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

(minimum 6 characters)

Saving Time and Money With Meal Planning and List Sharing

Posted by   + Show Post

One of the things I've learned being a working mom is that having a decent meal plan in the beginning of the week can help save time and money. Especially when your family follows a specific dietary lifestyle - in our case gluten-free and mostly "Paleo" - keeping a menu plan in mind with a running list is a huge help in budgeting and time management.

I have to admit that because I'm a WAHM, most days I do have the flexibility to run to the store for a forgotten item or scrap a dinner plan for another because I have that buffer time. That is, MOST days. Some days between editorial meetings, dealing with international authors, and shuttling my kids to school and daycare, I swear it's dinner time before I even sit down to work. My time feels so stripped and crunched into tiny minutes that every second of pre-planning helps.

One thing my husband and I use often to keep an updated grocery list is enlist the use of our smartphones. We both use a list sharing app so that anything he had to the list shows up on mine, and anything I buy and check off updates his, etc. You can also scan the barcode of an item you're low on and it automatically adds it to your list. We have different phones (I have an iPhone and he has an Android) and the app works across both operating systems.

Saturday or Sunday, we will sit down and talk about what we're in the mood for that week. I'll pull up blog posts I've marked with recipes to try, or we'll browse through one of my newest Paleo cookbooks, earmarking things that look good. I mark each recipe to try with a post-it note, and on it I will jot down the ingredients I don't have and need to buy. Then, we'll sketch a pretty decent outline of what we plan to eat and then create our list.

Of course, life happens. Ice skating lessons run late, my husband gets stuck at work, I stay late at the gym, one of us gets sick, etc. So to prepare for this, we usually only plan out three actual meals and then the other two or three for the week are leftovers or remakes (i.e., roast chicken one night, chicken salad on Romaine boats the next) or we plan Pick Nights or YOYO Nights (You're On Your Own) where we go through the fridge and salvage the leftovers. Truthfully, some of my most interestingly delicious recipes I've created have come from trying to make use of a weird conglomeration of leftovers on YOYO nights.

But meal planning and keeping/sharing a grocery list helps keep the random runs to the grocery store to a minimum and also allows us to buy only the food we need for the week, rather than buying stuff at the store that will end up going bad.

Do you set up a meal plan? Do you use any list apps or have any tips or tricks for keeping within your grocery budget and meal plans?

by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (51-57):
amy7243
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 9:27 AM

 I need to meal plan!!!! I have a color note app that I list the groceries on but I need to learn to plan ahead for sure.

KaylaMillar
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 10:34 AM
I meal plan and I love it. It seemed like its the only way I can get it together in the kitchen!
elijahsmama09
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Quoting MommeeTo4:

I've read that also.

I guess, each of us spend our extra "me" time doing different things.

If I ever have 20. Extra minutes, I would rather sit and relax than sit and think. Sometimes my brain needs a break.
And funny thing is I generally know what I'm going to buy when i go.
I guess I keep mental list.


Quoting elijahsmama09:



Quoting MommeeTo4:

My problem is I have a busy family of 7 , 2 cats, 1 puppy

I never have time to even pee alone lol



Quoting Bmat:


At one time I was really careful about meal planning. Then it all seemed to fall apart when we all got active in different groups.


Quoting MommeeTo4:

I really need one, I always say I'm going to make one and I never do.



I only spend about 20 minutes meal planning...its very simple for me. I was one told, "everyone has 24 hours in a day and we each decide how we are going to use it." Basically it is up to us to carve out time for ourselves or things we need or want to do.


You know...if I had a family that large I may feel the same way, lol. Its just me, hubby and our son for now. I would love more though!
elijahsmama09
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 1:28 PM


Quoting elasmimi:

I am having more and more trouble keeping within a budget. The whole pink slime thing made me a little queasy about ground beef, especially since my local grocery store buys theirs pre packaged and doesn't know if it is used or not. I have gone to a local market, but it is more expensive. Coupons don't really help much here. My biggest moneysavers are BOGOs

Me too. I have been trying to lose weight and eating healthier is more expensive. Plus in general...every article that comes out is saying there is crap in our food and the FDA allows it, so I have been going towards more and more organic.

MommeeTo4
by on Mar. 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM
It's challenging at times, but it has its rewards.
I came from a large family, dh didn't so he wants a lot of kids.


Quoting elijahsmama09:



Quoting MommeeTo4:

I've read that also.



I guess, each of us spend our extra "me" time doing different things.



If I ever have 20. Extra minutes, I would rather sit and relax than sit and think. Sometimes my brain needs a break.

And funny thing is I generally know what I'm going to buy when i go.

I guess I keep mental list.




Quoting elijahsmama09:




Quoting MommeeTo4:

My problem is I have a busy family of 7 , 2 cats, 1 puppy

I never have time to even pee alone lol




Quoting Bmat:



At one time I was really careful about meal planning. Then it all seemed to fall apart when we all got active in different groups.



Quoting MommeeTo4:

I really need one, I always say I'm going to make one and I never do.





I only spend about 20 minutes meal planning...its very simple for me. I was one told, "everyone has 24 hours in a day and we each decide how we are going to use it." Basically it is up to us to carve out time for ourselves or things we need or want to do.




You know...if I had a family that large I may feel the same way, lol. Its just me, hubby and our son for now. I would love more though!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
delanna6two
by Platinum Member on Mar. 28, 2012 at 12:33 AM

I am working on this now....I am horribly unorganized in this area.

cole679
by on Apr. 7, 2012 at 5:50 AM
We use a meal plan most of the time....what is the best grocy list app for android & iPhone?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
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)