Cut Your Budget with Plan Ahead Weekday Dinner Prep

Cut your Budget with Plan Ahead Weekly Meal PrepWe all know how easy it is to get sucked into the drive-through or to pick up that takeout menu and order dinner, but it’s hard on our wallets. With a little planning, we can avoid those traps.

1) Make a Plan

I like to cook on Sundays, and have meals ready to go for Monday through Wednesday. Thursday then becomes “leftover day.” You choose what works best for you and your schedule.

[Read more…]

Menu Plan Monday ~ June 11th

We’ve had record setting levels of rain over the weekend along the gulf coast and we’re having problems getting out down our six mile long dirt road which is no fun at all!  I’m very happy to have a freezer full of home cooked meals so I don’t have to worry about running out for any ingredients 😉

Monday – Spaghetti & Meatballs

Tuesday – Lemon Pepper Chicken

WednesdayBeef Fajitas

ThursdayOven Fried Parmesan Chicken

FridayDate night – dinner out!

Saturday – Club Sandwiches & Baked Fries

SundayChicken Nuggets

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 30th

This week is going to be busier than usual since one kid has a dentist appointment, another has a doctor appointment and I’m leaving town on Friday for the Brandcation blogging conference.  It’s weeks like this that I am so grateful to have a menu plan and a freezer full of home cooked meals to choose from!  We save a bunch of money because we’re not trying to figure out what to have for supper on the way home from wherever, which made it too easy to stop and grab fast food.  We can even change our minds and mix or match the meals depending on how we feel or how the day is going because there is a list of options available.  If you haven’t tried menu planning yet I highly recommend that you look into it – it not only saves us money but also greatly reduces the stress level around dinner time.

MondayLemon Chicken

TuesdayHomemade Garlic Crust Pizza

WednesdayCrock Pot Honey Ham

Thursday – Crescent Wrapped Hot Dogs

Friday – HOHO (hubby’s on his own – I’ll be out of town)

Saturday – HOHO (hubby’s on his own – I’ll be out of town)

Sunday – Sandwiches

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 2nd

Tonight I have to go to a meeting in town so I've planned something easy for hubby to feed the kids.  We've been working on eating only what we have in the freezer and pantry for the past few months and now the selection is getting pretty limited, but I'm thrilled to have been able to plan out the menu for the whole month based on what we have on hand.  I don't think we're going to be able to do it again next month, but then I'm really surprised that we've made it this long since we started with the pantry challenge in January!

Monday – Salisbury Steak

Tuesday – Spaghetti & Meatballs

WednesdayBaked Honey Mustard Chicken

Thursday – Tilapia Fish Sticks

FridayDate night – dinner out!

SaturdayBacon Wrapped Garlic Chicken

Sunday – Sandwiches

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!

jfdghjhthit45

Menu Plan Monday ~ January 30th

I’ve been participating in the Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge all month long and I’m absolutely thrilled with having an accurate inventory of everything in the freezer, and being able to plan out our menu a month in advance!  It feels SO nice to have the chore of planning what to eat every day already done so I’m really looking forward to continuing to keep a running inventory and a monthly menu plan. I’m always amazed at how much more we can save on our budget simply by spending a little time once a week planning our menu based on what we have on hand.  Now I’m super excited about the prospect of doing the planning once a month!  Here’s hoping that I’m able to stick to my new goal 😉

Monday – Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry

Tuesday – Beef Tacos

Wednesday – Lemon Pepper Chicken

Thursday – Pancakes and bacon (breakfast for supper)

FridayDate night – dinner out

SaturdayBacon Wrapped Garlic Chicken

Sunday – Soup and Sandwiches

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!

Saving While Eating Well

Food and drinks are an interesting struggle when trying to save money. Everyone eats, multiple times throughout the day, and there is no way of getting around it. I find that, especially as a working adult, it is incredibly easy to fall into the habit of skipping breakfast, grabbing a quick lunch, then picking up a late dinner. Not only is this a really unhealthy way to live, it’s also very expensive! Here are a few ways to improve your diet AND your bank account when it comes to your day-to-day dining:

Always, Always, ALWAYS Pack your Lunch

Remember when you were a kid and wanted hot lunch every day? Your mother said no of course, and told you to pack your own lunch. Well, the office cafe is the grown-up equivalent to your school’s cafeteria, so use the same logic your mother did, and don’t waste your money on overpriced mediocre food! Packing a lunch is something that takes about five minutes, and can save you hundreds of calories and dollars over the course of a year.

Plan Your Meals

Before you start your week, sit down and plan out what days you’ll be home, what meals you’d like to make, and what you need to buy to make those meals. Not only will this stop you from picking up pricy take-out dinners, but it will stop you from over-buying at the grocery! Bonus points if you pick recipes that use food that you already have!

Make Your Own Specialty Drinks

Ah, if I had a dollar for every time I pulled over at a Starbucks . . . or maybe $5, for that matter! Coffee and tea drinks have some of the highest markups of all consumables, as well as tons of hidden sugars and calories. Starbucksrecipes.org has quite a few recipes of the favorite Starbucks indulgences, and a quick Google search can find you pretty much any other recipe people have discovered for make-your-own gourmet coffee.

Split Meals Out

Sometimes, eating out is unavoidable – but don’t worry, there are still ways to stay within your mealtime budget! If you’re going with friends, split a meal, as well as the cost and the calories! If you’re out with a group that you aren’t comfortable splitting food with (co-workers or something a bit more professional), don’t be afraid to order off of the appetizer menu – an appetizer is often far cheaper and better proportioned than the huge entrees that restaurants offer.

Photo Credit: iClipart

Menu Plan Monday ~ May 2nd

I have to give a presentation on how to make creamed honey at a meeting tonight so I’ve scheduled something easy for hubby to make the kids since I’ll be gone.  We’ve had so much going on lately between the kids’ spring break, my trip to the Mom 2.0 Summit and a few unexpected house repairs that we haven’t had a freezer cooking day in way too long.  I’m hoping to get some freezer meals planned and prepared in the next week or two so we can get a little more variety going in our weekly menu plan!

Monday – Salisbury Steak

Tuesday – Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken

WednesdayCrockpot Honey Ham

Thursday – Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Friday – Date night – dinner out

Saturday – French Toast

Sunday – McDonalds

My meal plan is listed at OrgJunkie.com!