I have been so bad about menu planning the past year......blogging may or may not have something to do with that??
I've been finding, though, that my grocery bill is spiraling out-of-control! Not only are food prices skyrocketing, but my lack of planning has caused impulsive purchasing at the grocery store.....
I buy things that I "think" I might need and then never have all the ingredients that I need for a meal......translation: my hubby is getting really tired of tacos because those are the ingredients that I always have in my fridge.
Last weekend, I decided to haul out the recipe books and get planning....
I don't know why I was avoiding making a menu.....it really only took about 1 hour of my time to plan meals for one whole month.....so, I have decided to share with you my next 5 weeks of meals in hopes of helping you make a plan and save money!
So, here's my menu for the week.....
Monday: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese and Stromboli
I just make a basic white sauce with butter, flour and milk and then add sharp cheddar cheese.
I mix in multi-grain pasta and top with cheddar cheese and paprika. You could also top with croutons, bread crumbs, bacon bits.....endless ideas!
To make homemade stromboli, I use frozen bread dough. After it unthaws there are endless possibilities for filling. I made one filled with pepperoni and mozzarella and one with ham and cheddar cheese.
Tuesday: Restaurant Style Fajitas
This is definitely one of my families favorite meals! It's also easy to throw together! You can find the recipe HERE.
Wednesday: Hot dogs and french french fries.
Wednesday's we don't eat together as a family. My hubby is a youth pastor, so he eats with his volunteer staff and it's usually pizza.....so Wednesdays are my "throw-away" meals....chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and box mac-and-cheese.
Thursday: Chicken Stir Fry
I buy a bag of oriental vegetables in the frozen food aisle and add chicken. To make a marinade, I add soy sauce, chicken broth, and lemon juice to taste and then thicken it with cornstarch.
Friday: Homemade Sausage Turnovers and applesauce
This is a new recipe that I just tried. Let's just say I made a double batch to freeze some and there wasn't a crumb left! My family ate TWO batches in ONE meal!
Saturday: Homemade chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese
We actually put food together with our neighbors and had a wonderful meal! This is a great way to say money. When we lived in Wisconsin, we did this regularly with our neighbor friends......we would take turns bringing parts of the meal!
Sunday: Breakfast for dinner!
I was shocked by how much money I saved when I had a plan.....somehow I had forgotten that! Right now, I have about $575 to shop for my family of 5 for a month. This includes all fresh fruit, meat, snacks, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies and toiletries.....everything! I am not a big coupon-user. Frankly, I just don't have the time that needs to be invested to make couponing work.
I also don't go to discount grocery stores.....when I factor in the gas that it costs to drive to those stores (at least $10) and the fact that I usually end up buying things that I don't really need because they are so "cheap", I end up spending more money at those places.
I'd love to hear how you save money feeding your families!