The Best Laid Plans…

So here’s the deal – we’re thrifty and practical. You saw our wedding budget. We rarely eat out, but there’s one problem: grocery shopping is one of my least favorite things to do. Yet if I neglect it for too long, the fridge gets bare and scary & Kyle has to eat strange concoctions. He starts asking questions about when I went shopping last, I take it the wrong way, and then we’re both mad. And still hungry.

Our friends Summer & Ryan told us the other day about how they plan out their menus on paper every week. My first thought was, “Psssh. I can do this in my head.” Then things started to go badly. So my new train of thought is this: If I can save just one trip to the grocery store every week, then 30-40 minutes of menu planning was worth it. Today I planned out the menu for this week (a great starter week since we’ll be gone over the holiday weekend). Our budget allows for us to spend $10 per day on groceries, so I know I’ll have to keep the grand total under $40. Here’s the final draft:

Porter Family Menu

I tried to keep in mind that leftovers are my friend and that we need to use up everything we buy. Most lunches are a repeat of the night before, and a package of English Muffins will serve as buns for our turkey burgers as well as toast to our eggs for breakfasts. Because of our budget, I can’t get too fancy (ingredients we don’t have can add up fast) so my rule is that we’ll try one fancy new recipe every 1-2 weeks. That way, most of our $10 is going toward actual food instead of ingredients to be shelved.

I’m already feeling better about dinners for the week, though I found some templates that are prettier than the one I used. See below.

Do any of you plan your menus for the week? Any great tips or ideas?

PS : CONGRATULATIONS to our first book giveaway winner – Katie Dawson. Thanks to everyone for playing, we’ll do it again soon!

15 thoughts on “The Best Laid Plans…”

  1. ooo I will be stealing one of those menu planners. thanks for sharing! after trying other ways to grocery shop, we've decided planning meals is the most efficient and it means we don't waste food/ingredients. 🙂

  2. I am a huge fan of TheProjectGirl too jen! She even emailed me to let me know she has a July to July calendar coming out. (Here planner is AMAZING!)

  3. I started planning meals last month and it has made cooking/grocery shopping A LOT less stressful!! I usually sit down on Sunday and plan for the week. I've also started trying to plan multiple weekly menus ahead of time when I'm not busy, so I can just grab one on sunday and just head to the grocery store!

  4. I love this idea because I HATE going to the grocery store too!! I'm jumping on the bandwagon as soon as I have a place to live again….Thanks for the meal planning charts (and the websites that they originate from)!

  5. Another idea is you could get a membership to like Sam's Club or something like that and buy in bulk so that you dont have to go every week and your money goes a little further. 🙂

  6. Meal planning is the best thing ever. It saves so much time and eliminates all the 'So, what are we having for dinner tonight? We have pasta and pickles… who's going to the store on the way home from work?' business. It's absolutely worth the half hour you spend figuring out the week ahead.

  7. It really helps to plan for a week. But I havent done that much since its just me. You have inspired me to start again. I really think I will save money by doing that as well as make healthier food choices. love the forms they make it so fun!! love you!!!

  8. Kevin's roommate here:) We'll celebrate anniversary #6 on Saturday and I've been planning weekly meals since we started thanks to my sister-in-law. It saves time and money. The other thing I'm working on implementing is keeping track of those menus so that when you get bored because you've started using the same entrees time and again, you can remember others you've enjoyed and haven't eaten in a while. Good luck!

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