Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Meal Plan For A Month

It is almost February so I need to get my meal plan going. We did really well not going out to eat in January. I think we did about 3 times, including Mark's birthday. That is HUGE for us. Last month when I did my meal plan my computer was broken so I wrote it out on an envelope I got in the mail. This month I am SO much more sophisticated!!

Start out by setting up a calendar. I went to Microsoft Word and searched calendar. It sent me to the Microsoft website to download one, free. I actually ended up picking out a Birthday Calendar, but it will work well for us.

Once you have your calendar ready decide what meals you are going to use. My favorite thing to do is go to my recipes on Pinterest. I look at all of the things I have listed and plug them into the calendar. Don't think you need 30 meals, we do left overs at least one day a week..I try to do it twice though. Once you have it all plugged in it will look like this:

What I love most about this calendar is you can make your meal plan into links to all of the recipes. Last month I would have something on the calendar but go to find it and it some how disappeared. I swear things disappear on Pinterest some days! For this calendar all you have to do is hit CTRL while you click on the name of the meal and it will open it for you.

This calendar sets up every month of the year so if you want to be SUPER adventurous you could do more then one month. You could also plug in dinner dates you might know you have for the future so you can plan to skip dinner that night.

Once you have it all plugged in start going through your cupboards and look for what you need for the recipes. Write down everything you are going to need to purchase for each meal.

The next part is a big one! Find a local coupon blogger. I follow Bargains To Bounty, she lists all of the sales each week at the local stores. I am able to look at her list, and my list of ingredients, and see where I can find them cheapest! Each week I look for items at the stores and hang on to them until it is time to make that meal.

Unfortunately there will be times when you have to purchase something at full price, or change the meals around so you only eat something that is on sale.

I hope this helps all of you meal plan better and cheaper! As always feel free to ask questions or leave comments on how you Meal Plan.