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How to Plan Great Meals on a Budget

We love to eat. Planning meals has been an important part of each week for me because it's the only way I'm guaranteed to get food on the table each night (I'm a planner!). I live in an area that has an abundance of grocery stores, but tend to shop at just one to save time. If hunting down bargains throughout many stores is your thing - by all means go for it. For me, it works best to shop in one place. So I focus on that store's circular for the week.

Each week we eat about 4 meals with meat and 2 without. The remaining day of the week we eat leftovers. To start planning I grab pen, paper, a cold or hot beverage, and my grocery store's circular.

First I select 4 meats that are on sale that week according to the circular. Next, I check my 5 Petey Thumbs Up List or search the Internet or cookbooks for meals to make from those meats. I love trying new things so I get a lot of meal ideas online and from Pinterest. When we find a real winner, I add it to my 5 Petey Thumbs Up list.

Next I add the ingredients for two vegetarian meals and the staples we'll need for the week. I keep a list of these staples in my bullet journal.

Finally I'll add lunch and breakfast items. Lunches tend to be made up of salads and leftovers. And breakfasts usually consist of eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, fruit, yogurt, waffles or pancakes, or homemade cereal.

For me, this planning is the best way to guarantee I'll have a meal on the table every night - and all ingredients already on hand. It also helps me stay in budget by sticking to a list, rather than randomly throwing things in my cart as I shop. In another post (soon!) I'll share about how I do the majority of my grocery shopping online, which helps me stay in budget even easier.

Hope this post helps you plan. What are your strategies for planning meals for your family?


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