We’re trying something new with our meal planning. For years, we’ve planned our meals one week at a time. We sit down, figure out what we’re going to eat for dinner during the upcoming week, and make a shopping list. It’s been a good system. It keeps us from eating out too much. What it doesn’t do, however, is reduce our number of trips to the store.
In an effort to reduce the amount of time we have to spend shopping–and hopefully the amount of money we spend on food–we are now planning our meals a month at a time. Last week, I sat down with the family calendar and wrote a dinner meal for every day. There are some repeats and a pattern developed. Friday nights are (homemade) pizza night. Wednesday nights are super-easy and quick dinner nights because I’m teaching a yoga class during the dinner hour. Sundays are a bit grander, like roast chicken or meatloaf (yes, meatloaf…you have no idea how much ground beef we currently have in our freezer).
We still plan to go to the Farmers’ Market weekly for fresh fruit and veggies. We also plan to visit the Co-Op weekly for milk and other such perishables. We hope to reduce our trips to Trader Joe’s and our neighborhood market. Those trips tend to cost too much money. I hope to visit each of those stores once a month and thereby reduce our impulse food purchases. Although we plan to visit the Co-Op throughout the month, we also intend to do most of our shopping–on less perishable items–on the first Friday of every month, when the Co-Op offers an additional 10 percent off to Co-Op members. It all adds up and hopefully this will, too!