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Back to School Menu Planning

August 30, 2013

Whoa! I haven’t posted here since school got out.  Not surprising, given our family’s schedule of the past three months.  I have one child away at college, another one enrolled in college but living in the basement and three girls set to get on the bus to the middle school on Tuesday. 

Remember how last summer I became the master of the $50 per week grocery budget? Ah, that didn’t happen this summer.  This summer I blew the food budget on a regular basis, despite my best intentions.  In the past few weeks, though, we have been deliberately eating down what we have had taking up space in the cupboards and fridge.  If you’re overwhelmed with your budget, or the disorganized state of your kitchen, I highly recommend taking a week or two long “Use it Up Challenge!”  Things that are decent quality, unopened and not past their sell date may be very welcome at your local food shelf.

After working down the food stash (using up, tossing and donating), I did a decent sized stock up this week.  I bought a month’s supply of things like dry cereal, sandwich bread, applesauce cups, crackers and granola bars.  They were on good mark downs and will come very handy in packing school lunches X3 plus my husband’s lunch.  Buying the nonperishables (the bread went in the freezer) for the month gives me a better idea of what our actual cost will be, as opposed to restocking everything on a weekly basis.  Again, YES I was intentional last summer with the switch to buying fewer groceries at a time – stocking up less.  As with everything — pay attention to your family’s needs  What works great now may not work great in six months.  Change things up when necessary!

So I’m happy to report that my spending will be minimal next week.  Here is my grocery list, with a little menu planning on the bottom.  I made this list template years ago, when we were ardent Cub Foods shoppers.  The columns went in the order of the grocery store. It was more than brilliant.  Also genius: adding a date stamp so I can easily see the last time I edited the document.

How about you?  How has your summer menu planning gone?

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