Budget Binder and Dinner Plans

Let’s face it, over the past year cooking has been probably the last thing I wanted to do when I got home. Cooking for one isn’t very fun and it leave a lot of left overs that I know I wont eat. Now that Christian is home, I get to cook again for another person and that means needing a plan. Previously, I would have vague ideas of what to eat for dinner during the day, and when I got home to cook it I would realize that I was missing an ingredient. Not cool. This made extra trips to the store, and extra money being spent when it really wasn’t needed, aka: but the ice cream was 2/$5!!

So doing a little digging, on Pinterest obviously, I found a great, free, printable from the lovely Mique at Thirty Handmade Days.

It is a really great print out that also comes with handy Budgeting tools as well.

I know that finance and money are touchy subjects for some people so I am not really going to get into that too much.

With the house going up for sale in the near future, every penny that we make must be saved! For us, the biggest money suck is dinning out. And as a bonus, better on the wallet, better on the waist! I had begun to notice that I was a little squishier then I wanted to be with all the eating out that we were doing so I knew that I needed to make a plan and stick with it. This binder really helps! We don’t need to be pinching pennies, but it is always nice to know your money and to see where it goes and how it grows!

One day, I took all the Cooking Lights and Real Simple Magazines that I had on hand and just started ripping out recipes that I wanted to try. With Christian’s help and input I have a recipe binder as well!

I am also lucky to have a job in that I have one for sure day off and I am pretty much home at a reasonable times the other days that I do work. What I have been planning is the more labor intensive meals on the days I don’t work, and the easier ‘throw it together’ meals on days that I do. I’ll also get enough for the meals for 3-4 days and than I’ll go shopping again so some of it wont spoil by weeks end. Shopping twice a week is much better then shopping 4-5 times a week.

Also, making a grocery list has been very relaxing and very therapeutic. I am still getting my groove in that, but so far have only missed a few items on the list, mainly due to forgetfulness on my part.

For the two of us I am looking to spend less than $75/week on groceries. I know for some people that feeds a family of four, but until the pantry gets stocked with staples I have to buy them every time.

Would anyone be interested in meal plans? I know I like pre-made weekly plans, it helps my process go a lot smoother!

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