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We thank you for taking the time to visit our blog.

My husband and I are a young, growing, Christian, military family. My husband is a Captain in The United States Marine Corps. I am a former Elementary school teacher. We are first time parents to a beautiful little two year old boy, with twin boys on the way! I am a stay at home Marine wife, who loves to bake, cook, sew and craft! I enjoy being a Domestic Engineer. The purpose of this blog is to document the story of our life and adventures as they take place.


We are honored to be serving our country and ask for prayer in our upcoming adventures. We have been blessed tremendously, and thank God everyday for all he has given us!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Buzz On Meal Planning


Ahh meal planning! My favorite part of being a stay at home wife. While some may find meal planning tedious and an overall pain, I find it to be a challenge that I LOVE to conquer! There seems to be many different approaches to meal planning, each one claiming to be the best. Well, for me the best way to meal plan is the way that saves you the most money! Which means extra money to spend in other ways like savings, more date nights, travel, shopping, entertainment or perhaps that dress you've been eyeing. Here are some basic meal planning tips to consider before your next trip to the grocery store.

Meal Planning Strategy

Tip #1 Choose A Day To Plan Your meals And Stick With It.


This will simplify your life in more ways than one. Choose a day and Commit to it! I like to plan my meals on Friday's for the following week. For me this is the most convenient because I am an E-Mealz follower and every Friday the new meal plan comes out. I simply download the plan for the following week, skim through it and choose which meals I will incorporate and which meals I will search my recipe books for.

Tip # 2 Always Know What's In Your Pantry

Your pantry should be your best friend. Especially when trying to save money and cook on a budget. You should know all your pantry's secrets, In's and Outs. Yes, that means if your pantry has a box of minute rice shoved in the back you want to know about it! :) You should also know your refrigerator, freezer anywhere you keep food!

Tip # 3 Always Plan Your largest Meals For The Weekends


Usually our Big meals that are the most time consuming should be prepared on a day where your schedule is most relaxed. An added benefit to this is that you will be able to freeze your leftovers for lunches and other meals throughout the week! This saves time and money! Always a plus in my book. :)


I have an Aunt who would take all day Saturday to prepare and freeze her meals for the week. Talk about dedication! She was a busy working Mom and wife and took advantage of time where she could. See what I mean do what works for you and your family.


Tip # 4 Freeze Your Leftovers!!!!

Leftovers often get a bad reputation in my opinion. I say why not leftovers?? They are just as delicious the next day if you store them properly, and they save lots of time and money! Get in the habit of immediately taking your leftovers and freezing them. I place them in freezer bags, mark the content and date on the bag and freeze them for a busy night when I don't have time to cook.


Tip # 5 Think About Double-Meal Foods


This can be as easy as saving a can of chicken broth for the next evenings meal. Let's say you make a pork loin one night, use the pork the next night for say pulled pork sandwiches. This will save you big time in the end, and simplify your life.


Tip # 6 Do Theme Nights

I often do this. This simple task helps keep me on track when meal planning so I know exactly which theme we are having for any night of the week.

Example:

Monday: Mexican

Tuesday: Italian

Wednesday: Quick Crock-pot meal

Thursday: American

Friday: Date Night

Saturday: Casserole

Sunday: One Pot Meal

I do not always follow a theme, however I often do to make life have a little variety! :)


Tip # 7 Use A Whiteboard


I always keep a dry erase whiteboard in our kitchen. I label the board with all the days of the week. Then I write which meal I'm making for each specific day. This keeps me on track and informs others of what's for dinner! :)




Other Ideas:

Another great tip is the website http://www.e-mealz.com/ This is a wonderful meal planning tool that does most of the work for you. You pay 15 dollars for three months worth of meal planning. Each week you will receive your meal plan for the following week, plus a shopping list as well as the recipes. You can't beat that! I often search through their meals for the week and pull from them the recipes that I find the most appealing, I then incorporate my own recipes and ta da I have my meal plan for the week! :)

As a Military wife I understand how important it is to budget your money and time. I believe if you follow these simple tips you will come out ahead every time!

Please share any meal planning/ budgeting tips that you have to offer! :)


Blessings, Sarah Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

3 comments:

DWYHomemaking said...

Thanks for linking up these awesome meal planning tips! My fav. Is #6! what a great idea :)!

www.dontwasteyourhomemaking.com

Jen said...

Good advice! Thanks for sharing!

Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...

The theme night is a great idea. We are big meal planners in my house as well.

Coming @ you from I <3 naptime...