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I completely agree! Menu planning is fabulous for your budget. Normally this is what I do as well. I keep a menu on my fridge, as well as in my planner. I'll buy the stuff for meals a week at a time, then give myself the flexibility to switch up those meals for that week if I want. It totally saves money. I can't wait to check out the links. Thanks!