Tuesday, August 26, 2008

frugal living tip #2: the weekly dinner plan

A few years ago, I REALLY tightened the grocery belt. It was amazingly easy, and totally saved money. For whatever reason, I loosed the belt, and fell off the frugal wagon.

I managed to grasp hold of the back side of the frugal wagon last week, and am hoping to propel myself to the front of the frugal wagon right away. I'll be dressed as Laura Ingalls Wilder. My husband, will be Manly. (Because he is really manly.) Our children will be riding in the covered portion of the wagon. Our wagon will not tip over and catch fire, because Mary will not be with us--wearing her glasses, and we will remain on a road free of bumps.

Still with me?


My plan is to re-implement my weekly dinner plan. The only rule with this dinner plan is that my Manly is not allowed to complain about what I feed him. He is only allowed to make complimentary remarks about the deliciousness of each dish. When he gets a case of the crankies, I will impress him with all the details of my fantastic frugality. I will bring up our budget and show him just how much I am saving. He may then lift me in the air and twirl me around and around and tell me how much happiness I bring to him. (It's something he does all the time anyway....it's totally in his character. A blessed man is he.)

Wow. My blood sugar must be off today or something.

To the weekly dinner plan:

Monday- every Monday is breakfast for dinner night. Eggs. Toast. Sausage. And sometimes Pancakes. (This is the kid's favorite night.)

Tuesday - every Tuesday is meat and rice or potato and veggie night. Chicken, beef, pork...whatever's on sale. (Make enough meat to save for Thursday.)

Wednesday - every Wednesday is pizza night. Either homemade, or frozen. It depends on my level of June Cleaver-ness for that given day.

Thursday - each Thursday, the left over meat from Tuesday is combined with veggies to make a soup or stew, served with from-scratch-biscuits...regardless of the level of June Cleaver-ness. Biscuits are too easy not to go through the extra effort.

Friday - every Friday is pasta night. Spaghetti, hot dish, what-have-you. This must be made using only ingredients on hand. Sometimes this tastes great. Sometimes this is horrible. Either way, everyone ends up full. Especially if you can crank out a few bread sticks or some garlic toast as accompaniment.

The weekends are freebies. We'll usually treat ourselves to a dinner out at least once, and often throw in an extra pizza, since everyone likes pizza.

Lunches are usually either leftovers, or sandwiches. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

If you are looking to trim the fat from your grocery budget, I highly recommend this method. You'll always know what's for dinner. Even the pickiest of Manly's can be won over when they see the dollars saved.


poppa said...

eating to live and not living to eat is a great approach, besides when the cook is creative, great food is the result, most of the time, especially when your homemade bread/buns/rolls are a part of the mix. I enjoyed them all.

Mary said...

I really, really, really like your plan. Pruning our grocery budget has been on my list of things to do lately and this is an excellent method to do so. Thank you!

Visty said...

I'm going to do your plan. I have tried dinner menus forEVER a hundred times over and I never even thought to start with an organized outline first.
The biggest lesson I got out of Rainman was the rotating dinner menu.

The Nester said...

I like the looseness and structure you have in your menu!

LOVE the little house comparison! You rock!