Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to meal plan

We went grocery shopping yesterday.  I hit the grocery outlet and Costco.    We hadn't spent a lot so far  this month and needed to replenish stock.    I am still at 70.00 a week.   Our USDA stars  are 147.00.   Do the math.   4 people at four dollars a day is 16.00 a day.  Sixteen dollars times 30 days is 480.00.   70.00 x4 equals 280.00 or 10.00 a day and my costs do not reflect my ibotta money.m.
In other words ,

USDA per person per day is 5.25 a day
Quoted snap is 4.00 a day
Ours is 2.50 a day

Now, a caviat  is that my daughter and granddaughter eat at school during the week , so there is no breakfast or lunch eaten during the week.  And, to be fair, most school aged kids on snap  get free lunches and breakfast  at school.      Still, the difference in cost goes a long ways to exemplify the benefits of stocking, couponing, and only buying at RBP.

How to plan a menu.   I made a work sheet up to facilitate the process.    It has seven squares for menus , one for my matrix. And two columns : one for things we have,  with things that need to be used first marked, amd one column for need to buy to fill in.

You could also go at it in a different direction and theme your nights.

  1. Pizza night 
  2. Soup night
  3. Sunday dinner 
  4. Mexican 
  5. Breakfast for dinner
  6. Pasta 
  7. Fish and chips or some kind of a sandwich ( hot dogs, sloppy joes)

Anyway you approach it, having an outline goes a longways to make the process faster and easier.   

I have a matrix of 2 beef, 2 chicken or pork, 2 vegetarian , and 1 fish  or shellfish.   
I look at the list, making note of things we need to use up first ( a highlighter helps) and start writing down meals paying close attention to any day when dinner needs to be a quick one , or one that is easy like in the crockpot.    
Note any speciality items that you might need to fill in.   

  1. Split pea soup with ham cubes in freezer.   3.25 ( ham cubes 5.00/4 meals , split peas and a biscuit mix .   ( I would make cheese biscuits from scratch. This is some can cost it. ) 
  2. Pizza 2.50. Green salad with tomatoes 1.50 or 4.00 ( pepperoni is .50 with a coupon at dollar store , cheese at 2.00 a pound at grocery outlet, part of a tomato paste can, and 150 pizza crust from grocery outlet . 
  3. Roast beef a jus sandwiches , green salad.   Salad 1.50, roast beef 4.00 (Costco) rolls 2.00.  - 7.50
  4. Salmon noodle casserole.   3.00 salmon, noodles 1.00, white sauce mix.-stock, peas and carrots free from QFC.    4.00
  5. Hot dogs, buns, pasta salad, fruit.    Hot dogs, free from QFC, buns .88 (Winco) salad .75 with coupon.   Bananas 1.39/2.- .70-----2.33
  6. Eggs, bacon, yogurt parfaits, pancakes.    Eggs (1/2 doz 1.00, bacon 1.00 ( Jennne-0 dollar store) pancake mix .50( grocery outlet) yogurt .40. Blues .30, granola - too little to count ( chez at dollar store) 3.20
  7. Potato soup. 1.60 ( potatoes at Winco - on sale with ibotta) milk a dollar at Fred Meyers, bacon from dollar store package.  
Average 3.63 a meal.   Note : I didn't go to all those stores in the same week. That's what stocking does for you.   I usually go to two chains a week.  I go to the dollar store and grocery outlet when we are in that area for something else.    Costco is on a need to go basis and is in our backyard practically.   lol.  Winco is when I can't find good proces at the stores that are in our area.   We are,supposed to get a Winco next year.   

Thanks for stopping by 
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