Meal Planning

A quick search on google produces many links on food and menu planning.

Our system has been pretty simple and effective for our family.
First: We made a long list of all the meals we enjoy. And we continue to add to this list.
Second: We choose 4 meals per week.
Third: One day a week, we go to the store as a family and purchase ingredients to make the four meals.

We don't have a specific day planned to cook each meal, just whatever we feel like eating that particular day. On the nights of the week I don't prepare one of the four planned meals, we eat leftovers or use leftover ingredients to make a spur of the moment meal. For lunches, we eat leftovers, sandwiches, fresh fruits and veggies and other snacks. Breakfasts we usually have oatmeal, cereal or granola.

The key for us is to only go to the market once a week. This is where we're able to save money on our family budget, by eliminating frequent trips to the market. We have a higher food budget because we buy mostly local and organic, which is more expensive but important to us. We shop mostly at our local food Co-Op, Top Foods, PCC, or Whole Foods. During the warmer months, I visit the Farmer's Markets regularly.

What are some tips that help your families save money on a food budget?


Julie Alvarez said...

Buying some of the ingredients on bulk is one of ours.
Making our own bread.
Making our own healthy cookies.
Gardening (and hopefully much more soon, because we will have a real garden!)
Freezing some stuff.
Freezing peels and making homemade stock afterwards.
(Thanks for sharing yours.)

Jennifer said...

Definitely buying bulk, baking from scratch, including bread. Also, looking at the sales each week and then deciding on our menus after we see what the bargains are.