That Old Story of Meal Plans and Budgeting
|June 10, 2013||Posted by mamasdance under Cooking, Mothering|
In our house, aside from our home expenses, food is our biggest expense each month. Last week I drafted 2 weeks worth of meal plans. I went to the store with a list, and a goal to shop for 2 weeks of meals. Advantageous? Perhaps. I was inspired by a Pin I came across on Pinterest, that linked to a blog in which the mom boasts that she feeds a family of 4 for $400 a month… and get this, she shops ONCE a month! I know… I think it takes some serious commitment and organizing, but is well worth the cost savings. She also lives in the US, which is a bit of a different ball game than Alberta. Their house cost $30,000. Yes… there isn’t a zero missing. :-/
There are some things I read that I could apply to our own family, budgeting and meals plans. She suggests that the more trips you make to the grocery store each month, the more money you will spend on food… because rarely do we ever buy just the one or two items we are running in for. To be honest I have been slacking in the meal planning department the last few months. Life has been a bit hectic, but this summer I am determined to get back on track!
Mondays seem to be my most productive day around the house. Perhaps its the mentality of a “new” week, or being refreshed after the weekend, I’m not really sure! But today I spent a few hours in the kitchen preparing snacks to keep us going through the week. I baked up some cookies, Harvest Loaf, mixed Earth Balls and concocted a new recipe for Pumpkin Muffins! I’ll be sharing the recipe for those tomorrow. It seems like a lot to prep, but really, once I am in that zone, and have the boys “helping” its quite enjoyable. I love to bake! First off I threw the ingredients for chilli into the crock pot so I wouldn’t have to think about preparing supper after a day in the kitchen. Then I started with my top priority items, and kept going until everything was off the list!
To keep us on track with my goal of $100/week for last week and this, I am doing the following:
-shopping once for 2 weeks of meals
-meal planning EVERYTHING, all meals and snacks (this means no eating out!)
-Baking our own Bread
-Making 2-4 home made snacks per week
-Stocking my Freezer
-preparing double batches of certain Meals to eat the following day for lunch, or for freezing for another week (ie. Tuna Casserole, Burgers, Chilli, Muffins)
-Keeping meals balanced and simple
- Drinking Lime Water
I definitely included a lot of items that we already had stocked in our pantry and freezer to be used in our meal plans for these 2 weeks, so I am not sure how realistic $100/week will be once those items are depleted. But, I am taking it 2 weeks at a time. So far I have $10 left for this week… I don’t think we are going to make it through the week with milk, cream or fresh fruit… so I may have to pop into the store tonight for some fruit, milk and creamo. I rarely put sugar in my coffee, but creamo is a must! I knew we did not have enough fruit, but milk surprised me. I was trying to keep to 4L a week… I have 2L of milk left after a week. Oops.
I also didn’t buy eggs on my list, because I am trying to buy them locally. However, I haven’t made it to get eggs yet. I was at a bit of a road block for baking, and then I googled egg substitutes for baking. I ground flaxseed and mixed it with water, and it worked wonderfully!
On Thursday I was mowing the lawn, and in a freak incident (which has never happened to Matt and I while mowing the lawn-he has owned a landscaping co for 10 years!) a rock hit our van window and shattered it. I was pretty sad about that. So, woohoo for saving money on groceries… but so long to those savings to repair our window.
How about you? What helps you to keep your family on track with the monthly budget? Do you meal plan? What are some of your go to meals?