Meal Planning

I may have mentioned that I’m in a money group. A few ladies and I meet about once a month and our goal is to feel empowered when it comes to building our personal wealth. We talk about debt, credit ratings, IRA’s and Roth IRA’s, money market accounts, living wills, etc. Mostly we are all trying to figure out how to pay off debt so that we can finally get to that wealth building phase. Now that I no longer have credit card debt – woo hoo! – I’m working on ways to save some pennies.

Groceries seem to be my largest monthly expenditure – besides our mortgage. And I hate spending money on food – especially when it feels like we never have any food in the house, food goes to waste before it gets used, or I still have a hard time figuring out what to make for dinner!

Enter – Meal planning! This weekend I’ve dedicated myself to purchasing food and pre-making 15 meals for the month of September. Here is how I’m going about the process

Step 1 – Take a look at the calendar. When will we be home for dinner together? What nights do I need something quick?

Between Monday night softball games when we usually grab dinner with the team aftewards, Seth working late nights sometimes, and being out of town I figure we need about 15 meals to get us through the month (and we’ll be using the leftovers for each meal for another meal later in the week – it’s like cheating, but not.)

Step 2 – Compile a list of your favorite recipes, foods and tried-and-tested meals.

I started with our old stand-by’s: Pizza, chicken enchilladas, butternut squash soup, crunchy garlic chicken. And then I did some searching on pinterest for some other meals.

Step 3 – Gather your recipes and make your grocery list.

I made sure that I had all the recipes in one location – for me it was a word document – and went through to make my grocery list. I started by categorizing all my ingredients. All the proteins are listed under Meat – so I know that I have to get X lbs of chicken, and X lbs of beef, etc. Then I listed out the veggies, grains, canned goods and other. I’m hoping this will make my shopping much easier.

Step 4 – Shop and store everything

Granted I haven’t done this yet – but I’ll let you know how my mega-shopping trip goes this weekend! I plan on hitting up Costco/Sam’s for the meat, and using our discount grocer for the rest. And I may even hit the Farmer’s Market for some of the produce.

Come back next week and I’ll share the next steps – Prepping the Meals, Recipes, Shopping List and Spending, and More!

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3 thoughts on “Meal Planning

  1. Love this idea! Both the money managing, and the groceries/meal planning. I recently read an article that said that Americans waste up to 40% of the food they purchase. This is good for you and the earth!

  2. I really need to do this…..I can’t stand the food we waste it makes me sick. Good luck! I can’t wait to hear how it works out. If it goes as ‘planned’ you’ll have to be sure and share your tips and tricks! 🙂

  3. Pingback: A Year in Review: 2012 « It's Just Us

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