Thursday, March 21, 2013

Menu Planning

Today I am blogging about what I usually do to menu plan for my family of 4 (hubby, myself, my 2 year old, and my mom who recently moved in).  I'm sure most of you have different ways to plan your dinners.  Personally, I have tried a lot of different ways to plan--some that work well and some that are very unorganized that you probably wouldn't even call it "planning". My problem is that if I don't plan dinners for the week then it usually means we are eating Ramen or cooking something out of a box of processed food.

When I have the extra time and will power, going through recipes is where I start.  If I need any filler recipes to get us through the week, "Feast on a Budget" has been my go-to for recipes that correspond with items that are on sale for the week (for AZ grocery stores).

Do I have any couponers out there? I LOVE couponing and have found it to be a little addiction of mine. Any time I can get items for FREAP (I think Sheryl from Cents'able Shoppin coined that term) it's like I just won at a game. "Freap" means free or cheap :)  So along with checking out recipes and Feast on a Budget, I follow Cents'able Shoppin's site to help me along.  That site is amazing!  Sheryl  finds ALL the best deals at valley grocery stores and tells us which coupons to use.  She pretty much does all the tedious work for us couponers in price checking.

There are times when I get burnt out from couponing so I resort to price matching. Every week, Cents'able Shoppin puts up a list of all items that can be price matched at Wal-Mart. That means I don't have to drive to all the stores to get all the best deals. I just take in the store ads, show them to the Wal-mart cashier and get items for the cheaper price.  This has saved me a TON of money in the end. Check out this week's price match list: Cents'able Shoppin Price Match List.

Recently, I created a Menu Planner (the one pictured below) to help with my endeavor to be organized and know from a glance what I'll be making for dinner that night. Also, this really helps to ward off the "What's for Dinner???" question that my family was asking me EVERY single evening--drove me crazy.

  I think I want to simplify and create a dry-erase Menu Planner like this one I saw off of Pinterest from The Cupcake Diaries.

Sometimes doing all the steps above can be a bit tedious most weeks, but I know that it encourages my family to be prepared and eat more healthy.  Just so thankful for the sites I have come across that help with the Meal Planning process. Feel free to ask me any questions pertaining to this whole Meal Planning concept. I enjoy the feedback :)

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