Tuesday, January 18, 2011
So, the weekly meal planning thing isn't working for me. I don't stick to it. What I have devised now is a month long plan. It all goes into a binder divided into weeks, and has shopping lists for exactly how much of each ingredient I need. This all works with the plan to start only grocery shopping once a month. As it is now, we go once a week. Most of what we buy, even fresh produce, will last one month in the fridge. Yesterday I went to Aldi for the first time since I was a kid, and I was rather impressed with their selection. Most of the food I picked up didn't contain nasty ingredients you associate with cheap food, and I was able to get a lot of our staples at even-cheaper-than-Costco prices. I stocked up, hoping to get us through a couple weeks while I hash out the last couple weeks worth of the meal plan. I hope to start "officially" with February. One trip for groceries a month will save a lot of money for us. We tend to be impulse buyers, no matter how hard we try. By only putting us in the store once a month, I am eliminating a lot of those impulses. A few items I will still buy from Costco, but I am considering letting the membership slide at the end of this year. I don't feel we are getting as much out of shopping there as I thought we would. We purchase or grow all of our own meat, save lunch meat, I bake our bread. I hope to preserve a lot more produce this year, though we didn't do too badly in that area this year. That leaves snacks and exotics: fruit snacks (a treat around here), popsicles (yes, I could make them, but I have found I am okay with just buying them), dried pineapple. A few toiletries and toilet paper. I order a lot of the other stuff off the internet so, I think we are set. It is just making the plans. And sticking to them. There is flexibility for eating out sometimes, but the goal this year is to pay off some serious debt, which can totally happen if we start being more careful in all areas. Shopping period is an area we let slide a lot. And I don't intend to cut it out entirely, but even little cutbacks make big differences. I will post the February month's worth of plans once I get it completed, and hopefully update as we go.