Saving Money With Menu Plans

I have been reading through tons of sites that talk about ways to save money.  I am so incredibly frugal, but I am always looking for ways to cut even more.  Why you might ask?  Well I like to travel and I like a big cushy savings account, so I can travel.

So for me to cut corners at home is totally worth it.

For the first time I stumbled upon America’s Cheapest Family.  There are some great tips and I even watched their videos that were on the Today show.  If you haven’t seen their stuff, go check it out.

One of the things that they do is once a month shopping, with coupons. They strive to save 50% off their bill, but by saving time (which is money) they only go once a month.

As much as this sounds like the perfect thing to do and sounds like a money saving idea not to mention time saving, I JUST CAN’T DO IT.

I am very much about eating what is in season and fresh.  They do eat in season and fresh, but most fresh things only last 2 weeks, so the last 2 weeks they eat canned fruits and veggies.  I think eating canned fruits and veggies in the summer and fall, maybe even the spring, is just plain WRONG.

But I do very much agree with having a meal plan and knowing what you will be fixing and buying at least for the week.  This does a few things:

  1. It keeps you from going to the store every day, spending tons more than you should trying to think of something to to eat.
  2. It allows you to eat from your stockpile, which is completely a money saving technique.
  3. You can purchase say, cilantro, and find more than one recipe to use it in so you don’t have any food waste for the week.

In an effort to strive to go back to my menu plans for the week I asked my kids, “If you could eat one meal every single week what would it be?”  The answers were so nice, they were easy meals, like hamburgers on the traeger, spaghetti, teriyaki chicken with rice.  They really brainstormed this, later that night my daughter came back and said I want to add to the list.  She wants this soup once a week.  It’s another easy to make meal.  And before you know it they also threw in Beef in a Red Wine Sauce, because my son loves mashed potatoes and this makes the best gravy.

It was great to ask the kids this question.  I do like to try new things, but sometimes they just want something simple and I can totally do that for them.

So first thing on my menu plan this week was Hamburgers.  I had to run to the store and grab eggs, so since they were fresh I made my daughter homemade garlic aioli to add to the burgers.  That made what seems like a normal meal, a little more special.

I like the menu planning idea, I will try and stick with it for awhile.  As you can see from my actual menu plan above, I am flexible and ready for changes to be made.

It Works for Me to try and have a weekly menu plan, what works for you?  Just curious anyone out there that does the once a month shopping trip?


  1. I would not want to cut out fresh fruit/veggies out of my diet. My grocery bill is on the high side but we rarely eat out or eat convenience foods. And cooking is one of my main hobbies so I’m trying new recipes all the time. I will check out some of the sites you mentioned, though, and see if I can pick up some money-saving tips that would work for us.

  2. I think you’ll do great! I meal plan occasionally and should do it more often. Just knowing what you are having for dinner really makes the rest of the day a lot easier.
    Shopping only once a month isn’t for me, either. I think you save more money by watching ALL the sales. Our supermarkets are convenient to me, anyway, so gas isn’t much of an issue.
    BTW, I love my stockpile!


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