Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Little Plannable Printable For YOU!

Y'know, for the longest time, I have been pretending that the economy wasn't really affecting me, except when the time came to fill up with gas, and then I would complain like everyone else about the ever-increasing prices.  But I haven't really been paying attention to the rise in the cost of other food, for instance.   Largely, that was because I was busy eating lunch out with colleagues and enjoyng myself in other ways.  Remember, I live alone, and don't really have to concern myself with regular meal prep like I'd have to if I had a husband or kids at home.  After about six months of not really doing a serious grocery shopping, I decided that I was being foolish by not preparing more meals in a cost-effective manner, so I set out to re-stock my cupboards.  I was becoming a regular Mother Hubbard; my stocks were low; my list was long!

Now I was poor in college and poor even afterwards, since teachers in Montana are pretty underpaid.  There were times I had to short myself and my kids some of the "I wants" in the name of economy.  But I don't ever remember getting to the end of the cart, and having to advise the clerk that I needed the store to re-stock even some of the "I needs".  I found myself getting more and more concerned as the clerk rang the total higher and higher, and finally, I had to put a stop to it.  I went home without a number of items, but with a new determination to spend my dollars more wisely.  

One thing that can and will make a difference for me and for most people is to simply plan a menu, shop to fill the menu, and cook those meals at home, carrying leftovers or a sandwich for lunches during the workweek.  I love organization, but I have to admit that, although I love to cook, organizing the shopping has never made it to my priority list.  Today, I hope to change all that.   I have created a couple of printables to get the process rolling.

You can go right here and print off a lovely menu planner and coordinated shopping list.  Of course, there's room for more options than you will sometimes need, but I allowed some room for larger meals, or company meals.  A standard dinner, of course, will usually have a meat course, a vegetable or two, a salad, and a starch (bread, rice, potatoes, etc).  While dessert is listed for each day, it's hardly a daily requirement. Here's how I intend to use these forms:
  • Plan a menu.
  • Shop the cupboards for what I already have and won't need to buy.
  • List out the missing items necessary to complete the meal.
  • Shop for those items, checking them off as I add them to my cart.

As I'm writing this, I realize that the menu is really only for dinner planning, and I guess I subconsciously left out other possible meals, because I won't need to plan for them.  Dinner is the most complex meal for me, as I usually eat oatmeal and coffee for breakfast, and dinner leftovers will be ideal for my workaday lunches.  I hope this is helpful to someone else.  I know I want to implement this right away, making my meal planning more deliberate and intentional.

Good eating!



I'm linking up:

Ginger Snap Crafts

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