Friday, November 12, 2010

Meal Planning

Have you looked at your bank statement lately? I have, and I was shocked by just how many times I had been running to the grocery store. Now, I should know better at my age, but the store is just SO conveniently located! Well, the minus, minus, minus in the banking column was yucky! I decided it was time to go back to the meal planning that I know I should be doing. I am making a list of meals for our family, that we regularly eat. Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Side Dishes and Desserts. I will then type up those recipes, and include them in my blog so that my children can access those recipes. Some may seem very strange, and some may not need a recipe. I think we all know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I include everything in my lists, because I use my lists to plan my menu for the week. I don't want to have to sit and think... what do we want for dinner. I would end up with pizza every night of the week.. I LOVE PIZZA! Instead, I take a piece of paper and divide it up into 7 boxes across for the 7 days of the week, and 4 boxes down. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and snacks.
Step 1) List the meals you already have on hand. What is in the freezer? What did you buy last week, and not make? Put that on your list for this week.
Step 2) What is on sale at the store? I will add that to my list, and try to include that in my meal plan, or add it to my freezer for next week.
Step 3) What do I have coupons for? I will dig out my coupons and match up coupons to the ads. We have e-coupons as well here. Coupons are added to the store cards through cellfire.com and pgesaver.com which are helpful and free, in addition to coupon.com printable coupons and the coupons that I get in the Sunday paper. I love my coupons! I also look to local bloggers to help me figure out what is free and cheap on my shopping weeks at my stores. They are VERY helpful. I'm not opposed to help. (Thank you!)
Step 4) Make my list and TRY to stick to it. I do not go back to the store until a week later, so I have gotten better at making my lists. I had a computer crash, so I have lost all my family recipes that I had made and saved on my computer previously. I have to start again, trying to remember what we make on a regular basis. It is not as easy as one would think. Recipes to come.. stay tuned.

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