Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Menu Planning

During our last PCS (that's military terms for moving), I came to a realization. I buy way too much food. Now it's nice to have a stocked pantry and refrigerator. However, I discovered that I was also throwing away a lot of food that would either expire or go bad. I was literally throwing money away (seriously, I would have furry oranges...disgusting).

When we settled, I decided I was going to start meal planning. Little did I realize that there were free services on the Internet that would do this for you, so I went out, bought a notebook and started making a list. I'd write down the days of the week, and underneath, what we'd be having for dinner that night.

Once I started this, I was able to cut my trips to the store down from weekly, to every other week. Yes, I do run out of milk or eggs every now and then, and yes I do have a few staples that I keep extras of in my pantry, but I started throwing away a lot less food! This meant I was tossing less money straight into the disposal.

Not only that, but I was also saving money by not going to the store as often and making less "extra" or "impulse" purchases. Before I was spending $100-120 a week on food, now I am spending about $200-$220 every 3 weeks. I was astounded at how much I was saving!

I highly encourage you to give it a try for a month, if you don't already plan. It not only saves me money, but also saves me some stress because I know that tonight I'll be making Salmon for dinner with a nice salad :)

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