Meal planning and budgeting go hand in hand, so, you might like to get your free printable Monthly Budget Worksheet to help you with your family’s budget.
Who knows your family and what they will eat better than you? Who knows your grocery budget better than you and how to merge the two?
I made you a free printable Monthly Meal Planner <—– to get started.
1. Meatless Monday
2. Children’s Favorite
4. Dad’s Favorite
5. Mom’s Favorite
6. Homemade Pizza
8. Taco Tuesday
Shop your pantry, stockpile and freezer to see what you have on hand already. Then write down the major ingredients you have on hand. Pick recipes from those items and place them in your slots. If you have many things and just can’t see how to make a meal out of them, just go to allrecipes.com and type in what you have and see what recipes comes up. Note: It’s okay to need one or two things to complete a recipe – but not five or six. The goal is to shop from your stockpile – the place where you bought everything at rock-bottom prices.
Now you’re ready to make your shopping list of the ingredients you need to purchase. Watch circular/sales/etc. for these items and buy on sale (and with coupon), if possible.
Place your Monthly Meal Planner in a highly visible place so everyone in the family will see it.
You can interchange different recipes for different days. If the breakfast for dinner is on Week 3 – but you’ve had a busy week and want to move it to Week 2 – do it. If you want to cook like a banshee for five days and take the last two off – do it.
Discipline yourself to only buy “rock-bottom” priced items for the rest of the month because you don’t “need” to buy anything.
Remember, you have a meal plan in place – enjoy the peace of mind and less hectic 5:00 scramble because you now have a plan.
In the end what you can take a way from this – besides a free Monthly Meal Plan, is the fact that a meal plan is as personal as creating a coupon organizing system – you need to do what works for you. The big BUT here is that you have to do it if you want to take hold of your grocery money and spend it more wisely and save your sanity in the evenings. 🙂