Meal Planning Tips for the Frugal Foodie



Okay, guys.. It has been a HOT MINUTE since I have posted anything on this sweet little space! Starting a full time job, and finding out you are pregnant literally a week later ( BIG surprise! Insert shocked emoji and smiling emoiji with sweat dripping down the forehead and the emogi of the girl with her hands up like, uh- WHAT!?) has placed my writing hobby on the back burner, but I am learning how to give myself some grace about that.

 

For the record, we are so excited for this baby and are praising God for new life! I’d just be lying if I said that it didn’t throw us for a plot twist. But God’s ways are always better than ours!

 

ANYWAYS GUYS SORRY FOR THE RABIT TRAIL, it’s just been a while!

 

I wanted to hop on here and share my meal planning routine with you all. Not only will you eat healthier if you meal plan, but I have also come to find, you will eat yummier food, spend less $$ (which I am always for! ) AND feel less stressed at meal time when all of your humans need and want your attention and incidentally, also want to be fed. Those free loaders.

 

My first tip is simply, establish your monthly grocery budget : This honestly took us a couple of months to settle on because I had to watch our regular spending to assess what our average spending habits were and what and our excessive spending habits were.

 

Second: ( Probaby the most important ) WALMART PICK UP YALL. It’s NO extra charge and they load it into your car FOR YOU. I don’t care if you stay at home, work full time, are newly married, single, or have 7 mouths that you have to feed but ain’t NOBODY got time to spend eternity in the grocery store. Also- the 2nd best thing about this service is that you shop from your phone or your computer and can watch the total as you place items in your cart. More on this in a moment, but trust me, there are so many less implusive-hangry purchases because you are intentionally thinking through your grocery list.

 

Third: Set aside an hour every week or two to meal plan. I am not one who can plan out all of my meals for a month, and I endup wasting so much fresh food when I do it that way. Instead, I aim to make 2 bigger runs to the store per month. So what this looks like for me these days: I curl up on the couch watching the latest episode of Blood Line, pull out all of my go-to cook books, recipes , and my foodie pinterest board and I begin to make a detailed list of groceries. If you go the Walmart Pick up route, you can type search all the items ( even the obscure ones where you have no idea where they live in the store- like brewer’s yeast? ) and it will add those items to your shopping cart. I also try to make double batches of everything for left overs / lunches , and I always throw a frozen pizza in the cart because such is life and sometimes you come home and don’t feel like adulti-ng anymore that day.

 

My favorite recipes currently live in my recipe box, or in Ina Garten’s Make it Ahead cookbook, or Shauna Niequist’s book, ┬áBread and Wine.

 

 

Fourth: Once I have picked out my favorite recipes and made my list, I go to the kitchen and make sure that I don’t already have the items on hand that are on my grocery list. I can’t tell you how many times that I have come home with diced tomatoes only to find that I already have 4 cans on hand.

 

Five: I assess my shopping cart to see if I am happy with the amount that I plan to spend. If things, look a little high $$, I take off the oreos, or I sub out one of my recipes for something a little less expensive. Once I am happy with the amount, I am left with no surprises when I check out! I then simply schedule a pick up time that works for me for the next day.

 

Six: Commit to using the ingredients that you buy. If you bought extra of an item, try to incorporate that food into your next meal plan. Use recipes that call for fresh ingredients first, so that they don’t go bad before you get the chance to.

 

What are some ways that you all manage the task of meal planning and shopping for your family? Where do you get your favorite recipes? Would looove to hear your tips!

 

XO,

 

Mac

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