Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meal Planning for Savings

Man it feels good to enjoy my weekend without spending all day in the grocery store.  Better yet, it feels good to have spent 3 weekends without having to haul in bags and bags of grocery.

A few weeks ago, an impromptu money conversation with the boyfriend turned into a commitment to seriously decrease our food costs.  We started planning our meals in advance and are trying to eat what we already have in the freezer and pantry instead of doing more shopping.

We have also turned Sunday into a food prep day. Last Sunday, we had enough leftovers to cover our meals for that day, but my boyfriend still prepared some pork chops(that had been sitting in our freezer for over a month) while I was busy whipping up a skillet meal.  Why? So I could have lunch prepared for the next couple of days, and so neither one of us would have to slave over the stove after working an 8 (or more) hour shift during the week.  After a long day of work, it is so much easier to stop at one of the many fast food places lining the streets surrounding our home than to prepare a homemade meal...and at least 2 times a week we fall victim to this temptation.  For lunch I usually eat a small frozen meal (ie Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, etc), but sometimes I crave something different (or less healthy lol) and sneak out to get some fast food.  By thinking ahead for the week, I get the variety I want and get to save money at the same time!

This Sunday, I made lasagna with garlic bread, and before we even started eating dinner I packaged four servings for us to take to lunch for the next couple of days.  We don't need to cook again until Wednesday, and we already know what's for dinner that night (burgers, in case you are wondering). Unfortunately, we are going to have to go grocery shopping next week, but so far I have only spent $24.60 on groceries this month!  If we keep this up--along with coupon clipping and buying according to what's on sale--I may need to adjust my food budget!

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