With the price of groceries and the price of gas all sharply increasing its time for the Housewife to step up her game. Its part of our jobs as the managers of our homes to control the spending and keep to our budgets.
This week I want us all to try menu planning.
On Sunday, look at the weekly flier from you grocery store. Check out what meats are on sale, and what meals you can make.
Be sure to write down all the ingredients you will need for each meal, and then check your pantry and cupboards to see if you have those things. This is going to save you the guessing game in the store and save you money because you will not be buying something you already have.
Write a list out and most importantly, stick to that list.
Don’t forget the coupons, but don’t use just because you have them. If there is a cheaper brand, go for it. Some of the generic brands are just as good as the pricey name brand stuff.
Try to use your imagination on what meals you can make from leftovers, to stretch that dollar ever further.
Always try and wash your produce before you even put it away. Another good time saving idea is to prep some food for the week. You can chop some onions, pre cook some of your veggies, etc. On busy days you'll be thankful you did it ahead of time!
The first thing you need to do is clean your refrigerator out!
I clean mine every Monday. This is also my shopping day.
Who wants to bring home fresh produce and put it into a icky fridge with things that you can't actually identify? Yes it may have been food once, but now its the beginnings of penicillin or the beginnings for the need of penicillin.
Get in there and clean it out before you go grocery shopping!
Take it all out, wipe down all the shelves and walls and grooves and draws..get it clean!! If its really bad you may have to remove your shelves and wash them in the sink. After you have all the sticky icky cleaned up, you can begin to put things back in. You really should have some order to how your fridge is stocked!
Try and keep like items together.
Dairy on one shelf, cheese and coldcuts in the meat drawer, etc.
One trick I do is to set paper towels inside the drawers. If anything leaks, or is wet it will soak it up. Its easier also the next time you clean the fridge. Just remove the paper toweling and most of the "ick" will be on there and not in the drawer!
Wipe down all the jars and lids before putting them back in. Be sure to also check all the expiration dates.
Your pantry also should be kept clean and organized.
An important rule of meal planning is to know what you have on hand!
Don't just wing it at the grocery store, and assume you have something, or that you don't have something.
That is where we waste our valuable money, or time.
It will set you up to fail at meal planning.
If you think your at the store and think you have everything to make stew, then find out later that week that you in fact don't have everything, chances are you'll either order pizza or just open a can of soup. All because you didn't plan!!
- Clean Your refrigerator
- Check to see whats on sale
- Make a meal plan
- Get your recipes out and check to see that you have everything on hand!!!
- Make your grocery list
- Bring your coupons
- Wash your produce as soon as you get home
- Chop up or prep anything you can ahead of time for the week.
- Stick to your meal plan, but be flexible enough to switch days menus if needed.
- Always have one day that is an "easy day". That day can be used in case of an emergency or an extra busy day!! It could be simply soup and sandwich night.
- Have breakfast for dinner!! Kids love this. Especially if they only eat cereal for breakfast most of the time. Have pancakes, eggs, french toast..Personally I could eat breakfast for three meals a day!
For some great and easy meal plans check out Whats Cookin'