Next to spending so much time with Bubsy, my favorite part of being a SAHM is having the time and energy to cook. I think my husband is enjoying this part as well. I even had a Pinterest moment when I made my weekly menu board! Look at me go!
Some ways I have found to stay organized and under budget each week are…
1. SHOP IN YOUR FRIDGE/PANTRY FIRST
I create my weekly menu based on what I already have in stock. Canned chicken and Mexican cheese blend= quesadillas! All I need to grab at the store are tortillas. My first week of shopping in my pantry was great! I cleared out a lot of canned/boxed food that was collecting dust (yummy!), and I was able to master my culinary creativity. This last Sunday, I only spent $60 in groceries for the entire week! The other benefit is that I make sure to use all of my perishable food.
2. STRETCH THE SAME INGREDIENTS INTO MULTIPLE MEALS
I am not talking about leftovers! I have a lot of minute rice, so I have tried in incorporate rice into several meals. For example: Chicken, Veggie and Rice stir-fry on Monday and Broccoli, Cheese and Rice casserole on Tuesday. This ensures that I only need to buy a few ingredients each week, which equals lots of savings.
3. USE COUPONS TO GUIDE YOUR MENU
Stumped for what to do that week? “Shop” the circulars, just like you would your pantry.
4. RESERVE A SPECIFIC DAY FOR PLANNING AND SHOPPING
I always pick one day (Sunday) to take care of cleaning out the fridge/pantry, planning dinners for the next week, creating a list, and going to the grocery store. I love Sundays because they are more relaxed; we usually don’t have big plans, and my husband can watch Bubsy, so I have time at the store to really compare prices and ensure that everything on my list is accounted for.
5. MAKE A LIST AND STICK WITH IT!
I try really, really, really hard to get everything I need written down and to use my list at the store. It’s something I am still working on. Eventually, I hope to never buy anything that is not already on the list. On the other side, I try not to go to the store at all during the week. If I forgot an ingredient, I try to be creative and work around it.
I’m still working each week to become stronger in my meal planning/shopping skill set! If you have any additional suggestions, I would to hear about them!