This is now my second month of planning our menu for a month in advance and I am loving it! Up until August, I would sit down and plan out our weekly lunch and dinner menu and then base our shopping list off of that. I would spend sometimes two hours a week searching recipes, planning the menu days out (some things just don't reheat well when Josh get home from work, so I plan those meals on days he is off), writing our shopping list after searching the store ads and then matching up my coupons. Oh and let's not forget the hour we spend at the grocery store and that is if we do it all at one store, usually we stop at two in order to get the most bang for our buck.
On Pinterest, I found a link to a woman's blog where she talked about how she planned her menus out for the month and did all of her grocery shopping at the start of the month. On top of all that, she did as much prep and cooking at the start of the month so all she had to do was pull meals out of the freezer and throw it in the Crock Pot or baking dish the day of. Yes, it sounds like a lot of work, but when she says she feeds her family of 6 for only $350 a month, I had to read more.
That same night after reading her blog, I sat down with my computer and created a menu for the month of August. This forced me to try new recipes since I could see how many times in a month I would normally repeat the same basic dishes. Looking at my menu, I was able to have something different each night. I also printed all my new recipes and hung them with my menu in the kitchen so Josh could also see what we had to look forward to. In August I was not able to do all my shopping at the start of the month since we were gone for a week and I didn't want anything to sit. However, September I had planned out and everything bought before the month even began. We do have to make occasional dairy and produce trips for fresh fruit and veggies, but for the bulk of our month, we managed to spend roughly $200 for our family on groceries for the month. It has been great so far not having to sit down each week to figure out a shopping list and what to eat, just look at the menu and it's all done.
I am sure most of you who usually read this blog don't really care about this detail of our life, but this is something that I am excited about.