What's on the Menu

Monday, August 1, 2016

I'll just put this out there... we eat like crap if I do not menu plan. Also, our budget gets shredded to pieces and thrown out the window if I do not menu plan. Lastly, I hate cooking meals when I do not menu plan. Moral of the story... I NEED to menu plan to keep our bellies, budget, and my attitude in check. :)

When there isn't a planned meal we end up eating cereal for breakfast, hot-dogs for lunch, and boxed pizza for supper... not literally every time, but most. I usually don't buy hot-dogs, or boxed pizza... so that means that I end up running to the store, yuck. I still can't get my hubby to kick his cereal habit so we always have Frosted Flakes... also yuck.

Our grocery budget isn't all that big, so extra trips to the store, or going out to eat, can really damage our budget. I try to keep our "household" budget around $100 per week. This includes things like toilet paper, supplies to make laundry detergent, our groceries, etc. During farmers market season I try to spend $30-$40 of our weekly budget at the market. We also get a CSA during the summer. That costs us $300 up front and lasts 20 weeks from May - October.

Feeling rushed because I don't have a plan and its five o'clock is HORRIBLE on my attitude... really horrible. Baby screaming, toddler crawling up on counters, five year old asking "what's for supper" and hubby calling to say he is on his way home... understand why I say horrible?

This all leads to my favorite part of planning: menu planning. If you don't do it, you should seriously try! I really struggled at first. I would sit down with my phone (for Pinterest), a blank paper and pen... then draw blanks! Scroll Pinterest, everything looks good but all of that is not in our budget. It wasn't until I realized that I never cook from my Pinterest board every night, and we basically have the same thing every couple weeks, that I realized I had been making things way too complicated.

Here is my outline for how I base our supper menu:
Monday - Mexican
Tuesday- Something new! (this is where Pinterest or cookbooks come in)
Wednesday- Simple/leftovers (church night)
Thursday- Family Favorites
Friday- Homemade pizza
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Crock pot

For breakfast I just mix and match the following favorites:  fresh fruit, muffins, toast, smoothies, pancakes, french toast, eggs (fried, scrambled, casseroles, omelets etc) --- and LOTS OF BACON ;)

Lunch is usually fresh fruits and veggies, leftovers, cheese/meat/cracker trays, tuna or chicken sandwiches, more eggs...

This week our menu is off because I thawed out the wrong meat for Monday so had to change things up.

B - eggs and toast
L - cucumbers, tomatoes, applesauce
S - roast, potatoes, zucchini fritters

B - pancakes and smoothie
L - leftover roast on toast
S - trying a new tuna and noodle casserole with leftover noodles from Sunday

B - fried eggs and toast
L - cheese w/ crackers and fresh fruit
S - Tacos

B - muffins and boiled eggs
L - leftovers
S - Cheesy chicken and broccoli

B - sun butter and honey on toast, smoothie
L - tuna sandwiches
S - homemade pizza

B - pancakes and bacon
L - fresh fruit with broccoli salad
S - anything leftover or that needs to be finished off

B - toast, boiled egg, fresh fruit
L - chicken salad sandwich
S - crockpot cheesy chicken and beans

There you have it. This is what I base my grocery shopping list off of and how I try to keep sane. There are many times that the plan gets derailed due to a change in plans... or when you don't pay attention and pull the wrong meat out of the freezer to thaw out ;)

Do you menu plan? If so, do you thing it helps you stick to your budget better?

Dakota xoxo

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