I have mentioned several times before that if you really want to see your grocery budget shrink, you need to shop from your pantry and freezer before planning your meals for the week. After you have taken stock of what you already have on hand, then you can look for the best deals in the weekly ads and make your weekly meal plan based on what you have on hand and the best deals for the week. Doing this will free up the majority of your grocery budget to continue stockpiling items for your family that you can get at rock bottom prices.
I haven't written out our meal plan for a while, so I thought I'd share what is on our weekly meal plan for the week to give you an idea of what our meals look like. This will give you an idea of how you can shop from your own pantry BEFORE making your grocery list.
Thursday: Tacos (Beef and Chicken), Spanish Rice
Friday: Digiorno Pizza and Wyngz, Salad, Fruit
Saturday: Eat with In-Laws (We usually eat with them every Saturday night, but if that is canceled then we'll have an easy supper...salads/sandwiches)
Sunday: Roast, Carrots, Potatoes, Salad
Monday: Popcorn Shrimp, Macaroni and Cheese, Fresh Fruit/Salad
Tuesday: Meatball Subs, Fresh Fruit/Salad
We have a lot of busy nights this week, so I am focusing on easy to cook meals. Before making our meal plan, I shopped from our pantry/freezer. I only include suppers on our meal plan since lunches usually are sandwiches/leftovers. After shopping from our pantry the only items I NEED to buy for this week are:
I will try to get those items at the lowest cost I can, and I will use the remainder of our weekly grocery budget to stock up on items that are at rock bottom prices. This will allow me to continue to stock our pantry/freezer without affecting our grocery budget.
Do you shop from your pantry before making a meal plan? What works best for you? I'd love to hear some other ideas that have worked for you.