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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Meal Planning and Groceries

Lately, we have been making an effort to have a pretty strict grocery budget.  This involves actual meal planning, and making grocery lists.  Typically, I just go to the grocery store, buy stuff that's on sale, and then figure out what to have later.  This isn't a terrible way to shop, but it leads to a lot of last minute trips to the store after I've browsed pinterest, or read blogs and found something that I suddenly HAVE to have for dinner that night.

Honestly, how can you NOT suddenly run to the store for ingredients to make these pumpkin doughnuts?
The beauty of actually planning my meals is that I can pull up my pinterest boards and select meals that I've been intending to cook and (gasp) actually cook them.  We're not stuck eating ramen and boxed mac and cheese, and I don't usually hit thirty minutes before Nate gets home and suddenly think, "Shoot...what on earth are we having for dinner tonight?"  It's really pretty helpful.

I've created a little worksheet for myself to help me keep on track.  It includes the week's worth of meals, and a place for my grocery list.  I take the whole thing with me to the store so that I don't stray too far off track, and also so that I can track the spending and split the receipt immediately, if needed.  We use Mint for tracking our budgets, but you have to wait a day or so before receipts can be split, so this helps me remember by the time I get around to tracking online.  I thought I'd share the worksheet with you, in case you're looking to be a little more diligent in meal planning as well.  New Year's isn't the only time for resolutions, right?

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