In other food-related news, this week I decided to do something a little crazy. I usually make a one-week meal plan and then go buy everything I need for those meals. One week at a time, that's how I did things. Well, after reading a lot about meal planning, trying to get some new ideas, I decided to try planning an entire month's worth of meals. I know - exciting!
I also went ahead and bought all the groceries for that month's worth of meals, too. So, imagine. I'm used to pushing around a week's worth of groceries, and this time I'm piling in a month's. I was huffing and puffing as I made it to the last aisles. I was placing precariously balanced grocery on top of precariously balanced grocery. I was sweating. I was getting a workout. And I was really weirding out the other patrons. I kept getting this look:
Also, I was fretting, wondering how much I was spending. (Before I left the house, James said to me "Don't spend too much money!") Well, much to my surprise, instead of my giant, muscle-growth-inspiring cart full of groceries costing me 4 times what I would normally spend (you know, 4 weeks in a month and all that math), it was only 2 times what I normally spend. Awesome! I know I'll have to go back for things here and there - milk, produce, etc. But I think we might actually stay within our grocery budget this month, which would be the first time in ... ever.
The other major bonus of planning a month in advance is that now I have all this flexibility. If whatever I planned for a given night doesn't work, I have something like 20 other options to choose from to switch it with - and I have all the stuff to make it. It's exhilarating.
Whatever. It's cool. Someday I might be at the level of these people, who planned their meals for a full year. Whew... one step at a time, right?
So what are you guys doing to save money in the grocery department? Do you have a meal plan? Do you stick to it? Does the idea of a month-long meal plan leave you feeling exhilarated, intimidated, limited, or something else?
I'd love to hear your comments and ideas!