So we are at the start of another month and guess what it's time to do. Plan your meals for the month or maybe it's for the week or for the next two weeks. Which ever one works for you is great. I, myself, am running a few days behind. Our life has been just a little hectic. I normally have ours done before the month starts, but I'm hoping to get my May Menu planned tomorrow. I am quite sure that many people have different ways of figuring out their food, but I will share with you how I do mine.
1. I figure how much I would like to spend for the month. Now for my family, I have in my budget $150 for the whole month of food. Now I get wic so if you have to buy milk, cheese, bread, etc. then I would probably add on another $50 to that amount.
2. I print out a calendar off of the Internet. http://www.printfree.com/Calendars.htm
Then I go through and figure out what days that we would like to eat out. With us we like to go on Tuesdays around here because it's family night. What does that mean? My kids eat free or for $1 at buffets! That's what I'm talking about. Also, Sundays and Wednesdays are a little crazy in my house, so I always fix something one dish or REALLY easy. Makes my life a little more stress free. My family love to do Friday night pizza or tacos with chocolate chip cookies. So I put those down on my Friday nights. Then how about you make a list of foods/dishes/meals that your family likes to eat. Keep it, file it away, because trust me if your like me, you go back to that list. Grab out those cookbooks or google recipes and start filling in the days. Include your side dishes also. My family loves leftovers so we always have our leftover days, too. *Now something I'm starting this month is making up different breads and breakfast stuff that easy to grab 'n go. So we don't spend so much money in drive-thrus*
3. Head on into your kitchen and make your list of everything you need. Including all your staple items. Write it down. How many you need of each item. When that's finished you are ready to go grocery shopping.
4. Before you head to the grocery store, stop at the bank and pull out the cash for your grocery trip. If you want to spend $200 then only pull out that amount. When you go with cash, you are more likely to stay within your budget.
5. As you shop for your groceries and checking off your list. Write down beside your item how much it is. When you are finished with your list, calculate it up. Are you in your budget limit or are you over. Or maybe you might be under. Alot of times if I'm under then I go back and grab some extra fruit, or some extra snacks that I know the kids love.
I'm challenging you to try this. It may seem like alot of work, but it really isn't. The most wonderful thing for me about going once a month is - I don't have to go back again until the next month. It's a WONDERFUL feeling.