Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 Week Menu Planning ~ How I Do It

One of my blog readers asked if I would share how I menu plan for 2 weeks. It's really very simple. I grocery shop every other Wednesday. So usually the Tuesday before that, I menu plan for the next 2 weeks. I write meals on each day in my planner....and I also keep a seperate list of choices for those 2 weeks of things I could make. (Because sometimes you have a supper planned on a night that you decide that you and your family aren't truly *hungry* for that meal....so I have other options available!) Then I go through my meals I have planned and check for ingredients I already have and those I will need. I write down the things I need on a grocery list!

**I try to plan meals such as salads and such for the days right after I go grocery shopping so I can use those fresh ingredients before they go bad. I plan things such as spaghetti and french toast for the end of the two weeks because they don't include products that go bad....(except the bread can...but usually by that time, the bread is not-so-fresh...so it makes it perfect for french toast or grilled cheese!

**I keep a list of different meal ideas in my Home Organization Binder. That way when I am meal planning, when I can't *think* of anything...I have something to fall back on with ideas!

**I try to make homemade bread, homemade noodles and such, for meals, between the two week period as well. Homemaking things takes work but is *in my opinion* one of the best ways to prepare your meals! :)

**I buy 2 gallons of milk when I go grocery shopping. They don't usually last the whole two week period....so I usually have to go get milk at some point in the two week period.

**When I shop, I *try* to stick completely to my list (I *always* shop with a list!!!)...unless something is on a GREAT sale that I *know* we will use. I also add things up as I go so I can stay in budget. I will admit though...the last time I went grocery shopping (last week), I went $4 over budget....however, in sales...I saved over $50!!!! So...I got over $200 worth of groceries for $157!

**I used to grocery shop at Walmart....but it is a 15 minute drive from my home and they don't have many *sales*. One of our local grocery stores has pretty good prices on things....plus has great sales (BOGO free, cents off, etc)....so I go there instead. Occasionally I stop at walmart for toiletries and such though.

So.....I think that's it. I think I covered everything...although I may have forgotten something. If you have any questions or other suggestions, I would love to hear them! I will do my best to address any questions either by emailing you or if I get enough questions...I will make a PART 2 to this post! :)

11 comments:

  1. Katy,
    We plan ahead for two weeks as well- but usually start our shopping on Fridays.
    We've been shopping for bulk grains, rice and beans, pantry staples at a local health food store with a dry bulk storage room- loads of good deals there!
    I don't make our own pasta (maybe I should?) but I do cook up tons of beans ahead of time- I like them better than the canned.
    Good Post!

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  2. Very cool. I do the same..have meal ideas before I write my list, MUST have a list, usually stick to the list but will buy if on sale, have a monthly budget, and cook according to spoilage of foods.

    I also use coupons though. I shop at Target, Walmart and my local grocery store HEB. Mainly Target. They send me coupons via snail mail. Plus I use Sunday newspaper coupons. :) Love saving money!!

    I do however shop once a week or week and a half. I LIKE getting out of the house weekly..otherwise I'd be home doing homework and cleaning all day going stir crazy..I need some fresh air..even if that means going grocery shopping. ;) I like going grocery shopping right after dropping KD off at school.

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  3. WOW! Can you please meal plan for me??? LOL... Good idea about eating the fresh food first and I always save my pasta/sauce dishes for the end of the week too.

    Have a blessed day!
    Amy

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  4. Great tips:) I've noticed Walmart's prices have gone up A LOT and the variety and selection on everything has gone way down so I haven't been shopping there much either!

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  5. Katy~ Thanks for the post about menu planning, I used to do that and it was so nice but since we started doing weight watchers I don't do near as much cooking or baking as I used to. I shop every Friday and spend between $190-$250every time and that's just for the two of us of course that includes household supplies too but still it's a lot. I have found that anytime you buy something good for you it costs a lot more :) Like ground beef, we buy either 7% fat or 4% if we can find it and it's around $3 a pound where regular fat filled ground beef is around $1-$1.50 a pound. Makes you kind of mad when you are trying to make good choices and it costs more.
    Blessings,Joann

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  6. Thanks for sharing this! =)

    It honestly has helped me. My parents and I have been way too busy to prepare meals regularly (and therefore have reluctantly resorted to take-out for dinner which is *not* good)... but this helps a lot!

    I can't wait for part 2 =D

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  7. Do you use coupons as well, or just hit the sales?

    Tanna

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  8. Thanks for taking your time in answering that! Great pointers!

    Melinda

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  9. I do the exact same things, Katy- my Hubby gets paid every other Friday, so I go that day and buy for 2 weeks... I always plan out menu and even though it's tempting to buy "extras" (junk food), I know I can keep our bill down if I stick to my list.
    I will plan 2 "big" meals each week (meaning I'll have leftovers, which I know a family larger than 2 people probably won't have) so we have 2 big meals, 2 nights of leftoevers (spaced out of course, not back-to-back) and usually a sandwich and soup night or a salad and baked potato night. I like eating light at least 2 night out of the week- and it keeps the grocery bill down too.

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  10. I'm with you girl. I have my recipe blog for ingredients and I have a file of menu plans. I try to fix something that I can make several meals out of; like a roast or a chicken or burger. I, too, have shied away from WalMart but when I go I do look at the clearance aisle. I coupon, sales and bulk shop.Like last week I did #5 of ground beef cuz HyVee had it $1.33 per#. There are just 2 of us though we do have company( family ) over often. I can't wait for fresh produce. Our garden keeps us going all winter but that first tomato is the best thing all year. I can quarts of what I call soup starter( tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini, cilantro, parsley, whatever is ready ) for the pantry. It can be used for veg. soup, chili, spaghetti, lasagna. Really easy and so good. And I know exactly what is in it!
    Linda from Parker's Paradise
    visiting my daughter so using her blog

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  11. Katy, thanks for posting this. I make my own bread but not my pasta. Maybe I better start.

    My problem is I go once a month shopping and just get milk and bread when I need it. For us it is easier and with how hubby gets paid this works for us. I have alot of problems doing my meal planning for the month. Any advice on this would help me alot. Actually I am running out of ideas on what to make. I also am looking for a good receipe to make my own tortillas at home for making ahead some breakfast wraps and some lunch wraps.

    I have been working on getting my household binder all set for us as this is going to be a lifesaver for us. I am now at the part were I am doing health history and meds in it for the kids. With 6 kids it is a must to do.

    Thanks for your great posts. I really enjoy them.

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy