Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Daily Meals on a Budget

The best way to save money on groceries is to have a menu planned for a week, two weeks, or more.  That way, you know what you'll be eating each day, and you won't be caught at 5:00 pm going to the fast food restaurant because you have no idea what to cook.  Also, because you have your meals planned, you won't shop for groceries as much, and you won't be tempted to buy extra food that you really don't need.

It's easy to say that the more time you spend in the stores, the more money you'll spend.  If you've read about some of my "hauls", you've seen that I always wind up buying a soda and some kind of snack at the check-stand.  Those unplanned purchases can add an extra $2-$4 per shopping trip.

Planning your menus lets you shop once for what you'll need, making it easier to turn a blind eye to unplanned grocery purchases.  Planning menus for an entire month of meals takes a lot of work, but you'll save time and money because you're in the store only once a month, and you have less temptation to spend extra money. The drawback in monthly planning is that you miss the weekly sales.  Planning bi-weekly menus allows you to take advantage of a couple of the weekly sales while staying away from the stores as much as possible.  If you plan your menus one week at a time like I do, you'll be going to the store more often, but you'll be able to take advantage of the weekly sales.

Below is my menu based on the food I already had at home and what I bought at Safeway and FoodsCo this week.  *Some meals are repeated during the week.  I often use left-overs.  That's why you'll only find five suggestions per meal.


  • Biscuits and eggs; *cereal,milk/yogurt, and fruit; waffles, sausage, and fruit; oatmeal, toast, and eggs; bagels, cheese, and yogurt
  • Hot dogs and baby carrots; Church function (ate at church); spaghetti (left-overs), salad; bean burritos (homemade from left-overs), salad and fruit; chicken soup (left-overs), cornbread, and fruit; *lunch meat sandwich, baby carrots, and fruit
  • Chicken and stir-fry vegetables, rice; Barbecue Kielbasa, baked potato and broccoli; *chicken soup (homemade) and cornbread; *baked chicken, pinto beans, rice and salad; catfish, baked french fries and salad
Snacks and Desserts
  • Popcorn, brownies, Cheese Nips, watermelon, plums, apples, yogurt
If you plan your meals, how often do you do it?  Has it changed the way you shop?  Please share your experience with us in the Comments Box below.

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