How do you organise meals in your house while staying within your budget? It can be tricky to keep this balanced and orderly week in and week out. Luckily there are amazing websites likes Food on the Table that make meal planning easy.
Below we have a story from Stacy, one of our very own writers and mums, that tells us how she does the meal planning in her home.
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Food on the Table is both a web and mobile service that creates meal plans and generates grocery lists. After selecting food preferences and dietary needs, members can choose from various recipes that fit their lifestyle, and Food on the Table automatically builds a grocery list for each item needed. It then goes a step further by showing the user local sales on grocery list items. It is meant to take the stress out of meal planning by providing recipes, organizing a grocery list, and fitting into your budget.
First of all, I must confess: I hate planning my week of meals! I am not good at listing everything I want to cook, making a grocery list and sticking to it. With three young children and a busy schedule, getting to the grocery store with two toddlers in tow is enough of a challenge that I can’t take the organisational aspect of it too seriously.
However, I must make sure I don’t break the bank while feeding my family healthy balanced meals on budget ($200/wk). I normally plan about four dinners per week that I am going to cook at home. Then, I figure we will eat out for one, have leftovers for one, and/or have what I call “hodge-podge” night once. This just means easy night- either grilled sandwiches or breakfast for dinner, etc. Everyone requests what they want and I act as a short order chef and make it happen with what we have on hand. This is a good way to lower our waste and make everyone happy.
I shop for dry goods in bulk and make sure we have plenty of snacks and fruit for the week. I always keep pasta and pasta sauce on hand for spaghetti as a back up/handy meal. I go to the butcher for meat and stock up on their sale items. I freeze everything so that I can have plenty of options when it’s time to decide what I am going to cook. I also shop the meat section for “reduced for quick sale” items, meaning they will expire if not sold quickly. The prices are drastically reduced and then I just freeze it so it doesn’t go bad.
I find that if I keep lots of frozen veggies on hand as well then when I make my decisions on what meal I’m going to make, I have sides available to go with anything. This eliminates some waste for produce that doesn’t get eaten. This is the gist of how I feed my family every week!