Thursday, February 27, 2014

Menu planning - how to reduce stress of it all

As you know, we were major eater outers. It blew several thousand dollars in a matter of months. With Nolen coming along in the cooking department I wanted to come up with an easy way to menu plan so we didn't get bored. Also, I wanted a system so that if he needed to do the grocery shopping, he had a guideline to help plan.

This is what I came up with:

Saturday: Pork dish
Sunday: Beef Dish
Monday: Chicken Dish
Tuesday: Left overs
Wednesday: Italian
Thursday: Frozen or quick dinner (i.e. hot dogs or breakfast for dinner)
Friday: Pizza, fast food or on special occasions restaurant night.

I always have problems figuring out what I want to eat. If you were to ask me, I would always say that I have no idea. By having a "food type of the day", it reduces my choices. I can ask myself, "what kind of pork do you want today?" Pork chops? Ham? Pork loin? Pulled pork?

If you were to ask Nolen what bothers him the most about me, it would probably be the total lack of knowing what I want to eat. This system should solve that problem.

On Sunday's I will sit down with the Sunday paper and coupon. I will look at the sale flyers and see what bargains I can get. I don't have to make what is on sale, I can buy it, freeze it and have it in a later week. By keeping a good stock of various things on hand, I can make it through the weeks when something comes up and we are short on money. We will always have something to pull together for dinner.

Reducing the "I don't know what I want to eat" nights, helps reduce the amount of eating out we do. We went from eating out 5-7 nights a week, to eating out on Friday's only. Most of the time we eat out on Fridays, we actually "order in". This saves us on drinks and tip. If we order a pizza, we go pick it up to avoid the delivery charge and tip.

Sarah (our 6 year old) misses eating out. But I would rather give her healthy meals and be able to pay for the roof over her head, then give into her every whim. Now when we go OUT to dinner it is for a special occasion to a special restaurant that we have saved up for.

We are starting the jar system to save up for things we want. I will go into that in more depth on a later post.

Until next time....