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.
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.
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.