budgetsmartgirl

Meal Planning for the Budget Minded

In Budget Smart Cook on May 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm

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Next week is the first pick up for the CSA box. This year the farm supplying the organic goodies is offering us shareholders an added bonus, membership to a menu planning service. We log on and can get a preview of what produce we’ll find that week, recipe ideas, and a printable shopping list of things we need to buy at the store. One of the nice features is you can pick and choose from various options including vegetarian which I’ve picked.

Looks like the first week’s batch will feature asparagus and rhubarb and I’ve already printed out my list. The whole thing got me thinking about meal planning, and not just if you belong to a CSA. I think it’s one of the best ways to save money on groceries because you can plan ahead, have a list so you don’t overspend, and know what’s for dinner without falling back on the deli or a restaurant.

It’s especially great for summer when we’re all busy and don’t have or don’t want to spend hours in a hot kitchen.

Another good idea is to plan ahead, plan meals around coupons or what’s on sale, and even figure out how you can buy an item that can be used in two meals and not have it sit and rot in the fridge…happens to me a lot.

So starting next week, I’ll be planning meals and planning them around what’s in the CSA box. Some recipes I’ll be using will be from the menu planning service, the rest will be my own and I’ll be sharing some of them with you.

If anyone wants to join in and give it a try I’ve found two sites where you can download printable forms that you can fill in and even put on the fridge so everyone knows what’s for dinner-

http://www.5dollardinners.com/strategies/printable-resource-center/

http://organizedhome.com/printable/household-notebook/weekly-menu-planner

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