Meal planning

I've recently started meal planning -- what a difference it has made! I'm not really into couponing {just can't quite find the motivation or time for it right now}, but just planning our meals in advance as dropped our monthly spending on food by 50%. Another advantage is that I'm less stressed out about cooking. Before, I would have a lot of food, none of which I could organize into a complete meal. Now, I know ahead of time what to expect and can plan my day accordingly.

A couple of tips I have found helpful:

1. Discuss your weekly schedule with spouse/family before making the menu. If you know you will be gone to Bible study around dinner time, maybe save the complicated meal for another day.

2. Get new recipes from other sources to keep it interesting. I personally like All You magazine b/c it gives you price/serving and also the All Recipes iPhone app.

3. Use recipes that call for more fresh ingredients towards the beginning of the week and more 'stable' recipes for the end of the week (pastas, etc.).

Spending 30 minutes meal planning on Sunday mornings for me has resulted in saving a significant amount of money, shorter trips to the store, and less stress throughout the week. Each week I'll post my meal plan -- my hope is that eventually it will get more robust with recipes, etc. and that some of you will share your favorite recipes. Don't expect anything super fancy on our menus. My goal is to get somewhat healthy, quick, tasty meals on the table.
Sunday: Ham, mashed potatoes, peas
Monday: Salmon, leftover mashed potatoes, green beans
Tuesday: Chalupas
Wednesday: Ham and beans, cornbread
Thursday: Tomato soup and grilled cheese {having LASIK surgery this day, so Sean will have cooking duty for a couple of days}
Friday: BBQ pulled pork sandwiches {new recipe, I'll let you know how it goes}
Saturday: Taco soup
Sunday: Beef stew w/ lots of veggies

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  1. Hey Nicole...I am getting lasik eye surgery too. where are you going to get it done at? I don't have a specific date set yet to do it...but i am so excited to get it done!

  2. dang, do you normally cook every day?? with just the 2 of you and even with a small family, take advantage of "leftover" night. I usually cook 3 days in a row, then have a leftover night. We even eat leftovers for lunches sometimes, and still have enough to go for a dinner at least one--usually 2--nights a week. that's a lot of cooking, girl!!

  3. Ashley -- we are leftover eating superstars -- honestly probably eat stuff past its prime. They are often days that I have something planned and we opt for leftovers instead.

    Sean once complemented me on my ability to cook exactly the right amount of food for the 2 of us. I cook whatever the recipe calls for, usually 4 servings, I eat one and he tends to eat 3 lol.

  4. Nicole I love this post can I put the link to this post on my blog??? Im working on meal planning and saving money by eating left overs. Let me know!