So I recently decided to start meal planning for our house hold. For many reasons. . .
The main reason being was that our grocery bill started to get to be about $200 every 2 weeks - Where before my husband deployed, we budgeted in $150 for every 2 weeks and I usually spent less - Rarely went over. With the extra expenses that comes with having a little one, that was just not a comfortable amount for me. I had heard that meal planning actually saves money on grocery trips - So I thought I'd give it a shot!
Another reason I decided to give this a shot, was because I often found us trying to figure out what's for dinner at the last minute - And quickly having to defrost something to cook. I also often got tired of the same ol' simple meals we were eating. I never had the ingredients and stuff that I needed to try new meals. . . And doing a quick grocery run for those items just wasn't in our budget by that time.
So meal planning seemed to be the ideal situation for us.
Also in an attempt to save money, I decided to stop shopping at Vons - Which was just 2 minutes up the road and rarely busy - And start shopping at the Commissary on base again. I had stopped shopping there a couple years ago because of the crowds, long lines and the fact that I have never walked out of there with everything I needed. But I put all that aside to save some money for our family. . . Not to mention - They have early bird hours for the elder & those with kiddos. They open an hour & a half earlier for us. I got about 30 minutes before normal store opening and that way I can shop without the crowds, and check out at a normal register (it's all self check out during early bird hours) without having to wait in a line a mile long. It worked out perfectly!
I ended up spending $117.00 for 2 weeks with of groceries. I stuck to my list. And I walked out with all but ONE thing - And that was because I wasn't sure where exactly to look for it. Now, we still go to Vons for veggies, fruit & meat because we personally don't like the commissary's veggies, fruit or meat - But we still spent less then we have been - And we have a wide variety of meals to make!
Last week started our meal planning - And we did very well with sticking to it. I write out the days of the week and a meal next to each day, but I am not strict on making a meal on the exact day.
I will put a star next to the meals that I have recipes for - And if anybody is interested in them, let me know!
Saturday - Steak & Chicken with a side [it ended up being canned corn] [We do steak & chicken because I don't eat steak & DH doesn't always want chicken]
Sunday- *Crock Pot Lasagna & Garlic Bread
Monday - *Chicken Taco Pasta Salad
Tuesday - Left Overs
Wednesday - *Tuna Caserol
Thursday - DUTY
Friday- Baked Chicken & Broccoli
Saturday - *Tater Beef Bake
Sunday - *Beef Stew [crock pot meal]
Monday - Chicken & a side
Tuesday - Tacos, beans & rice
Wednesday - DUTY
Thursday - Chicken & Dumplings
Friday - Left overs
My new recipes for these 2 weeks are: Chicken Taco Pasta Salad; Tuna Caserol; And I have to look up a new chicken & dumplings recipe because the one I had got thrown away.
The Chicken Taco Pasta Salad, as weird of a name as that is, was really good. And it made a lot. We had left overs the following day for lunch + I have some frozen in the freezer. The Tuna Caserol was okay - It's one of those easy go to meals.
The Crock Pot Lasagna is really good and easy. And the beef stew is pretty dang amazing as well - It's DH's favorite and a meal that he makes. And yes, we had it on a warm summer night.