Friday, June 7, 2013

Meal Planning

Before we get started this week, check out the latest Penny Pincher Commercial.  It is hilariously funny.  I have watched several times and every time I get a kick out of this guy.  

Planning out your meals does not mean you’re on  a cafeteria schedule without flexibility.  It just means that you have an idea of how many meals per week you’ll be preparing at home, and the shopping list to complete the prep.

Stockpiling main meal ingredients will help take care of a couple meal staples per week.  If you stock up chicken breast, you can have that for a meal 10 weeks in a row, and never get tired of chicken.  Same with brats, hamburger, or Illini Pork cuts.

My meal prep does not include 7 dinners per week.  I actually plan to fix 6 and have one super duper left over night.  Since I shop on Thursdays after coupon club that night is one of our big meal nights.  Usually, just because it looks so good and I want to eat it right away.  So this meal includes a meat selection, and two sides.  Usually some type of dessert. 

Then I purposely plan two meals per week that my kids want.  My middle child I call the “Carb-anator.”  He likes pizza, spaghetti, and macaroni bake.  These nights are good times to cut the meat portion of the meal and bring down my weekly grocery cost.  Spaghetti needs a nice bread stick or garlic bread addition, and pizza night can have some pizza sticks. 

After these 4 meal plans, I only need 3 more.  That’s easy!  One Chicken, one Beef, one Pork.  Done.  Then I take a look at the sides.  What can I pick up this week that is on special, or has a coupon that will accompany these meals?  This week we have bagged salad mixes on sale, and we all just stocked up on dressing last week.  Perfect! This is a great way to add a fresh addition without a lot of expense. 

A portion of your weekly budget will always be for future meals aka stockpiling.  I pick out 3 or 4 items that are on sale, that I have a coupon for additional savings and stock for the week. 

Only thing left are the snacks.  Sometimes the majority of the budget!  My budget includes a Meal plan for snacks.  I know that my kids graze during the summer.  So I need 2 snacks per kid per day.  Or 42 small snacks per week.  Fruit cups, pizza, even frozen egg rolls will satisfy them.  So I need to find stockable snacks with high serving counts.  I generally will not stock an item with a per unit count over $.50 each.  The $.20 threshold for snacks is my stockpile indicator.  Normally, I need a coupon to get in this range.

Take a moment to review your meal plan this week.  You can easily do it and stay under budget and use your coupons for stockpiling at the same time.  You’re a master multitasker!

For additions Print N Save Coupons:

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