I have posted before about the importance of having a meal plan. In order to really shrink your grocery budget, you need to have a plan.
In my opinion it is very important to make a meal plan. When making a meal plan, you should FIRST take stock of any items you have in your pantry/freezer and use those items when deciding what meals you will be preparing for the week. After you have taken stock of your own items THEN look through the store ads to find the best possible deals at the stores this week.
I have to admit that I got a little off track with this during the summer months. With children being home I didn't spend a lot of time chasing sales and stocking up on staples, so I will need to get back in the game. :) I had enough of a stockpile built up that we were still able to stay within our grocery budget, but the shelves are starting to get bare, so I'll need to get back on it.
I decided to sit down last night and make our meal plan for the week. My goal was to spend as little out of pocket on the essentials we would need to get through the week. This will allow me to use any extra in our weekly grocery budget to start building up our stockpile with items that our at their rock bottom prices.
September 1: Leftovers (Hamburger Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies)
September 2: Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Rolls
September 3: Eat at In Laws House
September 4: Hotdogs, French Fries, Vegetable
September 5: Chicken Spaghetti
September 6: Tacos, Rice and Beans
September 7: Leftovers/Sandwiches
Breakfast usually consists of cereal, waffles, toast, yogurt, fruit.
Lunch usually consists of leftovers or sandwiches.
I shopped from my pantry before making our weekly meal plan, so I only had a few items that I NEEDED this week:
I was able to purchase all of this for under $10.00. This will free up the majority of our weekly grocery budget to stockpile other items
I will probably have to purchase more milk and fruit before the week is over, but I will still have over half of our weekly grocery budget to begin stocking up on items that are at my rock bottom prices.
I am running low on both ground beef and chicken, so I will definitely be using a good portion of leftover money to start stocking back up on meat...just hoping that there will be a good sale soon.
What about you? Did you take a break during the summer? Are you having to rebuild your stockpile?