Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cheap and Simple Stuff: Menu Planning

One of the ways my family saves money is by menu planning.  Since we're paid every 2 weeks our plan is for 2 weeks worth of meals.  Having a plan eliminates that "I spent $400 at Wal Mart and we still don't have anything for dinner" problem.  I also look at the ad and buy up the things on sale that I know we'll use (like cereal and shampoo).  I try to include at least 2 meals that utilize leftovers.  This cuts back on wasting and saves money by not having to buy doubles on things like meat and fresh vegetables.

This week's dinner menu looks like this:

Saturday - Grandma's birthday party.  (yay for not having to cook!)  Just have to bring 1 bottle of pop.
Sunday - Dinner at Mom's.  (yay again for not having to cook!)  We'll just have a sandwich for dinner if anyone is still hungry.
Monday - Beans, Fried potatos, and cornbread.  This is one of the cheapest meals EVER and I try to make it at least once during the 2 weeks.
Tuesday - Spaghetti and vegetable.  This is the girls' favorite and we'll have it 1-2 times during the 2 weeks.  Also very, very cheap.
Wednesday - Potato Soup.  Also one of the girls' favorite.  Also super cheap.
Thursday - Tacos/Burritos.
Friday - Homemade Pizza.
Saturday - Nachos.  Use leftover taco meat, cheese, etc. from Taco night.
Sunday - Dinner at Mom's.
Monday - Pizza Pasta.  Use leftover pizza toppings from Pizza night..  This is our new favorite.  So easy and so yummy!
Tuesday - Spaghetti and vegetable.
Wednesday - Chili
Thursday - ???
Friday - Pay Day!  Go out to eat.  :)

I try not to over-plan.  Things change during the week.  Someone won't want spaghetti so I'll have to cook something else.  We'll go out to eat an extra time because of a school activity or some other evening activity.  I try to keep frozen pizza in the freezer in case we're home more than expected too.  And some of you are noticing there aren't many vegetables.  I try to serve salad or sneak in spinach or carrots when I can.  We also eat steamed broccoli with almost every meal.  And I put fruit on the kids' trays almost every night for dinner and at lunch too.  During the summer we eat lots of garden tomatos, squash, and salad.  The next menu will have different meals like fish, enchiladas, hamburgers.  And as it gets warmer we'll start to grill more often.


  1. We have a similar plan...I shop for 2 weeks at a time, too. Only, we never eat out or at other people's houses...hmmm, maybe I need to incorporate that into our plan.

  2. I wish I were that organized! We usually have a beef in one freezer and pork in another. I just have to think about sides.