Weekly Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping

I have tried and read so many ways to menu plan and grocery shop.  I started doing the monthly thing, (I read so many great things about this), but I felt like by the end of the month, the meals I had planned for I just really didn’t want and I had found new recipes I wanted to try.  I also found that I would run out of stuff such as eggs, milk, and produce so I had to go to the store anyway.  Also, I couldn’t see paying a huge amount in one trip (even though I could spend $500 in groceries in a month, doing this over a month’s time seemed to me a little easier to do).  Don’t get me wrong, if this works for you that’s awesome.

Next I tried every other week.  This was great for me for D and I until Little Fella came along.  Also, I like that grocery shopping gives me something to do to get out of the house each week.

So I went to a weekly menu and grocery shopping.  Here is what I do:

First I grab my homemade recipe book.  This is a three-ring binder that I made of my families favorite recipes.  (Most of the recipes I have found on the internet, printed them off and put them in plastic sleeves and some are recipes that I have made myself or are handed down from family and friends.)  I love my recipe book, because it is easy to pick recipes that I know my family will love.  I will choose about five or six recipes from this book for my lunch and suppers.  Next, I will add some meals that aren’t found in recipes books ie. grilled chicken, steaks, hamburgers.  I try to grill out a few times a week, unless it is a really cold week, then its to the oven we go.  I do, always try to add a new recipe or two to my menu.  This helps with not getting into a slump and making the same things each week.

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After I have picked out all my recipes I write them down on my homemade Menu.  I don’t do a daily menu (just because I might change my mind or not have enough time to make one meal) but I do choose seven or eight meals to make for supper and about four or five meals to make for lunch.

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Next, I go through each recipe and look at all the ingredients in the recipe.  I write down any ingredient I don’t have on my shopping list.  This makes it easy when you go to the store not to over buy.

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In my pantry, I have a huge chalkboard.  The soul purpose for this is for my family and me to write down things we are out of.  I write down anything that is one the chalk board and then I erase it so I don’t purchase the same thing, two weeks in a row.

Next I go through my store sales flyer.  Mine comes out on Wednesday’s so I try to go get my menu planned Wednesday so I can go grocery shopping on Thursday.  I look through each page and write down anything that is on sale that we use.  Once I have gone through the sale ads, I go through my coupon book and see if I have any coupons that I need to use, or on my list. 

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My coupon book is a flexible three-ring binder that has baseball card sleeves.  I use each page as a new day, (instead of by category) so I know exactly when a coupon expires.  After I have pulled them, I just paperclip them together, write which store I’m going to use them at, and stick them in the front of the binder in a zippered pouch.  I do take my binder with me, just in case I find something that is on sale that I missed or not advertised I can use my coupon to help save even more money.

Next I turn to my Ibotta account. Ibotta is a coupon app that you  earn money back from selected items that you have purchased in the store.  I love this app, and check it daily.  In over a year, I have received over $500.00 back from Ibotta.  To sign up, click here.

I know this system sounds tedious, but I have found that I waste less food and eat at home more often.  I have really enjoyed keeping up this method and it has helped me save money in the long run. 

 

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