We are starting our MARCH MAKEOVER on my Christie Jarvis Connects Facebook page today!! One of the things we will be working on is organizing our lives by using some simple methods of planning. You save SO much money and time when you actually plan your meals. Not to mention, it is MUCH healthier!
The first thing I want you to do is print out this blank menu that you can use to plan what you will be preparing for your family’s meals each week. This is the same format that I use. My children love having it posted so they know what we will be eating without asking.
You will need to look at your calendar and make note of what activities you have planned for each day while you are working on your menu. For example, if your child has piano lessons on Tuesdays at 4, it would be a good idea to either put something in the crockpot that day, make it sandwich night, make that “take out Tuesday”, or choose something to fix that is quick and easy.
After you write your menu in, you will then make your grocery list based on the ingredients you need for the menu. Personally, I use the Cozi app on my phone for my list but you can simply write your list on a piece of paper.
After you make your list, you will want to check to see if there are any available coupons for what you need. How?? Using a coupon database on one of the MANY websites dedicated to couponing! CouponMom.com is the first site I started using a few years ago but there are many others now as well. I actually have the database link saved in my favorites on my mobile web so that if I see something marked down while I am at the store, I can do a quick search to see if I might have a coupon in my files. If the database shows there is a coupon for an item you need, go ahead and cut it out so you’ll have it ready to use and mark your grocery list with a code that reminds you that you have a coupon. Ex: Parmesan Cheese (Kraft Grated $) or even Parmesan Cheese (Kraft Grated 02-12 S)which tells you which week and circular the coupon is in. Now, keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you have to buy the brand that you have a coupon for. If you get to the store and another brand is cheaper even after your coupon, by all means, get the least expensive one. This method is just to help you remember that you have a coupon just in case.
This may sound like a lot of work and you think you don’t have time to do all of this. You don’t have to do it JUST like I do! If you already have a system that works better for you, great! If not, just give this a try and see how it makes your life a little easier. If possible, keep the same menu for the entire month. This is what I am doing right now as I am learning a new way of preparing meals for someone in my family who is on a low sodium plan.
If you already have a menu planning system and would like to share, please do! I would personally love to see your ideas!