Meal Planning Made Easy!

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We saved $40,000 in less than a year and you can too!
Almost half of that was Just by changing our food patterns.
Shopping smarter at the store with coupons saved over $12,000
Stopping the ‘going out to eat habit’ saved over $7,000
Meal planning makes $ense financially!

WHY meal plan?

          1) Save Money!

     It really doesn’t matter how many things you can get for free or cheap at the grocery store and drug stores. 
     •If you don’t have a plan for how you will use them to feed your family, then you can STILL be overspending on groceries each month!
     You can shop from your stockpile to create meals for the entire family, for just a few bucks.
     •You are not making a lot of expensive stops at the store to pull a dinner together.
     •You are not giving up on cooking and going out to eat. Why spend $40 on dinner when you can get a weeks worth of groceries for that
2) Save Time
No more frantic “what’s for dinner” nights!
No more running to the neighbor or store for that one ingredient you are missing!
No more drive thru dashes in last minute frustration because you are too tired to cook!
No more thawing stuff out quickly in the microwave!
3) Eat Healthier!
     •Less pre-processed food!
     •Less Eating out!
Better Portion Sizes!

More time to make side dishes/salads, etc

PERFECT if you are part of a CSA farm or have a garden!
You could pay people to meal plan for you…
E-mealz.com  – $65 a year!!
DinnerSelect.com – $59.80 a year!
Dinewhithoutwhine.com-  $83 a year!
But : They tell you what to buy!
Items might not be on sale that week
You might need a lot of items you don’t normally buy
You are using THEIR recipes, not yours
Recipes can be time consuming

It is EASY:

Find out what your family likes and try this low tech method of index cards!


On the front, write the name of the dishes…

Then, add the ingredients to the front.

On the back, simply put the directions.

***What does your family like?

Sort them and find a pattern!

Italian?
Mexican?
Meatless?
Breakfast?
Beef?
Chicken?
Pork?
Bacon?
Soup, Stew or Chili?

You Just Found Your Theme Nights!

Like to try new recipes? Have a “mad science” or “mystery night”. Let the family decide it if is a keeper or not.

Have a lot of leftovers?

Have a “Fridge Clean Out” Night, or Mustgo…

Now, take all of your cards and make a plan!

You will need:

7 breakfasts
7 lunches
7 dinners

Breakfast:  The most important meal of the day!!

  • Eat it or drink it?
  • Cook it or have it cold?
  • Toaster or Microwave?

Quick Ideas:

Fruit *Bananas!
Cold cereal
Hot cereal
Smoothies
Waffles
Pancakes
Muffins
Granola
Crepes
Egg bakes
Breakfast burritos
Protein shakes
Breakfast scrambles
Breakfast Cookies
Breakfast Sandwiches
Biscuits
Freezer Breakfast Meals!
Hot cereal – use the crock pot
Waffles– flash freeze
Pancakes– flash freeze
Muffins– bake ahead!
Crepes– layer with waxed paper/parchment
Breakfast burritos – individually wrap
Breakfast scrambles – mini kits!
Yes, Lunches Too!
Just think about it, if you work outside the home and you buy lunch out almost every day.
If you only spend $8.00 a day on lunch and a soda, get two weeks of vacation a year, that is 50 weeks at $40 a week…
For a grand total of $2,000 a year!
Pack Your Own!
If you were to bring your lunch from home, use up some leftovers and your own milk/juice.
You could easily save $1,000 or more a year!
We haven’t even added in breaks or afternoon chocolate pick-me-ups… jumping it up to $1,500-2,000 a year
If you are married, DOUBLE that!
Sample Weekly Menu Format:
Monday: Meatless Night
Tuesday: Italian Night
Wednesday: Try Something New!
Thursday: Mexican Night
Friday: Fridge Clean Out
Saturday: Eat Out
Sunday: Brunch!
Or, try this approach:
Monday: Meatless Night
Tuesday: Chicken Night
Wednesday: Try Something New!
Thursday: Beef Night
Friday: Fridge Clean Out
Saturday:Souper Night!
Sunday: Pork Night
Here are some ideas on
Next, write down side dishes to go with those meals.

Tacos? Corn and refried beans?

Pasta w/meatballs & red sauce? Steamed broccoli and garlic bread?

Turkey burgers? Green salad & veggie chips? 

Grilled chicken? Rice pilaf and mustard glazed carrots?
Now, get creative with leftovers! Standard Dinner

Meat
Veggie
Starch (rice or potato)
Beef Roast with potatoes and peas
Roast Chicken with carrots and wild rice
When you have leftovers….
Dice/shred it
Sauce it
Serve over biscuits, popovers or toast!!
If you had Roast Beef with potatoes and peas…It just became Beef Stew over Biscuits
If you had Baked Chicken with Wild Rice and Carrots…It just became Chicken A La King over popovers
If you had leftovers here, you could thin it down, fluff with more veggies and call it SOUP or STEW!
Not enough from meal number one to make meal number two?
Quiche
Fried Rice
Soup
Wraps
Pizza
Quiche —
3 eggs
2 cups of meat/veggies
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup cream
Add 1 pie shell
Fried Rice —
2 Cups Leftover Rice
1 Cup Leftover Meat
1 Cup Leftover Veggies
Soups —
Add broth and noodles (or rice)
Add Cream
Add Grated Cheese
Wrap It —
Slice some fresh veggies and use shredded meat for a sandwich wrap
Go Mexican —
Grate some cheese, add some salsa and shredded meat for a quick quesadilla!
Add beans and you have Burritos or Enchiladas
Pizza —
Why spend $15-25 to have them deliver?
Premade crusts or from a mix…
Add a little sauce, cheese  and toppings
Use Your Noodle! Make a Casserole —
Meat
Sauce
Veggies
Starch
Support the dairy farmers: Top with cheese and bakeat 350 for 1 hour.
Be Flexible
Life Happens: Things Come Up
Illness
Surprise Company
Sporting Events
Shift Nights Around
Pop Things into the Next Week
Feel free to check out my recipe page for quick meal ideas!  It is HERE

2 thoughts on “Meal Planning Made Easy!

    • Did you really used to spend $12,000 per year on grocery shopping? I find that hard to believe and if not, how can you say you saved $12,000 in one year from changing your grocery shopping habits? I have seen your listed monthly grocery spending expenditures and they are way less than mine, but curious what you were really spending on grocery shopping and restaurant eating, etc. Or are your figures on “saving” what the receipt says you saved, which just seems like a false figure to me and I pay little attention to it.

      • We didn’t spend just $12,000 on simply grocery shopping – it included ALL the food we ate: school public lunches, popcorn at the theaters, dinners out (which we were VERY good at doing)…
        5 years later, we are STILL under $100 a month – and I share our monthly steps with my readers. I grow stuff, can, swap, coupon, stockpile, donate, garage sale and more.
        🙂

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