Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Menu Planning

We like to eat around here. We also like to eat other places. :) And since I love to cook we could easily spend an outrageous amount of money on food. That's not our goal so I use several strategies to spend less money on groceries.

1. I shop at Aldi for the bulk of our groceries. I do get a few things at Wal-Mart that they don't carry at Aldi.

2. I only shop twice a month, except for picking up perishables. We have to go about once a week for milk and fruit. (And occasionally something I forgot.)

3. I plan our menus. I use Microsoft Works Calendar because I don't use it for anything else. The nice thing about the Microsoft Works Calendar is that it has a "Notes" section where I can list the cookbook where the recipe is located. I only plan our suppers and we eat leftovers or something simple (like grilled cheese) for lunch. I plan a complete meal for every night and write the ingredients for that meal on my grocery list. This helps prevent me from having to run to the store for one or two items that I forgot.

How This Saves Money

A. This saves money because I can look at the menus and see that I've used a lot of chicken. If I put any more chicken dishes on the menu then I will need to buy another bag of chicken. Probably not what I want to do.

B. I can also look at the menu and see that I'm going to have leftovers of something, say rice. Then I can use rice for a side with other dishes so I don't have to buy something separate.

C. I can tell if I've planned too many expensive dinners and change some of them.

D. I can space out similar tasting meals (Mexican, for example.) That doesn't save money but it does keep the food from being boring!

The great thing about menu planning for me is knowing what I'm going to cook. If I didn't have a menu, every afternoon around 4:30 I would start staring at the refrigerator and the cabinets. And I wouldn't find one single thing to cook! Some people can work on the fly like that but I'm a planner. I would frustrate myself unnecessarily. Plus my hubby likes to know what we're eating; I think it gives him something to look forward to!

No comments:

Post a Comment