Frugal Challenge – Use a Menu

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Using a menu will save you time and money. There are two ways you can do this. One you can make a menu up every week this is how you will want to do it if you are trying to shop sales. Or you can make a 30-day menu that you can use pretty much every month.

When planning your menu try to use foods that week can be reused for another meal that week, such as beans one night then a few nights later tacos or burritos using the beans to make refried beans with. Or chicken have a roast chicken one night then a dish with chicken in it than chicken soup with the leftover parts of the chicken.

Also having a menu you can look at it and know what needs to be taken out of the freezer that morning for the nights’ meal. And you are not at the last minute wondering what is for dinner or you don’t have anything thawed so you just run to town and pick up take out.

After you make your menu look in the pantry to see what you have and what you will need to get. Make your list and before you go shopping eat something studies have shown that you buy a lot more when you shop hungry ( I know I do). Resist adding anything to your cart that isn’t on the list, if you have little ones you might see if someone could watch them while you go shopping so they are not asking for everything they see because at some point you are going to give in and buy at least one thing they want that isn’t on the list.

Some stores offer a pickup service, you order your groceries they get them ready and all you do is go pick them up I am not sure if they charge for this but if they don’t it would be a great time and money saver ( you won’t be buying anything not on the list).

Don’t be afraid to use store brands. They have come a long way in the past few years. I use most all store brands unless a name brand is on sale for cheaper than the store brand.

And cook from scratch I can’t emphasize how much money you can save by cooking from scratch plus it is so much better for you and a whole lot cheaper. There are so many different things you can make with just a few basic ingredients.

4 Replies to “Frugal Challenge – Use a Menu”

  1. NRP

    Rancher’s Wife;
    I’m enjoying your ideas on “Frugal Challenge”
    I agree 1000% on the Menu ideas.
    Having a starting place to create 3-4 meals on the “major” item (such as a whole chicken) is a must. When I “smoke” a whole chicken I get 3 meals of just the meat, than cooking soup/broth is a must, so in reality 10 meals from a chicken is reasonable.

    I’m tossing this out there again; buy only things that are “on sale” have a Deep Pantry to draw from, and restock ONLY when those items come on-sale again.

    ALSO never Never NEVER buy on impulse, meaning if you see that “Got to have that” in a store, walk away, and think on it, it will be there next time.

    PS; you want to make that Pay-Check disappear FAST!!!! Eat out 3-4 times a week…… POOF GONE.

  2. Post author

    Thank you, I am doing this because I know a couple young families that are having a hard time plus I wish I would have had something like this when I was young and struggling.

    Yes, I can’t emphasize how important a deep pantry is and how much you can save by having one.

    Not only is eating out so bad for your wallet it is super bad for your health as well.

  3. Jean | Delightful Repast

    Connie, I really need to get down to business on weekly or monthly meal planning, which I haven’t managed in all these years! I think I’m one those “artist in the kitchen types” who resists structure! 😀 But I will attempt it again, soon, because it really is, I’m sure, the most effective way to get a grip on grocery (over)spending.

    1. Post author

      Believe me, I also fought it for years haha. But now that I do it I can’t believe it took me so long to start it is such a tremendous help. No more 5:30 ugh what are we going to have for dinner nights. And it does save a lot of money. It will take a little to get it down but once you do you will be so glad.
      Have a great day.