Sunday, 28 October 2012

Meal planning

Meal Planning

Most people who live on a budget plan their meals according to their budgets. Obviously you wouldn't be eating steak and lobster every night if you were making a minimum wage. I like to try and at least plan my meals for the week in no particular order. I do one weekly shop at my favorite grocery store (where I get all of my airmiles) and write out what different meals I can make with all of the groceries I purchased. I set a weekly limit of how much I spend on groceries and try not to buy anything else during the week unless we run out of one of the staples like milk, butter, eggs etc. I for a family of four I usually try to stay within a budget of $100 per week. I count how many meals I have bought to make sure it will get us through the whole week until next weeks shopping trip. For instance I will write out on the calendar:

Wednesday- Chicken Parmesan with Veggies and Rice
Thursday- Roast with Veggies
Friday- Pizza night
Saturday- Fish Sticks with Veggies
Sunday- Chili and Garlic Toast

My husband usually takes all left overs in his lunch for work so all he has to do it is heat it up for a hot meal and we don't get stuck eating left overs all the time. It also saves us on lunch meat every week too.
Remember this is only a guideline and doesn't have to be followed exactly. It just gives you an idea for planning ideas and tell you what you have in your cupboards. It also keeps you from running out to the grocery store last minute because you can't think of anything to make for dinner. I will also right out what stuff we have for breakfast and lunches too to give people an idea of what what we have. For instance:


Fresh Fruit
Eggs and Toast
Bagel and Cream Cheese


Grilled Cheese

Again, this just gives you some ideas and hopefully will make you stay home and eat rather then going out to grab fast food. It will save you money in the long run. I'm ALL about saving money. If you must eat out set limits for yourself for instance only go once a week or twice a month. Some people eat out almost every day at least one meal and it is such a huge expense. They do it even if they can't afford it and thats bad news. Just because it's convenient doesn't mean it's better or healthier. Usually by eating at home means you will be eating healthier in the long run as well.

Fiscal Fasting

Yearly or monthly fiscal fasting saves you a ton of $$$$ on spoiled food. Every once and a while I go through my cupboards, fridge, and freezer and use up all of the food in the house before I go out grocery shopping again. I make sure I use up all of my produce that will go bad, soups and beans that may be expiring, frozen meats and things that may be getting a bit freezer burnt. The more I use the less I will have to throw out and the more money I save on groceries. It's really amazing just how much people actually waste by throwing out food every month. Also if you didn't buy so much food (only food you will actually eat) it can eliminate throwing away good food. I still do it even though I try not to. I'm bad at forgetting what I have bought in the fridge and letting it spoil. I try and make a list on the wall of all the food we have and some ideas on how to prepare it for my husband and for myself. Hopefully this will help us not throw as much food away. It also gets you thinking of fresh new ideas and lets you be creative in the kitchen. It's kind of fun to explore new ways on how to cook things with different food.

Hopefully you can all find ways to meal plan or do a fiscal fast. I try not to spend ANY money during a fiscal fast if I can. Just by doing this simple exercise a few times a year you will save hundreds of dollars on food. Think about the fact that in third wold countries all around the world, people are dying of hunger every day, yet we seem to be able to throw away tons of food worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It just doesn't seem right to me, doesn't seem fair.

If any of you have great ideas for simple meals by all meals please start posting!

I hope you enjoyed todays read!