We live an hour away from the nearest large supermarket. Menu planning is different for me because I can’t just ‘decide’ to make mac and cheese or meatloaf on any given week – since I don’t know if it will be on sale, and if it’s not on sale, I don’t buy it!
This makes menu planning tricky (plus I live a half hour from the store, and despite my requests they don’t mail us a flyer!). So once a week on Sundays we stop at our local store, armed with a list of essentials like bread and milk, then I scout each aisle for sales.
Shopping in this way requires that I know what is in my fridge/pantry! Saturdays I menu plan and do a toss & wipe in my fridge. Also, I keep a close eye on the freezer. Preparing extra and then freezing it has been our way of life as long as I remember. It’s funny because, growing up, Mom’s freezer was like an empty vault! You might see a bag of peas, fish and hopefully ice cream – but no stock of delicious heat-and-serve meals. It worked for her, not for me. I relish the thought that anytime I want to, I can play for an extra hour while a meal of soup or meat with gravy defrosts quietly on the counter. Usually I do make a starch fresh that eve, or fried leftover rice, and freezer veggies are the best! Nutrition and quick-serve in one bag.
The way I buy my costly staples is on a once-a-month foray to the big store. I keep a running list all month, and by the time I go it’s always full of things we’re low on (I try not to run out, as this irks DH) like mayo, frozen fruit, and all those good things you might find at a good price locally, but probably won’t.
For us, it’s all about saving money when we shop. Then we enjoy pizza or an occaisional meal out. I’m sure we’re not alone in the way we meal plan, especially in our neck of the woods!
One thing I do have a problem with is storing all of those oddly-shaped freezer meals. I know I am a SHE when a block of chicken stock slides out and hits me on the toe! It’s happened so often, I actually do an automatic dance to get my feet out of the way when I see the pile slipping! Happily, I’m already dressed to shoes.
Any suggestions for avoiding this dash & crash of freezer food?
FLYing in the kitchen
Welcome to November – the Menu Planning month. All month long, we are going to learn how to plan our menus to save money and feed our families healthy. This will be a fun habit to learn and to practice.
If you have and recipes you would like to share or a testimonial about Menu Planning Let us know! Send an email to FlyLady@flylady.net with Menu Planning in the subject line.