My best friend is New Zealand’s answer to Martha Stewart – one of those real domestic goddess types. Three years ahead of me in the stay-at-home mum game, I always turn to her for advice and it’s always good. Budgeting is her forte and once she told me she sticks to a meal plan to save money. Like a sheep, I followed and I’ve never looked back.
When our house basked in the glory of two incomes, I loved spontaneity in my meals and lots of repeat trips to the supermarket. With one wage, I need to stick to a budget and make sure we’re getting as much bang for our buck as possible. Plus one trip to the supermarket each week is enough when you’re in charge of a toddler and an eight-month old.
I’m also trying to lose weight and I find sticking to a meal plan and grocery list helps to avoid temptation. I know most people can have ‘naughty’ food in their house and just refrain from eating it, but I have about as much self control as Charlie Sheen so it’s best if our house has no junk food whatsoever.
I love lots of pretty meal plans with attached grocery lists so I can plan everything together. I even go a step further on the OCD scale and look for categorised shopping lists so I can tick them off in order as I shop. I know sounds ridiculous, but it really helps when the kids decide today’s supermarket trip would not be complete without screaming, crying, trying to escape, hitting each other or hurtling a six-pack of yoghurt from the trolley.
Here are some favourites:
- From momitforward.com, a great printable with dinners plus a categorised shopping list
- From theprojectgirl.com, another pretty printable with both the week’s meals and a categorised shopping list. This one includes space for breakfast and lunch too
- From kissenstudio.com, a cute printable with dinners planned out and a general shopping list if you don’t want to categorise
- And this link from fabnfree.com brings together a whole lot of good lookin’ printables with different options
One more terrific tip before I sign off. If you want to save your week’s recipe from websites, use a Pinterest board. Mine is called ‘On The Menu This Week’ and is a real time saver.