Meal Planning and Budgeting

Right around the time that I became a stay at home mom (which is at around 25 weeks pregnant) my husband mentioned meal planning to me. He mentioned some website or program that you could meal plan with, but I didn't choose that route. I just did it on a good ole fashioned piece of paper.

Bring in a baby a few months later and meal planning pretty much went out the window. However I am currently back on track with attempting to meal plan. In my opinion, you spend much less grocery shopping when you meal plan and purchase things that are for those meals only. You're not just purchasing anything for the week in hopes that you'll


use it. 

One of my issues with grocery shopping is that I like to have certain staples on hand. I always feel like I'll need certain things so I purchase them. Don't get me wrong I do use these items (eventually) it is just that usually when I get home and begin to unload our grocery bags, I often realize that I didn't need those items. This is when I realize that meal planning and a simple grocery list would have helped me to spend less money. 

In our home we do the envelope system and family budgeting that Dave Ramsey recommends. Believe me, this was something I dreaded but agreed to do in order to satisfy my husband. He's all about budgeting, saving and living debt free. So I embraced the envelope system and the budgeting and I've actually come to love it. 

Each month I get my envelopes for grocery money, play cash, clothes, date night, etc... I use that cash and that is that. When it comes to groceries we actually have a rather high budget for only two (and a half) people. I purchase a lot organically and we don't eat a lot of cheap, processed stuff. I am of course always looking for ways to utilize our grocery cash even better. 

How do you budget for your family's groceries? Do you meal plan and does it work well for you? How often do you grocery shop?

Currently we shop once a week and our new favorite place is Target because of the amazing organic selection they have as well as just a much healthier variety of food. I typically meal plan (when I do it) for about four or five meals a week with the idea that two nights are either takeout, eat out or left overs. I always look


forward to those two nights of no cooking because that means mama gets a break! 

What are your grocery shopping tips?

Thanks for reading, Sasha