Meal Planning 101 and a Free Download

A thousand apologies dear readers! I have been away too long. Darn life is getting in the way of what I really want to spend all my time doing, which is writing about the Disney life. I finally realized that, while budgeting is a fantastic way to achieve your financial goals, making more money is an even better way. So, I went out and got myself a job! It’s very exciting actually, as I haven’t worked for someone besides myself since before my daughter was born.

Well, onto what I feel is a very important aspect of sticking to a budget and that is-Food! We all need it, and planning a weekly menu can be a very useful way to keep your food costs down-hey, you want to go on vacation, right? Pick a day every week when you can sit down and work on your menu. Ideally, you want to plan 3 meals a day, but if you can only plan dinner, start with that. I’ve included a very simpleĀ download that you can use for planning.img_94161

I use 3 rotating breakfasts, like scrambled eggs with toast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, oatmeal on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and a special breakfast on Saturday (obviously adjust for your family and daily schedule) then on your grocery list, you would add oats and eggs if you didn’t already have them. If you want to add raisins and nuts like we do, make sure they’re on your grocery list! Lunches consist of leftovers and snacky foods around here- lunch meat and cheese, fruit, crackers, veggies. Dinner is usually the hardest to plan. If you work, it’s hard to come home and cook. And it can also be hard to predict what you’ll be in the mood for on Wednesday if you’re making your menu on Sunday. Make sure you have a few “no-brainers” scheduled throughout the week. For me, that is a pasta night (sub zucchini noodles if you’re doing low-carb) and a “Mexican” night using canned beans and tortillas- just add lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, we even love sweet potatoes with our bean and rice bowls.

Cooking can be fun!

And that’s that. Just be sure anything you don’t have on hand is added to your grocery list. Pasta night with no pasta is just no fun. Adding snacks is optional. I try to add them, but end up never eating what’s on the menu, so I gave up. We figure for a family of 3 we spend a minimum of $30 to go to a restaurant. A meal at home can be made for a couple of bucks per person. It just makes sense to watch closely where your money is going when saving towards a goal. Good luck and happy planning!

Download your free menu planner here!




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