Yesterday, Philip and I went grocery Shopping. I decided it would be a good idea to make a menu for the next 5 weeks (until February 15) and shop for only what we need for dinners for that amount of time.
**(I did not plan a meal for Valentine’s day because we are going out. I also did not plan dinners for Saturday nights. We go into town for church Saturday nights and have dinner. It also leaves a night for left overs too.)
After our shopping adventure, I sure was surprised.
After shopping at both Costco (aka heaven) and Walmart, we spent….drumroll please…..
$130! For a MONTH!!!
I am pretty stoked.
Of course we will probably have to go get milk, and maybe more cereal (because who doesn’t like cereal?) but I am estimating no more than $150. At the most. Wow!
Want to know how I did it? Well, let me tell ya.
Ladies and gentlemen, My calendar:
And yes, we do like Mexican food. I’m from San Diego. I can’t help it.
Anywho, I made up this calendar. Then, I opened a word document and wrote down every ingredient I needed for EACH recipe.
Sounds like it takes a while huh? Well it did. But I think only paying $150 for a month of dinners is worth it.
After I wrote down every ingredient needed, I deleted everything I already have.
This includes spices, flour, butter, milk, etc. Things that are staples that I always have in the house.
Fortunately I had just gone on a major chicken-purchasing spree as well. So I didn’t need to buy any meat this week.
Note about the chicken: We have a grocery store here called Smith’s. Every couple of weeks, their boneless skinless chicken breasts go on sale for $1.65/lb. and I STOCK UP. I think last time I went, I bought about 8 Packs of the chicken (approx. 6 chicken breasts per pack, which lasts us about 3 dinners). It ended up being around $80, but that chicken has lasted me about a week already, and I still have more than I will need for this next month. If you have space in your freezer, stock up when you can. It has saved so much money in the long run.
Because I wrote out all of my recipes, I knew that I needed to get 5, 15 oz cans of enchilada sauce. So instead, I got 2, 30 oz cans and a 15 oz can. It’s only a little bit of savings, but it adds up!
I also realized how much Mexican shredded cheese we would need, and how much sour cream. So, instead of buying a new container of sour cream every week or so, and a small bag of shredded cheese every time I want to make enchiladas, I bought the big packs of both at Costco!
Bottom line is this: When you KNOW you will be needing a ton of one thing, it is SO much cheaper to buy a big container once, instead of multiple small containers.
Planning ahead is going to save. A LOT.
It may take an hour or two of your day to plan out your meals and your shopping list, but in the long run, you will be thanking yourself for taking that time.
And, you won’t have to drag those sweet kiddos of yours to the grocery store every five minutes.
Go sledding instead.
Much love and Happy Shopping!