Saturday, February 19, 2011

My First Month of Meal Planning

Well, the first month is over, and even though I went over budget each week, I consider it a success.  Overall, I spent about $575  for the month on food and household supplies.  That is about a $300 savings over previous months.  I am pleased for the first time doing this.  What I really loved about making the meal plan for the month was the ease of dinner!  I knew each night what we were having for dinner.  Also, if I forgot to set out something to thaw, John could look at the meal plan, and he could start prepping.  A few times we switched things around during one week, which worked well.  Usually this happened if we were running short on time and needed a quicker meal.  I did build in days for leftovers, however, there were a few nights there were no leftovers, so we had soup or sandwiches. 

I have a lot to learn about couponing to stock up.  That's where I would overspend each week.  When I found good deals on things I knew we would use the next month, I did stock up.  I am going to work on this and see how I can improve. 

I am proud to say that throughout the course of the month, using coupons and sales, I got these items FREE!:  deoderant, shampoo, 4 tubes of toothpaste, Huggies babywipes (the 184 count refill pack), several cans of soups, 3 or 4 boxes of cereal, and that's all I can remember off the top of my head.  I got Gain dryer sheets (80 count) for 12 cents (I can't make it for that!) 

I learned that if you are going to shop the CVS and Walgreens sales to do it early!  I never really got anything at either of these stores because I wasn't there on Sunday morning and they were out of what I was going for.

I did this months shopping and have started out spending $283.  We have a stockpile of biscuits, soups, chocolate chip cookie mixes, muffin mixes, meats (love the deep freeze!!), cereals, TP, paper towels, soap, canned veggies, and snacks.  The preishable list for each week isn't too bad.  I think I will try to limit it to $50 a week.  Remember this includes $10-$15 a week in milk depending on coupons. 

I learned that Valley Grove has a couponing class once a month.  I would like to attend this month, but since I am also taking a cake decorating class, I don't know if I will be able to make it. 

I learned that what I thought was coupon organization needs some tweaking.  I don't want to spend money to tweak it, so I will have to contemplate what needs to be done.

Ok, enough rambling.  I feel like the month was a success, for my first time out.  I loved seeing what deals I could find each week and I look forward to seeing what I can do with this month.

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