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.
I'm linking up:
Ginger Snap Crafts