Las week was a crazy busy week and I just thought of dinner about two hours before we ate! This week I am cutting back the groceries for holiday spending.
This week I had to have our menu planned. With Christmas around the corner, and the start of our new barn being built in the spring I feel the financial pull.
It’s time to get back to getting serious about the budget. I shopped at BJ’s and Aldi’s in the past two weeks- our Aldi has cheaper dairy prices so I pick up our milk, butter, and sometimes cheese there as well as bread.
I used to bake all our own bread but lately, I have been hitting sales at Aldi for $0.69 a loaf for 100% Whole Wheat so I stocked up and put almost all of it in the freezer.
By the way, BJ’s has the BEST price for yeast and allows baking your own bread to be quite affordable. I’ve baked my own bread consistently for about 2 years so a little break is good. Once the cold winter hits, I’ll take it up again.
But I know our grocery budget is the one thing I can take control of. Couponing and shopping sales allow us to do that.
If you are feeling the squeeze of holiday spending, remember that you can really feed your family for less when you meal plan.
Just cutting out one restaurant meal a week can go to your holiday shopping fund.
TIP: CHECK OUT ALL THE THANKSGIVING DINNER DEALS AT BJS HERE
So I made a menu for two weeks out so that this week for groceries all I need to buy is Milk, and fruit. Phew. I do not want to spend more than $20 this week.
You can also score free printables and take a try at meal planning for a month with my article HERE.
Don’t forget that for under $100 you can create 14 Freezer to slow cooker meals using BJ’s ingredients with my FREE Meal Plan Here.
Here’s what is on our menu this week:
Wednesday: Pan Seared Butter Tilapia with Rice Vegetables ( using the Steamfresh Veggies from BJ’s and some white rice mixed up together with a bit of cheese and herbs)
Thursday: Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese ( I grew and canned our own artichokes this year otherwise they are kind of expensive even canned!)
Friday: Date Night with my husband- Hoping to Find Some Steaks on Sale!
Saturday: Homemade Pizza with Sausage
Sunday: Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup- We have fallen in love with the Organic Pacific Tomato Soup from BJ’s it is still on sale for $9.99 for 6! – it beats Campbell’s by a long shot!
I have next week planned too but I will just share that next Monday with you all. But it feels awesome to have two weeks of dinners planned out!
TIPS FOR MEAL PLANNING:
BUILD CONFIDENCE AND RELATIONSHIPS
Meal planning will also build a family bond. Your kids will see you in the kitchen and they may want to help. I encourage you to let them help you even if you are just starting out cooking and feel uncomfortable, let them hand you your utensils.
If you grew up with not much of a cooking background start small. Don’t whip out the recipes that call for 10+ ingredients and knife skills.
You do not want to get discouraged, you want to feed your family for less.
My favorite recipes I started cooking with was from the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook. I suggest this to anyone wanting to start cooking and has no idea where to begin. It gives you the basics on everything from the cuts of meat, to basic spices, and how to shape your own loaves of bread.
Once you get a feel for how food blends together you will gain confidence and feel proud.
TOO BUSY IS NO EXCUSE!
If you are crunched on time you can still menu plan. There are hundreds of those freezer meal plans you can purchase or find your own on Pinterest that I know several of my friends love.
It is a personal preference if freezer cooking is for you. I really enjoy blending the ingredients together and if I am so crunched on time where I can’t prep a meal that’s when I turn to my emergency plan- frozen fish sticks or the crock pot.
If there is a meal that sounds so delicious you can not pass it up- use my price comparison search bar to find the best deal on it. That way you won’t feel bad about making a dinner that is calling you but you may not have any of the items in your pantry.
WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU THIS WEEK?