I haven't had many questions for followers yet, so I am going to start off this new routine with a question that my Mom asks me...a lot.
How do you make weekly menus and remain flexible?
Yes, we make weekly menus. It is absolutely a fabulous tip I picked up at one point for saving money. I use the sales to make menus off of and it avoids many things in my home. The biggest thing? The 4 pm argument of "What's for dinner?" You know the one, when you suddenly start thinking, "Mmmm, dinner is getting near time, what shall we have?" Than you realize that everything is frozen, or needed started in the crock pot hours ago. My Mom is ever famous for this.
First off, I watched our patterns in life. We typically do our shopping on Thursdays. That was the day that my husband got paid while working for his last job. When we are living pay check to pay check, this is often how it must be done. This told me I had to have my grocery list for the coming week by Thursday.
Next, on Sundays, I would go through the ads. There are 3 main local stores that I check and shop. I check all of these ads and see who has the most and the best deals.
I than take my menu planning magnet (I found it at Micheals in the dollar section, it's awesome. One side lists the days of the week, each with their own square, than about 1/3 of each page is space for a shopping list), if we have any activities or plans for that week, I write them in. This allows me to plan what I make around what is going on. Say we have an activity starting at 630, than we usually need to eat before, and I'm probably not going to want to make something labor intensive. So, I write EACH activity on the menu planner.
I than think of the type of meal I want for each and every day. If we have a daytime activity where we'll return home tired but in time for dinner, than I'll usually put a crock pot meal in for that day. The point is, I work around a lot of things. I don't plan my meals and than work around them.
On that note, how we are able to keep to it is to STAY flexible. I'm not kidding! If Mom invites us over for dinner, we go and we reschedule that night's meal. Depending on what it is is when I push it out to. If it's something that doesn't involve many perishable ingredients, it may get pushed out further.
If the day doesn't go as planned and we're exhausted come dinner time, we look forward on the meal plan and flop a day or two to make it work, rather than calling Domino's.
I won't lie, it also helps that my husband doesn't let me give into random pizza cravings and call Dominos. But if it weren't for my meal planning, every day would be stressful.
I also choose not to plan breakfast and dinner. I like some choice each day and those aren't so hard. Besides, this is when my husband gets a chance to eat his leftovers.
Do you have a question for me? Ask away, than watch for it on FAQ Fridays!