Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year

Happy New Year to all! We had a quiet holiday season here in middle TN. First time in over five years, and boy was it nice! But with the coming of a new year we all want to "do better" at many things. First on my list is our family budget. The bane of my existence is the grocery/catch all shopping. This seems to be the only place to cut back despite it also being the place where every expense that is not a "bill/utility" comes from. So I have been diligently working at finding cheaper ways to eat, while still mostly eating healthy. For us this means trying to avoid corn syrup and msg. The first is easier than the second. Matter fact, the more I find out about msg, the more I am convinced there is no way to avoid it 100% with out moving to a self supporting farm and eating only things that I have grown - cattle and veggies! Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to share with you this new menu planning technique I came up with. I wrote down seven lunches, and that is what we have every week. Example, every Monday we have grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. Every Tuesday we have pancakes with applesauce, ect... Then I wrote down 30 different dinners and broke them up into catagories such as : soup, crockpot, pasta, mexican, ect... Then I made up a menu that looks like this, every Monday - Pasta, every Tuesday - Soup, every Wendesday - Crockpot, ect......... I could not believe how fast this made menu planning and how easy it was to add and subtract any special meals (birthdays) or items in house that need to be used up. I compared this to other meal planning ideas I have used and felt this had even saved me money, as after each dinner I add to my list, I then totaled the cost of each meal. Example: Chicken alfredo with brocolli and garlic bread - $5
Crockpot french dip sandwiches with salad - $7
Creamed Tuna on rice with steamed veg. - $2

Hope this isn't to confusing and gives you some of your own ideas to help beat the stress of meal planning and helps you keep better tract of what your family is eating. Let me know if you have any questions. Tomorrow I am going shopping with my friend to Wild Oats then to Costco, in the eternal seach for healthy and cheap food. I will keep you posted on any great finds I make. Until then........
Blessings from Beth Ann

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