Now that I'm staying home, ya know, not bringing home a paycheck, I'm doing all that I can to save as much money as possible. One thing that I've gotten more serious about is meal planning.
Let me preface this post by saying that I'm no stranger to planning week's worth of meals at a time. My mom did it ever since I can remember and taught me how to do it too. I remember when I was in 4th or 5th grade, she had me plan the meals for the week of VBS so that we'd still get home-cooked meals and make it to church on time even though she was working. She had me sit down with her and plan what meals I wanted to cook, then I had to create the shopping list (we even checked the cabinets to see what we already had on hand) and then I had to go to the grocery store with her to shop while she tagged along. I don't remember what I made that week, probably easy things like spaghetti, but I do remember feeling appreciative of the work my mom did for the family and how important I felt knowing that my family, even my dad, would be eating my food that week.
That week, and watching my mom do the same thing for years, made me start doing the same thing when I got married. At first it worked well because I was in school and Ronnie was out of town all week, so I could buy several things that I liked and whip up whatever I was in the for that night. And then we'd eat out on the weekends. Then Ronnie got a job and was home more, but he didn't like having to think about what he wanted to eat on Thursday five days beforehand. I got a little out of practice, but I tried to keep my shopping trips to once a week.
Now Ronnie's out of town quite a bit again, but unlike before I have three hungry boys to feed. I'm finding it a bit more challenging, but easier if I plan out a week and shop for it. This past week I decided to be brave and tackle two weeks at one time. I felt crazy buying that much food, but it's so nice to look at my menu and know what I'm fixing to eat that night and knowing that I have all I need to make it.
I'll try to post what I'm planning and you can chime in with your plans if you'd like. Or you could offer suggestions because I tend to get in ruts easily.
Meals for this week and next:
M 2/11 HH
T 2/12 chipped beef gravy w/toast
W 2/13 eggs/bacon/biscuits
R 2/14 Cracker Barrel Chicken/mac n cheese/cream corn
F 2/15 pizza
S 2/16 lunch: baked potatoes; hot dogs and ff
S 2/17 Lunch @ Gma Jackie’s ; pintos and cornbread before Ronnie preaches
M 2/18 Parmesan Chicken Bake/mac n cheese
T 2/19 salmon patties/corn
W 2/20 pancakes
R 2/21 tacos
F 2/22 pizza
S 2/23 tater tot casserole
This is just the rough list that I made myself. Things may get bumped up or back or I may add things here and there, but this is the main gist.