Meal planning is a necessary part of groceries on the cheap. It can be formal on computer generated sheet, ormyoumcwn wrote it on the back of an envelope from the recycle bin. Either way, it'll work.
Some people make rotating meal plans so that things are canned and they don't have to reinvent the wheel every week. Their meals and grocery list is "in the bag" . The only problem I see with that is sales and availability of inexpensive, in season fruit and veggies change.
Using a matrix that is protein based or theme based works well and is flexible.
Because a meal is scheduled for a particular day, doesn't mean you have to eat it that day.
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
Ok, meal plans for next week.....
1 fish or seafood
3 chicken or pork
Equals 7 meals, with varied protein.
- I just bought 4 pounds of sausage and cooked and defatted it ( jimmy Dean bulk) .ot made sense because I had coupons and a blanket coupon that made it less than the RBP at Costco. I had to buy four instead of the three pound chub at Costco because of how the coupons worked.
- I also bought three pounds of 7 percent hamburger. I fried and defatted both at the same time, I did use separate colandes and pans.
- I have blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, bananas, apples. And a few strawberries.
- I have lettuce, tomato. Cucumbers and frozen red peppers.
- I always have and celery and carrots.
My rotation protein this week was sausage and hamburger. I am not finding a big bargain in anything else. Just because they advertise a meat, doesn't mean it's a bargain. A few weeks ago they did have split chicken breast for around a dollar. I stocked then. I can cook chicken breast from frizen in the pressure cooker. Betty Crocker on line has numerous cooked chicken recipes or recipes that can be adapted. I have been getting alfredo sauce in jars for less than a dollar.
My husband went to the tree while I shopped Safeways to save time. He couponed big time. Pepperoni was .50- the same pepperoni that is upwards of two dollars anywhere else. Puffs tissue was .75.
Deodorant was free and he added a sleeve of potato chips that are usually 1.24 at Winco.
1) spaghetti and meatballs , lettuce salad
2) fish n chips , cucumber and tomato salad
3) Mac n cheese, peas and carrots
4) breakfast 4 dinner : waffles. Bacon. Fruit compote.
5) pasta Alfredo with peas
6) pasta salad ( potluck) with chicken
7) BBQ thighs , oven roasted veggies, fruit.
That's about it. Please share .
Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from a different perspectives.
The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until it goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you use on a weekly basis.
This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week.
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level.
You often are paying 1/2 price for your food. This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget. You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently.
Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap. My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck.