Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monthly meal planning

On Pinterest I've been seeing all these things about menu planning for a week or more commonly a month. When I first saw them I didn't think twice about them even though they claimed it would save me so much money. In my head I was thinking "It's only Jack and I, this is unnecessary." However, over the past couple of weeks Jack and I have thrown out an insane amount of food. I was just going to the store and buying things I thought I might make and never did.  For example the other week Hannaford was having a sale on chicken so of course I made him buy $20 worth only to realize a day later that the taste of chicken was nauseating to me. Realizing that our grocery list was coming to almost $100 every week when we were only eating at max $50 I decided enough was enough and that we needed to start planning more efficiently. 

I took a second look at all those monthly meal planning pins and decided to give it a go. I looked through all my saved recipes to find ones that I might be willing to eat and that would be easy and cheap to cook and made a list. I tried to come up with at least 2 weeks worth of meals, planned it out for two weeks, and sort of did a repeat for the next 2 weeks. This helps for a couple reasons, One: it makes it a little easier to plan, because instead of coming up with 30 different meals you're only coming up with 14 and Two: I can highlight the non perishables and buy enough in the beginning of the month so that I use it all by the end of the month. This makes it so I don't end up buying an entire thing of peanut butter to use once and not touch for several months. 

I created an excel spreadsheet stating what week it was at the top then on the Y axis I listed out the three meals: Breakfast, lunch, and, dinner and on the X axis are the days of the week. Underneath each day is a list of all the ingredients that I will need for the meals during that day. It came out looking like this:

I apologize again for the quality of the photo, but at least you get the picture. After making the template for this I just opened new sheets and copied and pasted for the weeks during that month. The sheets are at the bottom of the excel spreadsheet 

To create one you just click on the very end one that has a little star on it and then to change the name you double click it and type in the name. I printed out each week and I also keep it on my computer in case I need to change anything. 

Now, I just created this yesterday so I haven't even really had the chance to use it yet, but I am extremely excited about it. Next month I will be able to tell you guys how it went for me and if I'm going to continue to use it!

Tomorrow's blog I'm going to tell you guys how I came up with a budgeting plan on monthly spending so that  we can better track our spending habbits and don't blow our money eating out and other unnecessary things every month!


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