One thing that I used to have a difficult time with was feeding my family of 5 without killing the food budget. My kids are 8,5 and 3.
They never really used to eat a lot. Well now they all eat like teenaged boys! Ha! It seems as though when they do go through a growth spurt, they do it all at the same time. Not one at a time.
I knew that I was going to need to start making a better attempt at meal planning, well not only meal planning per-say, but “what food should we be keeping in the house” planning.
I’ve never really gotten the hang of the whole couponing thing… So that was out of the question… Unless I just happened to come across a $1.50 off my Starbucks k-cups!
I know that my saving grace is the commissary. I save so much money when I can get out there.
I’m pretty sure that I have come up with a solution to the “Crap! I spent $500 on groceries this month!” Haha! I was thinking that $100/week to feed 5 of us wasn’t really a big deal. But if I wasnt planning right, I could spend $100 a week and then the next week I had NOTHING in the pantry and had to run out and spend between $200-300 to stock up again.
Now I have a list of Pantry Must-Haves. Things that I can throw together quick for simple dinner ideas if I am in a pinch and cant make it to the store. Things, that when Husband and I want to eat my Famous Ribollita Soup, there is something for the kids. Because we all know that kids do NOT know what good food is.
Another thing that I have in my planning arsenal is my recipe box, notebooks and pens!
With these Pantry Must-Haves on a busy night you can take chicken, stuffing and canned green beans and make a casserole! Voila! 30 minute dinner on the fly.
When I make my meal list I number my paper as high as I want my groceries to last. For example, we get paid biweekly. But sometimes if the dates fall just right it can be almost 3 weeks between paychecks. Then I know that I have to spend as little as I can while getting as much as I can.
So I’ll go through my recipe books and choose what to eat for the next few.. weeks. But I cant assign a dinner to a certain day, I dont have that kind of self control. I have keep my list handy on the kitchen counter and I’ll choose day by day what off the list I am going to cook.
If I decide to make meatballs (which I usually do twice, once for pasta and once for meatball subs) I will go through my pantry items and see if I already have some of the things I need for this. If not I’ll make sure that 1lb of hot Italian sausage and 1lb of ground turkey make it to the list!
I went from spending a solid $250 biweekly to about $200 every 3 weeks!! That’s awesome. All it takes is a little preparedness. I didn’t even have to go for a Meatless Monday! That’s a thing right? People do that to save.