There is a long list of grocery-budgeting “tricks” that I’ve been given, and have given out, as advice.
Sure, it’s easier when you stick to the List.
Always shop the perimeter of the store first.
Get enough for the week, so you aren’t tempted to eat out.
Plan ahead for the dinner menus!
That last one eludes me. I bookmark so many recipes; I have a subscription to Cooking Light magazine; I have seven cookbooks sitting in my kitchen, wishing their pages would be flipped through and drooled over. Oh, I also subscribe to at least 20 food blogs that I read (sporadically…) throughout the week.
All of this around to help me do what I know makes dinner easier, and yet almost every day we have the “Hmm, what sounds good for dinner?” dialogue. By mid-week we usually pick up some fresh pizza dough (or boil pasta) to use up some veggies & cheese. By Friday we’re entirely out of appetizing options and we want to go out. Somewhere in that mix, I see way too many dollars being spent simply because I get distracted at the store, or never plan ahead to begin with!
This week, I planned for each plate. I took those bookmarked recipes & dog-eared magazine pages, and actually have the menu. If you’re looking for some dinner inspiration, too, feel free to join us for the meals!
Sunday night – Baked Tofu* & Oregano Garlic Fries.
*As a frequent reader of Peas & Thank You, I can’t help but hope that tofu tastes good if it’s done right! I had all but given up on this spongy white soy-thing, but then she posts “dippers” and I wonder – am I missing something?
Tofu update to follow, but last night I got through the meal without thinking “never again!”. So, that’s a success!
And on the other note, those fries definitely made up for any lacking in the tofu-texture-enjoyment.
Photo from The Daily Garnish.
Tuesday - Out with Friends
This ‘date’ has been scheduled, and factored into what we did/didn’t need for the week. Plus, it’s hitting the Southwestern food craving I get all too often.
Wednesday – Leftovers!
That pasta dish will definitely last more than one night (we hope…); with a busy schedule on Wednesday, leftovers will be just what we need.
Thursday – Mahi Mahi & Steamed Kale Salad
We bought two frozen Mahi Mahi steaks last week and they’ve been in the freezer since. This week they’ll finally be thawed, baked & joined by a steamed green.
Friday – Chickpea Curry Mix
Inspired by one of Jenna’s (Eat, Live, Run) older recipes (Channa Masala), I picked up a few things at Trader Joe’s that will create something similar. Not to mention the fact that we have accumulated three cans of chickpeas over the past month or so, and it wouldn’t hurt to resume consumption of the bean!
Five days, plates planned out and a reasonable grocery bill go to along with it – success!
Are you a menu planner?
What’s on your dinner menu this week? Should we set an extra setting at the table one of those nights?