As soon as we created our new budget at the end of December we also created a weekly meal plan. I initially referred to it as a menu plan but then my husband said “but menus offer more than one choice for dinner”. I had to agree with him on that so I changed the name.
In the past I’ve never been one to pre-plan my meals, even when I was on a specific diet. I found it too restricting. I would think well what if the meal plan says chicken and I want beef tonight?
Well my way of thinking has completely changed. From the moment I created our first meal plan I felt so organized and felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. Coincidentally, I felt the same way after creating our new budget even though the debt load is high.
I printed it out, put it on the fridge and asked my husband to look at it whenever he wanted to know what we were making for dinner. We know what to take out of the freezer, we know exactly what to shop for (and nothing else), and it just makes it so much easier to stick to our new budget.
Our meal plan for this week is:
Breakfast is easy because my husband is happy with toast and peanut butter and I am happy with scrambled eggs or an omelette. I struggle to come up with new ideas for lunch.
Dinner ideas were easy for the first 3 weeks of January because we had lots of things in the freezer from shopping that we did last December. Having all those items in the freezer also made it easier to stick to our $400 budget for groceries for the month of January.
We use to spend a lot on groceries per month. I never really added it up but it was probably around $1,000 or more for the 2 of us.
Our meals include veggies, salads and protein, all of which are very expensive in our city.
We try to eat as low carb as possible so our meals do not include pasta, rice, or many whole grains, other than the breads that we have been making in our bread machine.
We use to grocery shop with a list and we did love finding sales on things we like, but we also bought lots of stuff that wasn’t on the list.
Now I scour the grocery store flyers each week and I grab ideas for our meal plan based on what is on sale, and we shop with a list. We challenge ourselves to only spend $100 a week.
I’ve tried clipping coupons for household cleaning items, paper towels, etc. and while I have managed to find a few good deals, I don’t feel very successful in that department yet. I was quite happy to find a coupon for a free 1.5 litre bottle of laundry detergent.
Many people on the Canadian coupon sites have mixed reviews about shopping with coupons in Canada because the retailers have imposed very tight restrictions on the use of coupons. I know some people have figured out how to save lots of money with coupons and how to deal with the restrictions. I’m just not there yet.
So how is your meal planning going? Found any good deals this week?
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