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Grocery Shopping for a Month ~ Meal Planning


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  #1  
January 28th, 2011, 10:38 AM
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Hi Ladies. I am new here, but I think I am going to be a frequent visitor as I am trying to save tons of money!

Do any of you do a monthly dinner menu and shop for the month? I would REALLY like to start doing this. I work 40 hours a week, and dinners are always a mess and I waste tons of money on crap that we dont eat or goes to waste. If I could shop once a month and have a set schedule it would be amazing and save tons of time!

I am looking for any suggestions here...even if you shop on a small budget every week.

Thanks!
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  #2  
January 28th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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Welcome! Glad you have found us! I am glad you asked this question because I want to start meal planning myself since I will be going back to work after being on maternity leave. I can't wait to see responses. One thing that I do now is freeze any leftovers that are freezable. It is always nice to have something to "go to" in a hurry.
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  #3  
January 28th, 2011, 11:12 AM
gctattoo's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Florida
Posts: 1,689
I could never shop just once a month. We go through a lot of produce and dairy that need to be purchased more frequently than that.

But I do make a weekly menu. The trick to saving the most money with a menu is planning the meals around what's on sale/available coupons. While I don't follow my own advice , it is useful for those really trying to cut grocery costs.

I've found that doing my weekly menu has cut back on unnecessary purchases and waste. And put more variety into our meals.
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  #4  
January 28th, 2011, 12:03 PM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
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I do a big cook on my day off for the week. I make something in the crockpot, some black bean burgers, a big stew, etc. 2-3 good meals that are easy to reheat and add quick veggie sides to in a pinch. This comprises most of my lunches and dinners for the week.
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  #5  
January 28th, 2011, 04:43 PM
Caelen's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Hurley, WI
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I'm pretty bad at planning lately too, so I'm interested in any suggestions as well. I used to be better about it and what I would do is ask DH weekly "What are you in the mood for for food this week?" and based on his answers I'll make a menu, list all the ingredients I need for each meal (main course and all sides) and generally I'll throw in one extra meal that way if we go through stuff too fast or don't feel like eating some particular thing then we have back up plans. Based on my ingredient list I make my shopping list. I try to go through and see what we have before I make my final list. Then I go through and search online (coupon sites and my grocery store's site) and in my coupon pack for any coupons that might match up.

I usually go with weekly or biweekly shopping. We can't really get away with monthly because of the produce and dairy thing too.

I'm a SAHM so I cook most nights. Sometimes if its a crock pot thing and really easy then I'll make another meal that freezes well so there's a back up for later in the week if I don't feel like cooking. And like someone else said, if it freezes well, freeze a few single portions of it! I used to have some great divider plates that had lids (more like tupperware but you get the point!) that I would freeze things in.

Sometimes what I do too is that I have a "left over box" in the freezer. What goes into this box is a mix of veggies that we have throughout the week that I know its inevitable that they'll go to waste. They don't sit in the fridge and spoil this way and when the box is full I thaw it and use it for pot pie/soups/stews. If we have chicken or turkey and I know we're not going to finish it (IE- there's 3 chicken breasts and two adults in our house, so there's 1 left over and it'll sit and spoil) I'll shred it and freeze it in a ziploc bag to use in pies/soups/stews.
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  #6  
January 28th, 2011, 06:00 PM
momtothe3rdpower's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Florida
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I don't do that, but keeping my pantry stocked with at least one extra of our regular staples and freezer stocked is a huge money saving help because I know whatever that is in there was bought at a low price and I never have to run to the store and get stuck paying what they are asking for retail.
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  #7  
January 28th, 2011, 07:40 PM
ashleighgurl's Avatar Loving Wife and Mommy
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We don't plan our meals monthly, but rather weekly. I will see what is on sale for the next week and what I have coupons for, then try to create meals out of that. I usually plan one meal for each dinner during the week, and if we don't use it for some reason, then we will have it for the next week.
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  #8  
January 31st, 2011, 04:55 AM
youngwoman's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Georgia
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I plan weekly as opposed to monthly as well. But definitely the biggest help to cut down on the budget is to plan meals based on what's on sale at your grocery store. You'll also pick up on sale trends at your store too - for instance, my Kroger seems to have chicken breasts on sale every other week, so I buy enough to last us two weeks until the next sale (sometimes more if my budget allows).

Also, you might want to check out Money Saving Mom® :: Helping You Be a Better Home Economist and Life As Mom ? On the Road to Joyful Motherhood

Both of these ladies have held "Freezer Cooking Days" and make a bunch of freezer meals to last them for a month. It's impressive, to say the least!
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  #9  
January 31st, 2011, 06:29 AM
mommy2Breana+Brandon's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am starting to plan my meals weekly. I only spend around $100 for a week's worth of groceries.

I wish you luck and welcome by the way
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  #10  
January 31st, 2011, 12:26 PM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
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i researched it and found it hard to make meals that were healthy AND vegetarian.
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  #11  
February 1st, 2011, 02:25 PM
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I don't think I could ever do a whole month at a time but I do plan out the week ahead. I also don't have the room for storage even if I wanted to.
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