A few months ago, I shared the basics to meal planning. Since February, we have been planning our meals for the whole month and only shopping TWICE a month! It has completely changed our grocery budget and keeps us accountable for keeping to our list and not making impulse purchases. Even when impulse purchases are small at the grocery store, those little $4-$5 purchases really add up over time. It's also such a relief to only have to shop twice. I personally hate grocery shopping and even more so now with a little one. So this keeps our shopping trips to an absolute minimum.
Here is our calendar for October!
I didn't plan the last week quite yet since we have extra time in October it seems. My meals are very simple and extremely inexpensive this month. We have a savings goal that we are trying to meet, and I'm keeping groceries on the simple side. I also started color coding the weeks that I shop for together. This helps me to coordinate protein choices. An example, for the burgers and chili in the first purple week, I can buy ground meat in bulk. I listed out special events and our church bible study group, because I don't have to cook those nights!
It's amazing what this simple planning step has done for our budget, but its not only good for our wallet. It has also been really great for our health. Used to, if I didn't know what to cook or feel like it, we'd often just run out and pick up fast food. Now if I know I will be tired by evening, I usually put something in the crockpot for supper around lunch time. If the meal that is planned for that night isn't crockpot friendly, I just switch it with one that is.
Have you tried meal-planning yet?