Saturday, June 11, 2011

Money Saving Tip: Menu Planning

"Mommy, what are we having for Dinner tonight?" 

You have just woken up and are dieing for that cup of coffee. As you enter the kitchen to make breakfast for the family and getting that ever needed cup of coffee, you hear those words coming from your sweet son. "Mommy, what are we having for Dinner tonight?"

Yes, that's right almost every morning my 4 year old son asks me what we are having dinner. Before he has eaten breakfast, before I have even woken up enough to remember what I have planned for dinner, he is already wanting to know what the 2 of us are going to make for dinner.

Ok, maybe not every household deals with this question as early as I do in the morning, but we all have to figure out at some point during the day what we are going to make for dinner. This can be the most challenging part of actually making dinner. You have to think about what everyone likes, what you have in the house, do you need to run out of the grocery store, what is our schedule today.....

To solve this problem, and to save a TON of money, you need to prepare a weekly meal plan. Every week, I go through the pantry and freezers and determine what we are going to have for dinner every night that week. This way I can plan my grocery shopping and ensure that I only have to make 1 trip to the grocery store that week.

We have all been in that situation where you decide to just run into the grocery store to pick up a mag of Milk and end up spending $10 because you pick up a few extra items. If you did this once a week for an entire year, you would be spending on average an extra $260 on stuff you really did not need.

If you have not heard of Sandi Richard, you might want to check out her website and her cookbooks. Her entire concept is to create a menu plan, and has cook books that have recipes already divided into weekly menu's and grocery lists. You can even print off a menu plan sheet to help you get started. I first saw her on the Food Network in her show Fixing Dinner.

This is our Menu Plan:
  • Saturday - Tomato and Rice Soup with Cheese bread
  • Sunday - Steak, Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus
  • Monday - BBQ Chicken and Shrimp with Rice and Salad
  • Tuesday - Pita Pizza's with Chicken and Goats Cheese (using left over chicken from Monday's Dinner) with Salad.
  • Wednesday - Pork Tenderloin with Pasta and Green Beans
  • Thursday - Breakfast, Eggs, Bacon, Toast, Hash Browns and Fresh Fruit
  • Friday - Spaghetti , Garlic Bread and Salad.
What's on your Menu Plan for the week?

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