I think it was a while ago when I mentioned the benefits of menu planning: better spending habits, less stress after school, minimal time spent shopping for food, and reduced grocery bills. What a win-win, right? Recently, more often than not, I just couldn't find the hour or so I need to do this well each week. For the past three months my grocery lists were scribbled on the backs of envelopes, and - usually - I could find them, and - usually - I did remember what I intended to make with certain ingredients, and - usually - I did pull that off before certain produce items spoiled. Well, that's a lot of usuallys. Hmm. Seemed like it was time to get back in the saddle, so they say.
Slowly I'm getting back in the groove. This book was inspiring:
I've used so many of Mary Ostyn's ideas to get more organized and really tighten my grocery spending. I'm not quite down to only $75 a week, but I am pretty proud that with a price book, occasional coupons, and the envelope system I have reduced our family food spending by 50%!
Here are a few freebie tools I've liked using:
- This to-do list from SimpleMom has a daily spot for dinner so you remember to fit it into the day.
- This beautiful menu planner from Ollibird gives you space for a week's worth of dinners. I love her idea for creating a reusable version by fitting a photo print of the planner in a frame and writing on the glass with a dry erase marker.
- I also like using Delicious to organize recipes that I've found online.