I have this need to have my cupboards stocked completely full. I don't know why that is, that's just how I am. In order to be more ecOnomical though, I am going to start planning my menus and using the items I already have on hand...Instead of needlessly restocking.
The first thing I did was take an inventory of my freezers. It completely amazed me how much meat I had stocked up. I could probably feed my family for over two months and not have to go grocery shopping!! I get stuck on certain foods and recipes and I continue to buy those items, instead of using what I have. Well, not any more! I am going to use the meat in my freezer and try to reduce my stock. Hopefully this will eliminate any waste when I clean out my freezers and thus make me more ecOnomical. At least that is my goal!!
There are a lot of websites out there that, for a 'nominal fee', will send you preplanned menus and a shopping list. I am not one of those people who are willing to pay for this service (being ecOnomical and all). So I sat down Sunday night with my list of meats and planned my menu for two weeks!
--When I do my grocery shopping, I only go every two weeks! I do this in the hope of saving money on gas and cutting down on the extras that I tend to buy. I figure that if I only go shopping every other week, I will only be buying the extras half as much! (Some of you may be wondering about the saving money on gas part...I live about 30 miles from a grocery store. Since I am a stay-at-home mom, I don't 'go to town' often. So only going every other week does save money on gas...but that's a topic for another time.)--
Back to my menu planning...As I said, I'm not willing to pay someone to send me a planned menu and shopping list. So using my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes, I created my menu for two weeks. Not only did I plan my dinners, but I also planned a few lunches as well. Allrecipes made this much easier for me. I didn't have to search through my other cookbooks; everything was at my fingertips. They have wonderful resources, but that is also a topic for another time! There is another site that I have fallen in love with. It's called I'm An Organizing Junkie. Although I had discussed menu planning with a friend before, I never really got around to doing it. This site really got me motivated! She has what she calls Menu Planning Monday. (You need to check it out!)
This brings me to the next part of my menu planning. I'm An Organizing Junkie has a link so that you can post your menus to Menu Planning Monday and share them with everyone. So, I'm not only sharing my menu, but I'm getting menu ideas from the other women who share theirs! Its a win-win situation...not only am I being ecOnomical, but I'm also able to pay-it-forward. So from now on, I will be posting my weekly menus and in the future I'm going to try to link my menu items to the recipes that I used. We'll see how that works out!!
So check out my next post...Menu Plan for Week 4 '09