Meal planning is challenging especially when you are trying to eat well and save money. The two seem to be mutually exclusive. When making the changes in my life that I knew had to occur, it kind of sent me for a loop. Where do I start? The answer is start at the beginning.
1. Template: For me, the beginning is with a template. I like to use the Shopper app:-)There are things that you are going to buy every week, every two weeks or every month depending on how often you shop. For me, it is weekly. My orginial template housed juices and deli meats and things of that sort. My new template includes tons of fruits and veggies and beans....lots and lots of beans! Fiber rocks!
2. Flyers: Now, that my template was updated, I go to my local flyers. My list is formed by keeping items on that are on sale and taking those that are not off. With my stockpile, there is very little that I need to buy that can't be replaced by something else that is on sale.
3. Coupons: Next, I match up the sales with coupons and shop on double coupon days to maximize my savings. Our double coupon day is Wednesdays so, my planning springboards off of that day of the week. The thing that frustrates me about coupon sites is that the sales that they match up with coupons are rarely for anything healthy. And lot of "extreme couponers" pay for coupons. I either get my savings in my mailbox for free that I have organized by date in a coupon binder or I find them for free on line. I like A Full Cup. The only thing I pay for is paper and ink....I never pay anything more for savings.
4. Calendar: Now that I have a starter list, I look to see what I have going on that week. I like to use Google Calendar. If I have an especially busy week, I know that I will need a lot of slow cooker meals. If it is going to be cold, we need some soothing dishes. And, if it is going to be slower, I can take my time with a dish.
5. Recipes: With all the information that I have gathered thus far, now is time to find the recipes. I like to use the Living Cookbook. I need to make sure that it incorporates everything from my new lifestyle: respectful, slow and enough food to get me through my day of heathly snacking.
Lot's of balls in the air! They are still coming together but that is my plan:-) </"http:>