5 Tips To Save Time & Money on Her Menu (Flash Freeze)
24 Sep, 2012
Written by Heather Riggleman
There are tons of ways to save money. We cut our grocery bill 30 percent when I began planning meals. When you know what you are going to serve for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week, it reduces what you are spending at the store and the time there for that matter. Rule of thumb for us at the store is budgeting $50.00 per month per family member. And yes it’s doable; this includes all the great fresh fruits and vegatables too.
It also helps you scout coupons for products you will be using.
Here’s a few tips to get you started.
I have a template that I downloaded four or five years ago from www.flylady.net. It’s in a clear protector and taped to my pantry door, whenever I take anything out, I mark it off on the list. This list is composed of canned goods, beans, tomatoes, pastas, breads, flour, snacks, etc.
I love this organizational tool, it cuts down on my grocery bill, I ALWAYS know what’s in my pantry for unexpected events, and it makes creating my grocery list so much easier. I also love having it pop up on my Iphone. Visit http://www.pantrylist.net/ for an instant list or for a printable list, try: http://www.kitchenbelleicious.com/pantry-list/
2. Know What is On Sale
Check out the websites of the grocery stores you frequently shop. Knowing what is on sale will further help reduce your budget and give you some inspiration of what to plan for meals before you go shopping.
3. Create a menu for the week
Depending on how often you grocery shop and where, create a menu based on your outings. I shop every two weeks. So I create a menu consisting of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for two weeks. There are night like when my husband is at school or one of my kids has an activity that I just plan to eat out and mark that on the menu.
If this idea seems a little intimidating at first, try just planning one or two meals each week. I started out by planning freezer meals on the nights my husband was going to be gone. It saved me tons of time and fretting about what to feed my family.
You can create a basic menu on your computer or sheet of paper like this:
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Oatmeal/OJ/Toast PB & J, Chips, Milk Fajita Chicken, Brown Rice
Bagels/Milk Ham & Cheese Pockets Jamaican Jerk Pork, Salad
Eggs/Juice Mac N Cheese Eating Out
Or if you prefer, Google menu planning and browse the different forms out there. There will be something that fits your organizational tastes. One of my other favorite websites to use templates for menu planning is Faithful Provisions.
4. Know What They will Eat
Nothing spells fun like telling your child not to complain about the food on his plate The rule at our house is to try one new item on your plate, for example, eating one piece of cheesy broccoli.Chances are, they will like the taste and eat some more. Each child has a freebie, they each have one vegetable can choose not to eat and will then eat an extra helping of another. If they eat their meal, then they can join us for desert.
In order to avoid battles, lay out some ground rules and limit exposing them to too many new foods in one week. I have about 40 to 45 recipes that I rotate through that I know are hits for my family.
5. Create a Recipe Menu Box
Go through and create a recipe box filled with all your favorite recipes. This will help you know what you need to have on hand in your pantry and help you decide in the weeks ahead of what to plan. Once you have several recipes stockpiled, its easy to match up your recipes to what is on sale and what you have in your pantry.
What do you do to keep your menu tasty and on a budget?