Money Saving Monday: Menu Planning

If anyone is following these Monday posts....you're probably paying a little closer attention now that Christmas is JUST AROUND THE CORNER! AHHH! And, I''m pretty sure I'm not the only person trying to cut every corner to try to make Christmas happen. In fact, I may have to stop making friends so that my Christmas card list gets a bit shorter. Stamps are ridiculously expensive these days!!!

Anyway, if you're looking to save money on groceries menu planning will definitely do it! I have posted a picture of this cheesy little notepad I got at Michael's in the dollar bin that saves me! If you go to the grocery store more than once a week: Stop. Seriously. Everytime you walk into that grocery store you're bound to see something that seems like a great deal that you didn't realize you really needed until you walked past it. Then the next thing you know you're spending $35 every time you step foot in there and that adds up!

I typically spend $40-$70 at the grocery store which includes diapers and formula/milk for the baby. And we don't typically eat a bunch of crap or top ramen for dinner. BUT if you don't plan it won't just magically happen. Another reason menu planning is great is because you will have all of the ingredients you need to make your dinner!

Here's how I do it: I take stock of everything I have in my pantry/freezer AND what's on sale at my store that week. If chicken breasts aren't on sale that week...we aren't going to eat them. If pork loin is on sale for a great price, I'm going to figure out how to use it in my meal plan.

As you can see on my little weekly menu in the picture we were having chicken pot pie and bbq chicken pizza. I had gotten a whole chicken for $.47/lb and it was in my freezer. So I knew that I could cook that chicken and get enough for the pot pie and the pizza and probably have a little leftover for a salad for lunch or something. So, I plan my meals based on what's on sale and what I have, then I make sure to add all the ingredients I don't have for the planned meals to my grocery list to keep me out of Fry's Marketplace and away from their Starbucks the rest of the week.

I'm not rigid, if I don't feel like burritos on Monday, we have them another night and I shuffle around the menu. But, it does really help to have the plan made to help me do my shopping more effectively and efficiently.

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