Saturday, January 10, 2009

Menu Planning - Go Ahead, Try It!

I'm really good at having ideas but not that great at making them come to fruition. I've had the idea for a really long time to start doing menu planning for our meals to ease up on our grocery budget, but just never had actually sat down to plan. Or when I would plan, I would come up with the same thing, over and over and over again. With the surge in online social things like Facebook and blogs, I see more and more people doing menu planning in one form or another.

So, I've been getting a weekly free menu from Menus 4 Moms for a few months. I've read through the menu, thought about it for a few seconds and then went on about my day. But I guess due to the whole new year thing, I decided to take action on this one. I downloaded the recipes and plan and also the grocery list, went off to the store and spent a stupid amount of money on groceries.

My immediate thought was there was no way this could be any better than the fly by the seat of my pants shopping and cooking I have always done. But now, I see the light. A lot of my spent money was restocking my pantry with things that will last a while. Also, some of the meals I will make will also create extra or left overs to go into the freezer for another meal on another week.

Then it hit me: ca-ching! Aha! THAT'S why people do menu planning. It really can save on the grocery budget because I won't be running to the store every other day to spend more money on a meal since I have it in my freezer already or all the ingredients already picked up for the week and in the pantry and 'fridge. Now my groceries may tend to run just a bit higher than the published grocery lists estimated costs because we buy organic and natural foods. But still...

So, to help out anyone interested in trying this, I have added a gadget to the side of my blogger page to show each week's menu along with the link to the website for the recipes and grocery list. Again, this is the free list they offer. Not a bad deal at all.

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