- not too expensive
- something we both like
My sister plans her meals by the week, and tried to help me as well. On our 17 hour drive from Tahoe to Colorado over the summer, she helped make a list of different meal options we could try. This was pretty good, but I like to use coupons too, and so I wanted to find stuff that was on sale, and also I wanted to plan in advance, and when should we be going to the grocery store and how many meals do we shop for and and and and. (I know. I gave myself a headache too. And probably Mark.)
So. We talked over what to do (Mark was ridiculously patient with this part. I was frankly pretty ridiculous.) We decided to have only two goals for right now:
Plan the meals in advance so we know what we're having before 6 pm.
Buy stuff that's on sale.
To do that, we said we'd look at the sale flyers to get ideas, and try to plan meals around those things. And if we couldn't? Then, whatever, we'd just pick a recipe and buy the stuff full price. More important to get the eating on track than save money. And it worked! It totally helped us focus our thinking.
I said, hey tomatoes are on sale, Mark said, how about Caprese salad? And then, how about pizza? And that was pretty much it. Except I still spend way too much money (relatively speaking) and am buying food with no use in my mind, which of course means a good bit of it goes to waste. But at least this time the actual planning went pretty simply. And I don't think I bought quite as much too much food as last time. Part of our problem is that our plans end up changing throughout the week (not surprising considering our social circles) so we don't know what exactly to plan for. I expect that to be an easy, if eventual, fix though.
The problem with this week is a) I spent a fair amount (although some was on stock up food that I'm certain will be used, like cheese, butter and cream cheese). And I also have a good bit of perishable food still hanging out in my fridge. Darn.
But we're definitely getting the hang of it!