I got a question from a friend, asking people she knew budget for dining out and groceries and it really got me thinking! We don’t have a hard food budget, but M and I prefer to not waste food and have gotten our weekly shopping down to a science to help make sure nothing goes bad.
Part of why this works for us is that we’ve learned to be really good about meal planning. Mostly, it started for us as something I did after I had been to the grocery store, as I just assigned dishes to a night of the week. M and I have pretty different schedules, so putting them up on the calendar made it easier for whomever was home first to get started on supper.
This morphed into M and I working together to come up with the list of meals we want for the week, breaking down what we need between the fruit stand and Aldi. We spend between $15-20 a week at the fruit stand, including veggies for 5 suppers, something for lunches and ~2 servings of fresh fruit each per day. Aldi really varies as we only use for boxed/canned goods and milk. I would say 3/4 weeks we don’t need to go to a full service grocery store, because we make our own yogurt and usually our own bread.
I’ve also found it helpful to put the meals themselves on our grocery list as well. If I can’t find something, I know which meal to move to the end of the week or to replace. Also, if I get inspired, it makes it easier to see what meals can get pushed to the following weeks. Some of our favorite pantry meals include; Breakfast Casserole, white bean soup, coconut curry with whatever veggies we have.
How do you meal plan? I always like to switch it up!