Advertisement
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Frugalistas Frugalistas

Meal Planning

Posted by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM
  • 52 Replies
4 moms liked this

I think we're going to start meal planning. I'm getting really frustrated with figuring out last minute what we're going to make for dinner. 

Anyone else do this? How does it work when you don't have a huge freezer (top Freezer with the Fridge) and only have about $250-300 a month to spend on food for 4 people (1 kid, 1 teenage boy, 2 adults)?

Follow my weight loss Journey.... I have a weightloss goal to hit 135-140lbs by Oct 2012....Can I do it by changing the weigh I eat, using Body By Vi , and exercising more? We shall see!!!! http://www.myfitnesspal.com/luvmykidz04


Wedding Countdown Ticker


by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
occumommy
by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 9:16 PM
1 mom liked this
I cut out a lot of meat and usbstitue with beans. Like one meal we have is baked beans with coleslaw. Cabbage and carrots hold for almost a month in the fridge.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Luv.My.Kidz
by Bronze Member on Mar. 2, 2013 at 9:46 PM

how do you actually plan though?

Quoting occumommy:

I cut out a lot of meat and usbstitue with beans. Like one meal we have is baked beans with coleslaw. Cabbage and carrots hold for almost a month in the fridge.


Follow my weight loss Journey.... I have a weightloss goal to hit 135-140lbs by Oct 2012....Can I do it by changing the weigh I eat, using Body By Vi , and exercising more? We shall see!!!! http://www.myfitnesspal.com/luvmykidz04


Wedding Countdown Ticker


diaperstodating
by Queen24Princes on Mar. 2, 2013 at 9:47 PM
I want to start to. I hope to get tips from this post.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
occumommy
by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 10:23 PM
1 mom liked this
I will start with i plan my menu a month at a time. I start out with writing out a chart. Breakfast lunch dinner across the top, day of the week down the side. Then i plan one day at a time. Breakfasts in my house generally consist of eggs and toast, or pancakes, or oatmeal, lunches either consist of leftovers from the meal the day before, or peanut butter and jelly, or tuna. Dinners, that`s where i actually put the work into planning, bean meals get started the night before, since i use dried beans, i usually plan for one whole turkey meal a month, i choose a day i will be home twards the begining of the month and roast it, cut all the meat off, make stock in the crockpot, or on the stove the next day, and packege the meat into recipe sizes for later and freeze them....any meats i freeze in individual meal bags as flat as possible...then, it`s really just a matter of posting your menu and sticking to it.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
ALolies
by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Planning has never worked for us. We never know what we want til we want it lol. But we do meatless dinners sometimes (having beans instead). Very good protein and saves money as well.

cookinmommyof1
by Bronze Member on Mar. 2, 2013 at 10:26 PM
I grocery shop weekly and go through the ads for everything I could use at home. Then make a plan nfor the week based on what is on sale and price match it at walmart. I spend usually about $40/week to feed our family-2 adults and a 4yo. I've been spending a little extra weekly right now since we got taxes back. Tying to stock up a little.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
occumommy
by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 10:32 PM
1 mom liked this
This reminds me, be flexible with your menu, if it`s wed and the menu says that tonight is spaghetti, and friday you planned chicken nuggets, which sounds better today, just switch. The point is you have to cross that off because you used the stuff planned for that meal.


Quoting ALolies:

Planning has never worked for us. We never know what we want til we want it lol. But we do meatless dinners sometimes (having beans instead). Very good protein and saves money as well.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Mar. 2, 2013 at 10:55 PM
6 moms liked this

From my blog, August 2009:

Saving money and eating well...can it be done?

I know there are many, many people out there that believe that to save money in the grocery area they have to cut back to rice and beans or Ramen noodles. I shudder at that thinking. Not only is it wrong, but they'll pay for it with their health.


Now, I'm not a nutritionist or dietician. I'm a diabetic that HAS to eat healthy meals in order to feel well. Carbohydrate-heavy meals like rice and beans or Ramen noodles would have me in a coma very quickly. I NEED to have well-planned, well-rounded meals. Since I have a large family and often have friends over, I also need meals that please everyone, but ones that don't break my tight food budget of $200 or less each month. MY KEY TO THIS IS EFFICIENT MEAL PLANNING, and, yes, it CAN BE DONE. I've spent several years figuring out how to cut back our grocery budget.


Meal planning before shopping is a must, and I know it saves me money. I often plan meals for 3 to 4 weeks at a time.


writing

Sit down and make a list on paper of everything your family likes to eat. I came up with at least 50 different meals that my family enjoys. Then go through your fridge, freezer and pantry and make a list of everything that is edible. Sit down and try to put together meals from that list. If you need one or two ingredients to finish out a meal, try to find it on sale in your store ads. Example: You have lasagna noodles and cottage cheese and ground meat, but you need tomato sauce (inexpensive) and mozzarella cheese to finish out the lasagna. You look in your local store ad, and it's on sale! Lasagna goes on your meal plan and list for shopping that week. If the cheese isn't on sale, then you may want to wait until it does to make the lasagna. (keep your list of meals for reference so that you remember what you planned! Mine is posted on the fridge door. Doesn't do any good to plan meals if you can't remember what you planned!)

eating

Meat doesn't have to be the centerpiece of each meal. Casseroles or skillet meals are money savers! Round out the meal with biscuits, bread or rolls and a tossed salad if you want. Please, be sure to get a good variety of vegetables in your meal plan.

apple

Fresh fruit and veggies are something that I buy only when they are in season or if I have a surplus of grocery money, with the exception of celery, carrots and onions. Canned or frozen work just as well. You can meet nutritional needs if you choose wisely. I've also found that most recipes requiring cheese can get by with 1/2 of what it calls for.

baking

I make EVERYTHING from scratch except for pasta. Breads, buns, spaghetti sauces, salad dressings, seasoning mixes, etc. (I do cheat sometimes if I find bread or buns on sale.) I have recipes that are proven tasty; they have to please 7 people with different tastes. Part of the reason I started this blog was to pass along my recipes.

gardening

I also grow a huge garden every summer and freeze or can as much as possible. Tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, tomato juice, pickles, carrots, beans, corn, peas, squash, pumpkin, applesauce, apple butter, jams, grape juice, potatoes. That saves us hundreds of dollars on our grocery bill each year. If you can't garden, you could always try buying produce from local farmers or at a farmers market. You don't have to can all the produce, most things will freeze nicely and you'll have a good nutritional and money-saving start.

shopping

I rarely buy name brand items unless I've got a coupon that will get an item for less than store brand price. Store brand works great for us. I shop for pantry supplies at an Amish bulk food store, a salvage grocery store, and a dollar store. I will take advantage of loss leaders in store ads IF it is a good price, but I'm not into buying convenience or prepackaged foods because most of the time I can make them for less. I buy paper products, dishsoap and personal care items at the dollar store, milk from a gas station/convenience store (up to $1 less than at the grocery), and eggs from a tiny local dept. store for $1.25/doz. I shop our local butcher shop and have found that ground beef and other cuts are usually less expensive than the grocery and are trimmed better for less fat. I don't know what is available in your area, but it paid me to just stop and check around at the little stores to find the best deals. One week I spotted big 40 oz. jars of Jif peanut butter on CLEARANCE for $3.70 per jar! You bet I picked them up! I also make our own laundry soap (4 gallons for under $4, no need for fabric softener) and use vinegar and baking soda for a lot of spot cleaning.


During July/August of 2009 I participated in a Grocery Challenge by All You magazine. By following the way I usually do things (meal planning around what I have, buying only what I need) and really concentrating on couponing, I spent only $26.59 during the 4 weeks. We ate GREAT meals like wet burritos, chicken a la king, pork and beef roasts, baked ham, oven fried chicken, homemade pot pie and Swiss steak, to name a few.


Eating well on a tiny budget? IT CAN BE DONE.


michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Mar. 2, 2013 at 10:57 PM
2 moms liked this

^^^ and I was feeding 7 (4 adults, a teen boy, 2 tweens) at the time ^^^

Luv.My.Kidz
by Bronze Member on Mar. 2, 2013 at 11:14 PM

That's freaking awesome! My family is so picky it's crazy. Do you have any samples of your monthly menus?

Quoting michiganmom116:

^^^ and I was feeding 7 (4 adults, a teen boy, 2 tweens) at the time ^^^


Follow my weight loss Journey.... I have a weightloss goal to hit 135-140lbs by Oct 2012....Can I do it by changing the weigh I eat, using Body By Vi , and exercising more? We shall see!!!! http://www.myfitnesspal.com/luvmykidz04


Wedding Countdown Ticker


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN