How often do you hear “what’s for dinner sweetie”? Over the last few months, we have begun meal planning. We were looking for a way to save on our grocery bill, as it seemed like were spending a lot on groceries and not really getting much bang for our buck. Not only do we always know “what’s for dinner,” we are saving lots of money.
The first thing we did was do an inventory of our freezer. Because I’m a bit of a nerd, I put it in a spreadsheet to keep better track. You don’t really need to go that far, just putting it on paper and marking out as you use it will work just fine. This will be your best friend for your meal planning. I am planning on inventorying the pantry next.
The first month we did this, we only spent about $100 for groceries for two people. Now, each Saturday we sit down and plan out our meals for the whole week. We incorporate any fresh food we have, as well as meat and other food already in our freezer. We really try to cook as much from scratch as possible. There are many things you can cook in under 30 minutes with good planning.
Because it is just the two of us, we end up with leftovers. For chili, soups and stew, we freeze leftovers into single-serving containers and one-meal sized containers. We can then pull these out of the freezer and pack in my lunch, or have a quick meal. Today for instance, Larry worked away from the house. At 5:00, we decided we would have chili and sandwiches. Because we had it in the freezer, dinner was ready in about 30 minutes with no mess.
We do buy fresh fruits and vegetables and incorporate them in our cooking. Depending on your area, and the types of fruits and vegetables you buy, going to grocery once a week is probably enough. When you go to the grocery, make sure you have a list and just enough cash for what you need so you don’t buy extra. We are trying to buy less “junk” food which is not only bad for you, but can be expensive.
Look forward to sharing some of our delicious meals soon.