There has been this hidden topic whispered among wives, moms, and those considering a more efficient budget.
“Should I do it?” – The Curious
“I did it for a day.” – The Attempted
“I lasted a week.” – The Trial
“I’m still doing it, and proud!” The Success
What is this mysterious method hushed within households?
It takes time and effort, but if done correctly, it will save you from buying extra groceries, and countless wondering, “What’s for dinner?”
Blogger That Inspired Me
I was inspired by a blogger I follow. Valerie, from Living Lighter In Atlanta. She is a wife and a mom to four wonderful kids, and she even homeschools all of her kids.
Valerie, such an inspiration, even inspired her oldest daughter, Maggie to blog. Maggie’s blog is one I follow as well, Dreaming Of Guatemala . She talks about faith, recipes, accomplishments in her life, and much more. If you’re a teen and/or, if you enjoy positive content, please check her out.
Valerie does tons of DIY projects, recipes, family updates, and she is open to sharing some personal experiences on her blog. With everything she does already, she also discusses her meal plans. She freely shares her weekly plans for her family.
After reading so many of her posts, I was finally inspired me to try to plan for the week as well.
What Made Meal Planning Appeal To Me
I’m on a very tight budget currently.
I can’t shop for extra groceries. I need to be able to save dollars and dimes.
So my curiosity of meal planning soon turned into a necessity.
Currently, I’m still extremely new. I’ve only begun to start week 2 of meal planning. But I wanted to share with you how I meal planned, and how you can do it too.
Trust me, I need easy, and my husband is a picky eater.
But meal planning may just help you introduce new recipes to your family, and save you time and money overall.
How Do You Meal Plan
It’s really not that complicated. You don’t need a special book. You can use a dry erase board, piece of paper, word document, notebook, or whatever else you want to 🙂
My meal plan for last week started on a Tuesday, but I plan to have my weeks start on a Monday. So for this week, on my notebook paper, it looks like this.
Meal Plan- Monday August, 21st- Sunday, 27th 2017
Next, consider your meals. If there are meals you are already contemplating, write them down. I didn’t include breakfast or snacks for each day, but you can most certainly add them in.
My friend, Grace, who one day may have her own blog I can tag her in, decided to try out meal planning. To make it easier on herself, she decided to plan one meal for each day of the week, which is a really smart way to begin meal planning.
I always struggle coming up with ideas on the spot, and unless we have some extra food in the fridge/pantry that I know of, I need ideas.
So, I turn to Pinterest. A couple years ago, when my husband did his tour in South Korea, I spent hours organizing my Pinterest board with all my recipes. Cause, if it’s a mess, even on the interwebs, it’s going to be hard to find what I want.
Here is my Pinterest
Lately, I’ve become a huge fan of crockpot/slow cooker meals.
You can also use cookbooks, online blogs, or any other source to get ideas for recipes/meals.
Then, start slowly picking and choosing your meals.
Jot Down Ingredients With Each Recipe
I had a separate, small notepad with me. As I went through each recipe, I jotted down what ingredients I needed to get at the grocery store. Slaying the issue of grocery shopping which is trying to plan what you will make/eat.
Tip: Consider the amount of a meal you are making, allow some meals to be labeled leftovers if you believe you will have enough. It can be as simple as sandwiches and chips to a full course meal if you want. Entirely up to you.
Recipes: Some new recipes I used for last week.
Tex Mex Taco Bake– This wasn’t made due to leftovers, so it goes on for this week (I did make it).
Texas Barbecue Pulled Pork – Crockpot
Beef Stroganoff– Crockpot
Pinwheels– can be snack/lunch
Meal Planning Is Flexible
You don’t have to stick to what is written down. For me, we had a lot more leftovers than what I thought of. I’m considering to do a crockpot meal maybe once a week or spread them farther apart.
Ingredients/Leftovers Can Be Used For Other Meals
Consider your meals too, and the ingredients used.
I didn’t really do this the first time around, but now I know better. The pulled pork recipe I used, for example, called for a little bit of chicken broth. This had a lot of chicken broth left over. Had I have planned better, I could have gotten noodles to make an easy soup with 🙂
I spent under $100 for one week’s worth of meals, and had much leftovers/meals to go into next week.
So, it’s very possible I will be able to only spend about $50 of groceries per week, which is my goal.
The positive, I won’t have to worry about only making mac n cheese and hotdogs everyday!! (Did I mention my husband’s a picky eater 😉 )
Do you meal plan or have tried to?
What are your favorite recipes?
Do you like using a crockpot?
~T. R. Noble