In order to save some money and eat a better, James and I have been planning our meals a week in advance. We then go grocery shopping for the week, of course while we are not hungry so we do not add extra snacks that are not on our list. We are notorious at going grocery shopping while hungry and adding things that we really do not need. Our weekly menu may not vary too much but each week we at least try to include some variation.
I made a weekly menu for lunch and dinner spots on a dry erase board, and every week I fill the spots with meals. I base my menu on what is on sale at the grocery store and what coupons I can either cut out or print out. I also use Cartwheel from Target, since I do my grocery shopping at Target, Cartwheel is my favorite for discounts on items that I use a lot of. So with the combo of discounts I try to save the most money as I can. I try my hardest to not buy something unless it is on sale, unless it is one of my staple items that I just cannot avoid, like bread, juice, butter, etc. Things like meats, cheese and frozen items, I try to buy in bulk when they are on sale so they are always on hand and it costs a lot less.
I am a huge fan of Pinterest for finding recipes. I usually use it to find a recipe to try each week for our variations. Otherwise, the menu looks very similar from week to week. Apparently we have a winter menu and a summer menu. The grill is used constantly during the summer. We have learned that some things are just better on the grill than inside on the stove or in the oven, including our thin crust pizza we cook on the grill; we like the crunchier crust we get on the grill.
With planning each week, we know what to expect from week to week. We have a pretty good idea of what we put in our bodies and we know what we are spending on food each week. We stick to our budget a lot easier by planning ahead; many weeks we are under budget because of planning ahead.
There are benefits of planning ahead in other areas of life of course as well. Estate planning also has its benefits. If you take care of your estate plan ahead of time that is one less thing you have to worry about when things go downhill.
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