A big part of getting organised, whether you are following FLYLady or just trying to get organised by yourself is MENU PLANNING. I am learning (slowly) that by having a weekly menu is not only easier in the long run, but makes the evenings run more smoothly. Another bonus is that you can actually save money by having a weekly menu in place-both by cooking your own meals (so no takeout) and also at the checkout.
Using a weekly menu means that you can plan your grocery list and get exactly what you need instead of going into the shop and walking around in a daze, grabbing items off the shelves, sometimes doubling up on the things you already have, or buying things that you really do not need. For example- each Saturday the kids and I do our weekly shop at ALDI. We do this for many reasons, these being its cheaper, you can get most of the stuff there that you would get a mainstream store, and it works in well with our budget (single parent family). Last week I did not get myself organised and it was a grab whatever you think you need type of grocery shop, where I overspent, bought too much meat (all i can say is thank goodness for the technology of freezers) and probably too much junk food. The result of this? $200 in groceries and “luxury” items that we could have done without.
This week I tried a different approach. I have made Friday my day to plan the weekly menus and grocery list, so that I am ready to get it all over and done with on Saturday morning. Because I had gone overboard with the meat last week, we still have plenty in the freezer, so I made sure that I incorporated that into our menu. I then wrote my list according to what I would need for the week, omitting what I already had in the cupboards and added the basics like toothpaste, bread and milk. It took maybe 15-20 minutes to work out the shopping list and because I had it all written down, I was able to whizz through the store this morning and get all the shopping done in about 23 minutes! There were a couple of things that I couldn’t get at ALDI today, but luckily we have a Woolworths around the corner from where I live, so I was able to get the last couple of things there (plus I had to pick up my son’s medication so it wasn’t a wasted or unplanned trip anyway). The grand total of this weeks groceries? $105! And by using the menu plan and list I only forgot one thing but luckily I have just enough to get us through tonight and then I can add that to the list for next weeks shop.
Because I used the menu plan and shopping list, I was able to allow myself a treat, so I purchased some pretty candles for the dining table and they smell divine! The camellias down the side are flowering at the moment (and they are the gorgeous double camellias) so I am planning to decorate my dining table with a centerpiece of camellias and one of my new candles. What was even better was that the candles were on special of $5 each so they only cost me $15 🙂
So here’s my question for you….do you know whats for dinner at your place?
Until next time