Planning the meals

As summer at home with the kids loomed, I read a blog entry by Tsh on Simple Mom about meal plans and how she does them. And this time I paid attention. I had tried planning meals before but it didn't last long. I read her description though and realized--if I plan my meals like she does, I would have less trips to the grocery store with my children. I would not have to think everyday about what we are going to eat. She is trying to help me be less exhausted.

As I read through her description, I realized I could make one plan and just repeat it. Duh. She also talked about cooking a chicken once a week and then freezing the meat to use as needed through out the week. I have a great recipe to roast a chicken, and after a quick search on the internet, discovered I could cook TWO at a time, saving some energy costs. If you look on the link, you see that she also had some themes on some days, such as Mexican Monday, which was also helpful to me. So after reading through all of that, I planned two weeks. And then added a third. The kids and I loaded up and went to the store. As the groceries were totaled up at the end, I was a little surprised. I mentally added in the trips I knew I would still need to make once a week to Braums for milk and fruit, and a few other items that may run out like eggs. Then a little in for trips to the farmers market. Even with all of that, it was still going to be less than I usually spent week by week.  That was four weeks ago. Our food budget was way down for the month, which really helps during the summer while I am not working much with Kid's Hope. It frees up some money to do some fun things with the kids. Or pay for the AC this month. Whichever. Because I am not at the store as much, I am also not buying extra stuff as much. That stuff that just seems to jump in my cart-- when I go to buy four things and come out with ten.

I am on my second meal plan. It was more challenging this time, with more events to plan around. I do think after these two sets, and reviewing the website some more, I could plan and buy for the whole month. As I do now, I will still need to make a trip to Braums once a week. We guzzle the milk. I will also still need to go back for food for special times that pop up. This still is cheaper than whatever it was I was doing before AND we eat out less, which also frees up some money. Thanks Tsh!