Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Madness: 5 Frugal Food Weeks begins

Hello March!
Leap Day has inspired me to once again take stock and share with you a glimpse of how this family goes grocery shopping.
Not to mention that I've been following Kristen's aka The Frugal Girl, weekly Grocery Spending Posts for a few months now too.
So- for the five weeks of March I'll post my grocery bills here.
I already have my menu plans ready for the month (which is gonna help me find the best bang for my buck).
My weekly  grocery budget is $75.
I have been saving a bit of moolah for my quarterly trip to the Amish store ($60 saved so far) and will be planning that trip for this month also.
5 weeks @ $75 a week will be a total spending of $375.
We are a family of 5 so that comes out to $15 per person per week.
Grocery prices keep creeping up higher and higher around here and staying in my budget gets more interesting each week, so this series of posts is also to encourage myself to keep at it.

Last spring I posted 6 weeks of frugal grocery shopping- you can read about that here.

To celebrate the kick off of Five Frugal Food Weeks... I'm sharing one of my menu planning pages-
I'm a visual girl-- the cuter the organizing pages the more I am inspired to organize and keep at it!
Weekly Menu Plan Page- Cupcake
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Menu Planning is the frugaling cornerstone to my grocery shopping budget. When people ask me how I keep my grocery bill to $75 a week, I tell them its mainly in the menu planning. When I started menu planning, my goal was simple- to plot out one week's worth of dinners. After doing that for a few weeks- I began to plot out two weeks at a time, then I added breakfast and lunch to the menu plan. After a few years of menu planning, it got to where I could easily plan out a month's worth of meal menus in a half hour time block. To me, menu planning is a better use of my time than coupon clipping.

As you can see- my menu plan also has room for noting family activities- this is the secret weapon to my planning. I jot down family activities- such as "Daddy softball game", "Ms. Books babysit", "Art Class", "Family nite @ Church", or "Mom- planning meeting". Noting our activities helps me to better plan my meals. For example- we recently had a day where we schooled in the morning, had a two and an half hour art class in the afternoon (plus 20 minutes travel time) and I had massage therapy in the early evening. I knew that we needed a quick and easy dinner that the kids could make that night. So I planned accordingly. I save the big dinners with lots of cooking for those nights when everyone's going to be home, which means everyone can help. Nine times out of 10 Sunday dinners are crockpot meals. I love coming home to the smell of dinner already cooking and knowing that all I need to do is toss a salad or steam some veggies while the kids help set the table.

It is my hope over the next 5 weeks to continue to share small tips and tricks like this alongside revealing my weekly grocery buys.


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