Menu Planning

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve begun making a weekly menu to help with grocery shopping, but I thought I would spend some time discussing the process and the benefits. 

I had always “planned” what we were having for dinner in my head, but I had never actually written it down.  Not writing it down was just as bad as not having a menu.  You try to tell your family what you have in your head for dinner and inevitably someone says, “Aw…not that.”  So you scramble to find something everyone will like and then you end up spending money buying something else to make dinner with and you’ve blown your budget. 

A few months ago I saw something about making a menu board.  I still haven’t made the menu board and I’ll be sure to post it when I do.  Back to the menu…the more I thought about making the menu board (to be used as decoration) the more I thought about making a weekly menu.  I could place it where everyone could see and we could actually talk about it as it was being planned so later on there could be no discussion or arguments about dinner.  I began writing out the menu or meal planning as it’s called a month ago and I LOVE IT.  Kristian doesn’t complain about what we’re having because she has had a say so, there are fewer trips to the store (I only go to the stores on Wednesdays now if I want to pick up something that is on sale before it goes off sale), and because I know what we’re having I can actually make more elaborate meals during the week because I can pull things out of the freezer early and cook ahead of time, for example the pulled pork that I began cooking Thursday but had for dinner on Friday.  Additionally, I can use my coupon book a lot better because I use the coupons in the book to help my plan the meals.  It’s win-win all around.  I love it!

I made a book to store my coupons.  It is a way to be able to use coupons and not go crazy.  The coupon accordions that most people use are very frustrating.  I used to have one of those…and I stopped couponing because of it.  I knew I needed to coupon, because at the time I was a stay-at-home mom and was trying to save my family as much as possible.  I did some research and found that a good way to maintain coupons was with a book.  I went out and got the supplies necessary and made my book.  I tell you I love to coupon now.  The thrill of saving dough is awesome.  I can flip through my book and see each coupon and everything is divided into sections which makes it easy for me to find what I’m looking for.  Usually when I make my grocery list, I place a (c) beside the item if I have a coupon for it and I’m now at a point in my grocery shopping experience where it is very important to have a coupon for everything that I buy.  I’m trying to buy a house and pay off debt at the same time, I need to save it wherever I can. 

This is what my book looks like:

They’re very easy to make you just need a 3-ring binder and a package of baseball card holders.  I used the writable post-its to make my category tabs.

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Filed under Cooking, Just Living

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