Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Menu Planning

In a little over a month I will begin my student teaching, that will last for bout 4.5 months. During that time I will not be working (well at least not work that pays) so The Hubs and I are looking at ways to cut back, be more frugal and save money. One of the many ways we will be doing this is for me to start menu planning.

I have heard of many people who do this and have wanted to start, but never really had the push I needed. Well, only have one source of income for a few months is a great motivation! I decided to start in this last month so that by the time the school year rolls around I will be used to it and can work out any glitches. 

Basically the gist of menu planning is to decide exactly what meals you will make for a set time period and then shop for what you need for those meals. When going over our expenses The hubs and I found that one of the areas a lot of our money goes too is groceries. The real problem isn't our big trips to the store but when I would decide to make something and have to run to the store for 2 or 3 things. Of course the 2 or 3 things would turn into 4 or 5 and the little trips to the store happened multiple times a week. By shopping only for the meals I will be making, it will cut back on those little trips and impulse buys. 

Lots of people do their planning and shopping weekly, but with my busy schedule I really don't think that will work for me. I am going to do my menus two weeks at a time and my process will look something like this. 

I first decide what I will make for the two weeks and as I decide, I write down what items I will need to buy. I found this itemized list online to get more organized. 

Next I write out the meals on this DIY menu board I made using a frame and piece of fabric. This is a cute way to display the menu and cuts back on The Hubs asking "So what are we having for dinner?"


Then I made a dry-erase sheet for the second week, which will be switched out when week one is over. 


One of the things I read about menu panning is that it is important to work left-over nights into the schedule. This helps to cut back on shopping and for our family it works great because there are always lots of them with just the two of us! 

I am excited to start this process, work out the kinks and make it work for our little family! I will let you know how it goes! 

3 comments:

Laurel said...

Meal planning has been a big money saver for us! It's so much easier to shop too, because you know exactly what you need! Sometimes it's hard to get creative with meals but thank God for pinterest!!

Shannon Johnson said...

Hey Tavia! New follower from LIY. I am a teacher turned stay at home mom. I remember my student teaching as a very stressful time so this will be great to help ease that stress. I taught K and 1 for 7 years and miss it terribly. What age group are you working with? If you need any creative ideas for the little guys don't be afraid to ask!

Shannon
www.smileandwrite1.blogspot.com

Tobi said...

If you plan your meals with grocery ads in mind, you'll save even more money. Also, B.K. (before kids) I used to half and freeze stuff so we didn't get sick of it. Almost any casserole recipe can be split into two small pans. Cook one and freeze one. And if you ever wanna have a prep and freeze party with me, I'd totally be game! Good luck with your student teaching. You're almost there! (And I can't wait to kick off the year with you in just a few days!)

http://i1367.photobucket.com/albums/r796/tavia_smith1/signature_zps28848455.png