About a month ago, while working on our budget I realized that in one month we had spent nearly ALL of one of my paychecks on eating out...eating out?!?! And I am good cook! This has to stop!
So...meal planning it is.
Because after all, I am a planner.
I need organization.
I need a shopping list.
I need to know what I am cooking before I get home.
And...let's be honest...Husby needs to know what he is having for dinner...because with our track record, I walk into the living room and say "Spaghetti for dinner..." and he will almost always reply with, "Ohhh ok...I was hoping for...enter any of our normal lame classics here..."
Sorry babe, but it's so true.
So...meal planning it is.
We have been at it since, August 23rd and we are doing GREAT! The goal was to incorporate some new recipes from our new book, the "Savvy Shopper's Cookbook", and some Clean Eating recipes from the "Clean Eating Magazine" that our BFF's let us borrow...(Oh you can check out her reviews of some of the recipes on her blog here...) and of course...there are the classics. Every family has the classics...ours are...Spaghetti, Steak and Baked Potatoes, BBQ Chicken and Homemade Mac & Cheese, Stuffed Green Peppers, and the list goes on!
OK...anywho...since we started, here's what we have been eating:
8/23/10 - Alfredo Chicken Pasta - which was delicious, even though I didn't add the carrots in called for...I don't enjoy carrots, and Hubsy wanted them in there for color...but uhh no.
8/25/10 - Biscuit Cheeseburger Casserole - it was good...however the "add the biscuits to the top and back" part...well it left the bottom 1/3 of the biscuit a little doughy and thus Husby was a little grossed out. We just peeled that part off, but I almost lost him on this meal :P
8/26/10 - Sandwiches (part of the Classics... :) heehee)
8/28/10 - Grilled Fiesta Chicken Sandwiches - These were yummy, but still a little bland...we most certainly had no "party in the mouth" feelings :P
8/29/10 - Spaghetti - For lunch, at church...a fundraiser. - Well, I bought my ticket, but ended up having Sushi with the sister while Husby went home and slept!
8/30/10 - Skillet Lasagna - Ok, this...was...delicious! Seriously It was SO yummy. And we had a TON leftover. I am freezing it, so hopefully it will make another great meal very soon!
8/31/10 - Sweet and Sour Chicken
9/1/10 - Pulled Pork Sandwiches
9/3/10 - Chicken Spaghetti
I am sure if you are paying attention, you will note some days were missing...that just means either I had a meeting where dinner was provided, or we were somewhere else where dinner was provided. So there was no need for an organized home meal.
Anywho...here's how it works.
I will sit down on the scheduled (every two weeks) Saturday or Sunday and plan the next two weeks. That goes for checking the calendar, to see what's going on, and then picking out recipes and getting the grocery list in order. Then before that first day of scheduled cooking begins, I will get the shopping done and we are all prepared and ready to go for two weeks!
Now, we aren't locked in to the cooking schedule by any means, so if we want something else that night, we can swap some of the two week meals around or hit up some of the other food i the house. And we aren't locking out any notion that there may be nights that I don't feel like cooking, or those nights when we really just want some Chick-fil-a; but we are no longer those people who eat out all the time and waste our money on food that probably is not the best for us anyhow!!
I am really excited about where this will take us...and if I am planning correctly, we will be spending less than HALF of what we were spending on eating out...that right there people...that's enough reason for me!!
So, do you meal plan? Who does most of the cooking in your house? How do you save money?