Let me just say that I've been doing meal planning for months. It really does help out with stress and motivates me to find new recipes. That said, while it has helped with the budget a bit, I know there is more money I could save. I recently read this blog http://doughmesstic.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html who did a pantry raid challenge and only spent $100 in groceries for one month. Now, I think its a great idea but there are some issues A) she skipped meals. Yeah, have me skip breakfast and you will have a very unhappy camper and B) she has a baby, so having snacks and meals for a child isnt an issue and C) did you read the lists of food she had on hand before the challenge??? Yeah I dont have all that food and I dont know many people that do.
I do think that the premise was a good one so I decided to do it with my own take.
I sat down on my computer and I typed out what food I already have on hand-
2lbs ground beef
partial box of waffles
12 frozen chicken legs in a large pack
3lbs of frozen mixed veggies
large pack of chicken sausage
2 servings of ravioli
whole grain bread
Hot dogs & buns
At costco today I spent $143 and got
5.5lbs beef stew meat
8 boxes of mashed potato mix(4 servings each box)
5lbs of onion
5lbs Tyson breaded chicken
2 loafs of Italian bread
1 package of arnold's sandwich thins
3 DZ eggs
1.5 gallons of organic milk
5 heads of romaine lettuce
24 oz. Parmesan cheese
Tub of cookie dough(yeah, my excuse is that my husband spends way too much money buying himself snacks. The $8 for the tub is cheaper than his little trips to the nearest convenience mart)
I spent $34 at Aldis and got-
American cheese slices
Shredded Mozzarella cheese(2 packs)
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Cream of mushroom soup
Mojo Marinade(awesome for chicken)
Onion soup mix
Light ranch dressing
Ice cream sandwiches
frozen monkey bread(have you had monkey bread? Mmmmm so good!)
Sweet & sour marinade
Now usually I am not one to buy mashed potato mix or already breaded chicken, but I am trying to fight against my downfall. What happens is that I am too tired to cook, or the twinsies are whining and I cant cook, or my husband says "ugh I am not in the mood for that" so we go out to eat or order a pizza, etc. If I have a few convience items on hand, I dont have an excuse.
My husband will still eat out for lunch but he is going to try and start brownbaging it 1-2x a week. he hates leftovers, I blame his mom because she totally indulged, and still does, his picky ways.
I plan on writing a daily post outlining what we ate that day. So no trips to the grocery store until October and we cant spend more than $200. If we need milk, I will send my husband so I can resist temptation.