Money Saving~Monthly Meal Planning and Shopping

Fall is finally here! And that means the Holidays are literally right around the corner. It’s always this time of year that I start brainstorming ways on how we can save a little extra for Christmas. This year has been especially stressful; with adjusting to being a family of 4, to having Noelle back at home full time for homeschool, and Nathaniel having surgery and frequent doctors appointments, I have been paying extra close attention to our monthly budget.

It’s been a long time since I have really diligently meal planned. And I was finding myself frequently going grocery shopping and not having any idea of what I was going to prepare for meals that week. Worst of all, I was finding that I was spending a lot of money on a weekly and even every two week basis on groceries. So, I decided to try a little experiment.

I sat down and I decided that I would meal plan our dinners for the entire month and shop for all groceries for the month. Here is a what I am planning for the month of October…

 

Now, this would not include our weekly fresh produce. I still plan on doing a small weekly grocery trip for fresh fruits and vegetables. But this will include all frozen and refrigerated items. I did not plan out breakfast or lunches, since for the most part we eat very simple breakfasts such as eggs, toast or cereal. These items will be purchased on my weekly haul or bought in bulk and kept on my pantry. Lunches are normally left over dinner from the night before, or sandwiches. So my biggest concern was our dinner meals.

I was also sure to include any planned nights for ordering pizza or eating out, especially on nights when I know we will be home late. I also included nights for leftovers when I make big meals to give myself a break from cooking. These also correspond with nights when we may be home late or days that I know are going to be really busy.

I decided to try a newer grocery store in my area. It is a discount grocery store that I have never shopped at before, and I was very happy with the outcome. So far, I have done my monthly shopping and I ended up spending $204.90. That’s a little over $200 for a month of groceries! Everything I purchased has gone into my freezer or refrigerator and will have no problem lasting through the month.

I’ll be keeping a tally of the rest of our grocery spending and eating out to see the final total at the end of the month. Stay tuned!