Now...there is no real science to this. In fact, I am sure many of you have a much easier better system, but I have been married for 5 years now, we don't have kids and this is just what works for us.
Now...this week my husband will be home monday night and is going out of town tuesday and I have no idea what day he will be back. So I have to plan around this.
Let's just get right on to it, shall we?
1. Stay Prepared- First of all, during the week if we run out of anything or need anything we put it on this marker board hooked to the fridge.
2. Take Inventory-So, when I begin meal planning (normally Saturday's after lunch) I look through my fridge and pantry and see exactly what I can make meals out of. This week it just so happens I have a bag of 4 salmon fillets, a huge bag of broccoli and a bag of my pre-cooked chicken breasts. So I will be building most of my meals around this and how far I can stretch them without over-killing salmon and chicken on the menu.
It will be me by myself mostly, and I am not too picky. I am most successful when I have meals planned and I eat a lot of the same foods.
As for my lunches, I like to eat my tuna to go's, lean pockets, sandwiches and soups. Sometimes I get lean cuisines but usually not.
Right now I am out of: Tuna, lean pockets, sandwich meat, and I have some soups, but I will probably need a few cans.
3. Block out Meals- So now I go to my handy dandy meal planning grocery list that I picked up for 2.00 at a book warehouse while we were on vacation. You can do the same thing on paper or go buy one. It hangs on my fridge blank until saturdays usually.
You will see at the bottom of the list the red boxes. Those are the days of the week begining with Monday. Remembering what I have on hand from taking inventory, I plan out each day carefully, keeping in consideration when my husband is home and when he will be gone out of town.
In case you can't read my beautiful penmanship, it says:
Monday: Salmon, Broccoli, Rice (hubs is home)
Tuesday: Grilled chicken, Sweet potato, Green Beans (just me)
Wednesday: Lean Cuisine pizza (just me)
Thursday: Salmon, Broccoli and Rice (just me)
Friday: Probably eat with Mom (me and Mom-if hubs is still out of town)
Saturday: Chilli (but I just remembered we have a Halloween party to go to) so no chilli.
Sunday: Dont know yet.
So I look at those meals and I also take into consideration what I am going to eat for lunch on a separate list.
So, now that I know WHAT I will be eating, I can mark off on my handy list (or you could write down on a list) what items you will need from the store.
For example: Lean cuisine pizza I will need for wednessday night because I don't have that.
So that goes on the list, and so forth.
I also consult the marker board for random things we need such as: Brummel & Brown and waffles for my breakfasts. The rest of my list helps me remember fruits and veggies. You could really design yourself a list on the computer for things you normally purchase and highlight them when you need them.
4. Tear it Off-And then I tear it off and take it to the store with me. If I have a list planned like this I usually go by it and spend way less money because I know what I will need. I do take coupons only for items I know I am going to purcahse or items I might purchase depending on the price, like fall scented Febreze :).
The stores I shop at are Aldis and Walmart. I barely watch sales because I do not have time working 6 days a week. I try to stay under a $100.00 budget for me and the hubs including makeup, toilitries, household items, etc.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask!! I cant tell you how much it HELPS to meal plan when you are on a weight loss journey, and even if you are not!! Planning is key to not over spending and not over stressing!!
Any more post requests feel free to ask me in the comments!! :)