Large grocery bills and an overflowing pantry have prompted us to re-consider how we do the grocery shopping around here. Okay, how I do the grocery shopping. I have tried to figure out how we have a full pantry and yet I often need to run to the grocery store for ingredients to make supper. After some soul searching, I've come to realize that stocking up on sale items isn't always the best idea regardless of how many Air Miles I might earn. Also, Costco is a blog post in itself but let's just say that it's part of the problem for now.
That has led us to the conclusion that we need to make meal plans for the week. I often try to sit down with recipe books and make a proper list and usually it works. However, I sometimes just don't have the time and need to take impromptu trips to the grocery store where I end up buying unnecessary items with the intention of using them at some point in the future. Many of those items are currently collecting dust in the pantry or possibly freezer burn in the deep freeze, not to mention the occasional science project in the refrigerator.
With respect to meal planning, I did some googling this evening and came across a website called www.mealsmatter.org. After spending an hour trying to figure out how the site works and inputting a bit of information, I was only able to come up with two days worth of meals for next week. I'll post the chart I came up with but there's no way I have enough time to invest in a website that takes that long to create a meal plan! My search will continue for an online option but it looks like I'll be resorting to the old pen and paper method and there may even be some paper folding involved. I will spend some time poking through the pantry and freezer and try to plan my meals around those ingredients.
On the upside, I was in serious nesting mode in early April. I can't imagine why...envision an almost 9 month pregnant woman cleaning out a huge deep freeze...I was on a mission! I did a thorough job of cleaning the deep freeze so it won't be too scary when I go in there. I have to give my husband some credit for wiping out the deep freeze since I don't think that part of the job was physically possible at the time. Once I look around the house and get that chart done, I'll scan and post it here just to keep myself accountable at least once as I strive to be a smarter grocery shopper. My goal is to essentially clean out the pantry and freezer and decrease our grocery bill.
If any of you smart mommies (or daddies) reading my blog know of a better way to do meal planning, please let me know!