Thursday, August 1, 2013

Meal Planning Project

I've been a quasi-meal planner for a while.

I usually pick a few dinners a week to try before I head to the grocery store, and then I try to avoid making mid-week shopping trips for additional ingredients. This helps me in two ways:
1. I save money by avoiding hump-day impulse buys.
2. I avoid wasting food because I clean out my refrigerator each week.

This plan does have some negative effects..... due to half-planning, I've ended up with some major repeat meals and weird combos when there was little in the kitchen.

I want to put a stop to the weird meals, but also continue to save food and money by planning. The new project? Roughly plan out everything for my Monday-Friday meals and snacks, leaving the weekend open for whatever strikes my fancy :)

I will:
- Plan my meals around in-season produce, focusing on what I can purchase locally and at a lower price. 
- Use store ads and coupons to plan my purchases, working around items that are on sale.
-Take an inventory of my pantry before I start planning, prioritizing the items I need to use before they perish. 

My planning sheet looks like this right now, though it may change slightly.

I've been working through this meal plan for a few days and enjoying the results. I saved $12 on my grocery trip by utilizing sale, in season, and store-promoted items (yay!), and I haven't had banana oatmeal for every breakfast ;) Check back to see how my challenge is going!

Do you plan your meals in advance?
How do you cut costs with grocery shopping?



  1. Uh, this is a great project! I am aiming to save money for my semester abroad in France. So this is a great inspiration to save some bucks on groceries. I am horrible when it comes to food - I can cut down in all areas, but once I get into the grocery store or farmers market I always end up buying a lot of stuff that isn't necessary. But look at this cute pumpkin, and who cares if I already have 2 open nut butters in my cupboard - this one is a different taste, duh. Right, I should probably start meal planning.

    1. Ug, I am the SAME way. Asparagus for $12? Sure, its the farmers market! Oh the things we rationalize... ;) I think meal planning is going to help a ton and can't wait to share the results. Let me know how it works for you - planning for France is some serious motivation!!


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