Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday's Household Assigments-Planning all your meals for the week saves time and money!

This week's household assignment is to start planning ahead for your meals each week! By planning your meals once a week you'll save money and time. I plan all my meals for the week on Wednesdays because this is when the grocery sales flyers come out. Some stores post their flyers online and other only have them in the paper. I always get the Wednesday paper for the coupons and the flyers. I lay out all of the flyers and my schedule for the week. I identify the days that are going to be crazy where I'll need to plan on a crock pot dinner or a fast  preparation dinner.

I then look at the meats that are on sale that week. Last week, there was a great sale at Sunflower Market on their ground meats. Ground chicken breast, turkey and beef were on sale for $1.97 a pound. In addition their Italian sausage and pork loin roasts were on sale.  Once I pick the meats, I go ahead and plan my main dishes around these meats. (I also bought extra for the freezer, more on that later.)  I pull out the recipes and make sure that I have all the ingredients for them either in the pantry or on my shopping list.  I then go through the circular and plan my side dishes. My menu ended up being,
       Wednesday-  Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, salad, french bread
       Thursday- Creole Stuffed Peppers (ground beef), broccoli and
                        honeyed carrots (crockpot)
        Friday- Roast Pork Roast with cranberry chutney, green beans, wild rice and tossed salad,
        Saturday- Tamale Pie, corn, fresh tomatoes and shredded lettuce
        Sunday- Beef Pot Roast- Bought on sale last month used out of freezer,
                       new potatoes, carrots and peas
        Monday- White Chicken Chili on rice (crockpot)
        Tuesday- A family tradition- Srevotfel-  Leftovers- It just sounds more
                                                              elegant when you spell and say it backwards!!!   This cleans                                                                     out the fridge for shopping on Wednesday.
Once week a month- I challenge myself to make all the meals from the pantry and the freezer so that the only things I have to purchase from the store are fresh veggies and dairy items. This helps the budget a lot!!!!!

When you plan ahead you:
  • Are prepared for dinners on busy days with food in the crock pot or quick preparation recipes so that you can avoid last minute take out or delivery food that costs so much.
  • Avoid extra trips to the grocery store that do cost you extra cash with those impulse purchases! 
  • Prepare a broader variety of meals when you write it all down and do a little bit of planning. 
  • Ultimately save money!!!!!!! 
Hint- When ground beef goes on sale, buy 5 or 6 pounds and take an extra 30 minutes to brown 3 or 4 pounds of it. Once it's browned completely, cool slightly and divide the cooked meat into separate plastic bags, label with the date and toss into the freezer. With the meat already browned, you can thaw a bag in the microwave and make it into tacos or spaghetti sauce in under 5 minutes- It's a real time saver!


Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

That is so great that you do that. I try...but then I never want to cook when it actually comes time to do it...I'm a lost cause on this one.

Wild Child said...

I try to do this and try to get my husband to do this, but alas, he doesn't get the ease of having everything at least planned...

Jody said...

You know what? You kill me. I read this blog and think WOW she has it all going on. I need to do this and that and this and that and then I don't.
Well, I have done some things....

But man that is a lot of time and effort for each blog.

I have to know.... do you REALLY do all this stuff? Because if you do I need to start bowing to you each and every time I read this.

Jody said...
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Ginny Marie said...

It is so useful to have browned ground beef in the freezer already...that's one of my tricks, too!

Anne said...

I started doing this and it is really helpful. Along with avoiding the whole, "what should I do for dinner at 5:00?" I save money by planning meals with meat that is on sale.

blueviolet said...

I buy a ton of ground beef at once and then I divide it into sections raw and wrap it in foil and freeze it. I can't cook mine beforehand because my husband can't stand reheated meat. :(

Missy said...

Amen. I am all about planning out the meals for the week. I am home all day, so what "to have" is not as important as what "we have". I figure out whats on sale, and "make" meals from that for at least 7 days. Then I have lots of options each morning when I am deciding what we will have for dinner.

gretchen said...

This is so inspiring! I just have such a terrible time with sticking to a plan. Sigh. Thanks for the ideas!

gayle said...

I love these ideas!!! and I am going to tell my husband that this is what I am going to do as soon as he says "yes you can retire"

Tracie said...

I have one of those weekly menu subscriptions. (won it from a blog) There really is NO EXCUSE for me to avoid this one.

But sometimes I just don't do it.:(