So, now I'm trying going every two weeks. I have a certain amount to spend on groceries, and then a little to spend on household items. I HAVE to stay under a certain amount because I'm paying cash. The only problem I see with this so far, is that there are going to be times when I run out of big things all at once, which is going to use up all my cash. I'm not sure how to handle that yet, but it's a learning process I suppose. :)
I'm going to share how I plan out meals in order to simplify my life a little bit. :) (I do NOT plan breakfast or lunch, because at this point at least, those are simple and easy.)
First, I go to my handy-dandy list of meal ideas.
|Seriously. WHY does it turn my pictures? Grr.|
After I've planned out meals, then I check to see what I need to buy. This helps me make sure that I only buy what I need for the next couple of weeks, which of course, keeps my grocery bill down (hopefully)!
More specifically, I want to share with you how I make meal preparation even EASIER. We all want that, right? I love to cook, but I also like things simple!
Since my family eats a lot of things with ground beef, I try to buy a family-size package. It's pretty cheap for the amount of meals we can get out of it, which makes it a staple in our house! We use it to make Hamburgers, Sloppy Joes, Meatloaf, Taco Meat, and Spaghetti. I also lay aside a portion to use for baby food.
I always bought a big portion of beef, and then would split it into different bags to freeze until I needed it. The problem with this, was that when I needed just a little bit for spaghetti, I had to thaw out a big portion of beef. This was annoying. So, here is what I do now!
Here's my 5 1/2 pounds or so of beef...
Now I separate it into sections, according to how much I need for a meal. For example, I take a small portion and set it aside for spaghetti, or a large portion for meatloaf.
Then I take some freezer bags and label them with the meal I'll use that package of beef for and the date I freeze it.
Next, I place the beef in their 'assigned' bags, and flatten them out as much as I can. This saves a LOT of freezer space!
This is such a simple process, but makes things SO much easier for me. Now, when I see that we're having tacos the next day, I can just go ahead and take out the bag labeled 'taco meat' and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. SO EASY! I also do this with chicken, which is a little more involved, since it takes a while to cut up all of the chicken. It is really worth that extra time in the long run though.
Anybody else have some good meal planning tips?? :)
Y'all have a fantabulous weekend!!