As part of my concentrated effort to pay off my car, my dear husband and I are going back to basics of saving at the grocery store. The first thing we did was go through the freezer and make sure our freezer inventory was up to date. There a several ways to keep track of your inventory. The easiest is probably to just keep it in a handwritten notebook and update as you use up the contents. This gives us a starting place.
With the inventory in place, I now begin the week’s plan. Normally on Sunday, we will have a larger piece of meat. We will then take the leftovers of this and reuse in a different meal later in the week. In this way, we don’t waste the leftovers and it doesn’t feel like we are eating leftovers every other day.
For instance, this week I am going to make roasted chicken and vegetables for Sunday’s dinner. On Tuesday, we will take the leftovers of the chicken and make a chicken vegetable soup. Roasted chicken is one of my favorite leftovers as there are so many ways to reuse. This week we are making chicken vegetable soup, but we could have also used the leftovers to make enchiladas, grilled chicken for salad, chicken tacos. The chicken I choose is a six pounder, so we will likely have enough to freeze even after we make the soup. Any leftovers of the soup will also be frozen and I will take them in my lunch in the next 6 to 8 weeks. Because it is still cold, we will also have chili this week. When we make chili we make a huge pot. My dear husband shares with friends and relatives, we will eat leftovers and we will freeze some for later.
At our home, we plan the menu together and make our grocery list based on the plan. We also keep a list on the fridge of staples we are low on so we don’t forget, or worse get to the grocery and say “do we need _____” and end up overspending buying stuff we don’t need. If there is a really good deal on a staple we love, we will stock up a bit. However, we try not to have too much more than we will use in a month’s time. We like to shop together, as this makes us more accountable. We never ever go hungry — we always overspend when we are hungry.
During the week my dear husband does all of the cooking, following the plan. Using a dry/erase marker, I put the menu on the fridge for him.
I made a magnetic border for the fridge using duct tape and magnetic strips. I don’t think it is Pinterest quality, but it does the job.
One thought on “Meal Planning — Spending Less”
something to think about