I've said it countless times, mostly because I don't always listen, but meal planning is a huge sanity (and budget) saver. I really enjoy meal planning and I can tell you, there is a noticeable difference in how the house runs when I meal plan versus when I don't.
|Part of my current meal plan|
I went a little overboard with my most recent meal planning, but we are planned out through February! I started out with 3-4 of my favorite cookbooks and recipes I had saved on Facebook. Last week, we had a few new to us recipes that we tried out, and they were a home run!
|We found the recipe for the Crockpot Chicken Burritos right here on Mommy's Block Party!|
|The Creamy Chicken Bacon Pasta was a Facebook share from Tip Hero|
I know that meal planning can seem overwhelming at times. I find that if I sit down on a Saturday or Sunday for about 15 minutes, I can hammer out a decent sized list of meals. Sometimes, I do "themes" on certain days, for instance meatless Monday, taco Tuesday, Soup and Sandwich Saturday etc. Our family really likes "Pizza Friday", so I look for different ways to make pizza (GB Pizza-a recipe D created, English muffin pizzas, etc) to make sure there is some sort of variety. I also make sure to schedule "leftover nights" about every 3 days to help prevent wasting food.
After writing up the meal plan, I make my grocery list for the week ahead. For a family of 4, I spend around $100 (sometimes a little more, usually a little less) a week. Having a list with the exact things we need for the week, planning on leftovers, and using "extras" from one meal to create another meal (this week we'll be using leftover ham from Wednesday night to make Split Pea Soup on Thursday) keeps us from overspending and I have noticed a decrease in food waste.
Do you meal plan? Share some of your best tips below!