How do you Meal Plan?

Hello my darlings,

So today’s question is how do you meal plan? What have you found that works and doesn’t work for you?

I’ve tried a few different ways to meal plan.

I’ve done the excel worksheet where I pick each meal for each day, then create a shopping list. That really worked when I only wanted to shop once a month. But then I found myself running out of fresh foods like veggies and fruits really quick. So I tried to supplement with a delivery service of fruits and veggies, but that got expensive. So then I started going shopping once a month for everything and twice a month for the fresh stuff – ended up spending more money that way.

Then I started just shopping every two weeks. I still ran into the lack of fresh fruits and veggie’s problem, but it was normally just between a day to 3 days. I was still over spending at this point because I was trying to make every day different. So I was trying all sorts of random recipes that would require me to buy more items.

Then I started making my meal plans based on what I already had and sales. Here’s where I started to kind of saved money. The problem was that I fell for the super sales and I’d find recipes that went along with the sales. Some of these would be things that would take forever to make – so we’d end up going out more.

Now – I think I’ve got it down a little better. I shop (on average) about once a week, sometimes less. There’s been a time or two in the last 6 months where it’s been more, but it was more for special occasions like needing something for the pies for Thanksgiving or picking up a couple bottles of wine for a gathering. Stuff like that.

I have a calendar that hangs in the hallway. On it has everything I’m possibly doing for that month. So any parties, trips to see my dad, date night, Lion’s meetings – stuff like that, are all written down. Then I added my menu, so for each day I write down what I’m going to make for dinner. Really just the main dish. Then on Tuesdays (although that’s probably going to change since my work schedule just changed), I’d go shopping and do all of my meal prep. I’ve also added my chore list to the calendar as well. So each day I have something chore-like that I do. It’s a great way to stay on top of my meal plan and my chores.

The reason I like this meal plan is because I tend to try and use up what’s in the apartment. So I buy the important stuff when I go shopping, some meat, milk – stuff like that. Then if I have anything left over, I can try and buy stuff for the next week as well.

It allows me to take advantage of the sales without going overboard.

So – how do you meal plan? What’s worked really well for you? What hasn’t worked so well?

Until next time,

xoxo
Steph

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