Monthly Meal Plan for May 2016

I started meal planning at the beginning of March and have seen huge success.  I have more free time during the work week, I’m less stressed about dinner, and we’re throwing away less food.  In March I was making my meal plans 1 week at a time.  And then I switched to doing 2 weeks at a time to see how I liked it.  Well, I loved it.  Not only was I able to rotate through my frozen food more efficiently I felt like I was saving a lot of money by freeing up space and allowing me to stock up when I came across good deals.  The natural progression of my meal planning is to set up a monthly plan.  This way I can have a plan for all of the food in the freezer and this will keep me from passing over the ‘freezer fossils’ saying to myself, “We’ll eat it next week.”  I took stock of my freezer inventory and updated my white board.

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This month instead of writing out my meal plan on the white board I’m printing out a google spread sheet. All of the meals can be made with what is in the freezer.  I’ll still be grocery shopping each week for the produce and to stock up on good deals.  I have my grocery list planned out for the first week in May and will continue to stay the course and rotate stock in the freezer.  The first week in May there is an amazing deal on whole chickens at $0.49 a lbs which is unheard of around here.

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I like to plan my the protein part of the meal and leave the how we want to serve it till the day of the meal.  What the meal plan is allowing me to do is reminding me to pull meat out of the freezer ahead of time so that I’m not trying to thaw things out in the microwave.  This also is a big deterrent from ordering food at the last minute.

I’m continuing to cook around the deals instead of making a meal plan first and then shopping around what I want to make.  It really is saving us a ton of money.  Already I saw a savings last month on our grocery line in our budget.  My hope is to eventually treat my grocery line on my budget as a sinking fund in order to shop and stock up a little bit more aggressively.

6 thoughts on “Monthly Meal Plan for May 2016”

  1. Shopping the deals, making your meals from that , and stocking up on good sales has made a big difference in our food budget. I remember when I started building a pantry by buying deals in qty’s of 4-8 my budget went up a little for the first 2-3 mos. Once I got to the point where I had the freedom to only buy the deals and perishables, my monthly costs went down.

    I make my menu after I come home from shopping rather than before. That helps keep costs down and makes good use of the perishables. Like you discovered, menu planning before making the shopping list leads to purchasing things that aren’t on sale and leaves less money to stock up on deals.

    Love hearing how others manage their food supply. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi there! Something I’ve found is helpful- since I shop at the same 1-2 stores, I look up their weekly deals and sales online, and then write down my shopping list and weekly meal plan at the same time-

    2. I forgot to add, when looking up the deals/coupons online, I screenshot the coupons and print them all on one page so they are easier to keep track of if I have a lot of them-

  2. I use a white board to plan our meals too. I only do a week at a time right now. But definitely saves time and helps us use up food we already have in the house.

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