Hello again, savvy savers! Welcome back! I hope you are all well rested and ready for a new daily challenge. So, today I want to tackle one of the biggest budget busters of each planned No Spend Months, menu planning.
So, why menu plan? I generally consider menu planning a staple in my home buegting arsenelo, but for those who may now, here are three key points to keep in mind.
1) Your Health: Your health should be one of your main concerns, as with most people, and one way to ensure your health and well being is in good working balance, is healthful food preparation. Having a menu plan in place helps you avoid sodium and fat-laden take out and fast food, and instead opt for a more balanced and nutritious diet.
2) Budgeting: Groceries cost a lot, period. Even with coupon shopping and app rebate deals, constantly going to the store can negate all of your best budgeting plans. Save yourself some financial stress by planning your meals in reverse; shop for cyclical deals, plan meals around what you have on hand, and essentially plan “pantry-ready meals.” By shopping in reverse, I generally spend $30.00 or less per week, for a family of four on groceries.
3) Time Management: Your time is important. Whether you work outside the home, from a home office, are a busy entrepreneur, or you’re a stay-at-home parent, we all juggle an endless task sheet on a daily basis. While planning a menu in the first place takes a bit of time, it will save you double that amount of time in the end. For when you have planned, purposed meal lists and ingredients on hand, you essentially eliminate the need to run to the store for a last minute item, saving you both time and money in the process. With a plan in place, all you have to do is to look at your proposed weekly menu, prep, and serve!
So today, I am challenging you all to come up with a list of a list of meals, with all of the staples being comprised of your freezer, deep freeze, stockpile, and pantry items.
You will need to come up with:
- 13 Breakfasts
- 13 Lunches
- 13 Snacks
- 13 Dinner Options
- 13 Desserts
Each option will be eaten twice for the remainder of the month, as the entire month will be rotated bi-weekly. Now, this task may seen daunting to you all, but consider the following:
- No-spend months are a great time for 5-can soups, dump cakes, casseroles, and pot pies.
- This is also a great time to consider “Food Swapping,” with family, friends, and neighbors, where you will prep meals and then exchange the meals accordingly.
- This is also the time to consider menu streamlining; eating the proper amount of meals, as well as small snacks throughout the day, as well as cutting your dependency on carbonated beverages, and instead eating healthier options all around, will not only fill you up more, stave off food cravings, which will ultimately end up costing you less the month over.
- Consider using “Meatless Monday,” food options; you can save up to $240.00 annually using this method once a week!
- You can also check out sites like SuperCook, where you can add the ingredients you have on hand to their database, to find recipes to suit your stockpile of goods!
- My best tip for today’s challenge, “Rollable Meals,” or meals that leftovers can be made into different meals using the same ingredients; for example on day 1 you make double the amount of hamburgers and a pan of brownies for dessert. On day two, you can take one patty, broken up and make breakfast tacos, and as a beef topped salad(s) for lunch, and using your additional reserved patties, make crockpot beef patties and gravy for dinner, and using your leftover brownies you can make two additional desserts to last the remainder of the week, brownie parfait cups, brownie flurries, or brownie and berry trifle!
So, just get out a tablet, make a boxed grid; 11″x 8″, divide into a calendar, with seven boxes across, and four boxes down, and there you go!
Be sure to check Instagram tonight for today’s review!
Here’s to saving,