Friday, February 18, 2011

Planny Plannerton

This morning’s meal plan only listed an English muffin for breakfast.  I guess when I wrote that down I figured I would update the toppings for it later.  Well I guess today is still later!

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I love having boiled eggs in the fridge!  Smush with a little olive oil mayo and stack on top of a whole wheat English muffin. nom. 

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A few people have asked me about my meal planning so I thought I’d write a wee bit about it.  It’s not rocket science or anything, but it works for me.  Remember though, I’m only planning for one gal and a large portion of my reasoning is based on my wish to bring my grocery budget down and waste less.

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I have tried doing a computerized version in the past but I find writing it down more my style.  Basically I keep a section of my notebook specifically for meal plans.  I use one full page to outline the next week and chose one or two larger, more involved recipes and then work around those.  Other meals are based on leftovers, plans to eat out, or sometimes simple things I may still have in the fridge, freezer or pantry.  I keep a couple of sticky notes to the side…one for my grocery list, one for household items, and usually another with specialty items I might have to by somewhere other than my usual grocery store.

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I also try to make notes for breakfast and lunch ideas since I generally eat those meals at home everyday.  (In fact, I find it motivates me to eat at home because I know the plan and don’t want to waste it).  This helps me chose what groceries I need to buy for the week.  Up until the last couple of weeks I didn’t really have a grocery day and would end up at the market at least two or three times a week…which is inefficient and expensive.  Now I plan to shop on Sundays or Mondays with a grocery list created from the meal plan I’ve put together over the previous few days.

Example: my bigger recipe choices for next week are Thai Style Noodles and Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms so I have a list of any ingredients I need for those, plus any staples and breakfast/lunch fixings I’ve outlined.  Like this week I need to get coffee, soy milk, and crackers plus I plan to make a trip to Chinatown on Sunday for the Noodle ingredients.

My goal is to go from over $400 per month on groceries (for one person!!) to around $300.  This generally does include things like toiletries, cleaning supplies and kitty litter so I might be aiming a bit low but it’s worth a try.  $400+ is ridonkulous.

This project is also helping me keeping my eating out a little more under control (social situations only…not just laziness!), which should also help me save money on my entertainment budget…not to mention it’s healthier. Wish me luck!

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As it turns out today I had a planned business meeting so I was able to enjoy a delicious Starbucks misto while I was out. :)

By the time I got home I was ready to gnaw my arm off (because I didn’t indulge in any lame-o Starbucks treats!) and was excited to have leftover Halibut Stew to heat up.

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A wee afternoon pick me up…Powerberries!

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And then the dinner I’ve been waiting for since Monday when I bought this beautiful little spaghetti squash.

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I mixed half of the cooked squash with some hot olive oil, toasted garlic, and parmesan cheese.  I topped this with a big scoop of leftover Sloppy Josephine mix, chopped tomatoes, and more fresh parmesan.

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So yum.  That Sloppy Joe recipe went a long way and I now have a few servings in the freezer for future meal plans.  In fact, to go with the meal planning I did inventory on my freezer today, threw out anything too old, and made note of things to use in the coming weeks.  That’s how I decided on the Balsamic Chicken for next week’s meal plan…I already have the chicken!

The rest of my glamorous Friday night was spent chillin’ on the couch with a bigass bowl of popcorn and a viewing of brooding vampires and werewolf abs.

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There were some gummy bears that came to visit as well, but they were camera shy and quickly wore out their welcome.  How rude that they should show up uninvited!  Didn’t they know they weren’t in the meal plan?!

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2 comments:

Campinggirl said...

We are having the same grocery shopping woes that you are. We spend about the same amount even though I plan meals and only buy what is on the list. We are going to try to use the flyers to build meals around the items that are on sale in hopes of cutting some costs.

Meaghan said...

I spend about $300 or so a month on groceries - for 1 1/2 people (my BF hasn't officially moved in but is over all the time and eats like a horse!) I am trying to plan meals to help cut down on what we spend, but I include the random items like kitty litter and cleaning stuff etc in that too so it's hard. I really hate the weeks when I run low on non grocery items because I hate spending my grocery money on things I can't eat!