Monday, March 7, 2011

Dinner Diaries and Why

Planning out my dinners during the work week has been working well for our family.  There are always times when things come up and we have to swap or switch around a meal, but for the most part I stick to the diary. The weekends are much more relaxed and we usually end up have one cheat meal and eat a lot of left overs and smorgasbords for lunches. 

There are three main reasons why we plan out our meals:

1) To save money.  I always write up our diary before heading to the grocery store.  This way we go to the store with a purpose and only get the items we need for the week.  This has cut our costs down considerably and we have been able to stick to our budget of $80-$100 week on groceries.  Last week, we only spent about $30 because we designed our meal plan around what was left over in our cupboards and fridge. I also try to remember to look at flyers and buy sale items in the store if possible.

2) To eat healthier.  When it was just the two of us, Hubby and I used to plan out all of our meals and snacks.  We found not having to think about what to eat next kept us away from eating unhealthy foods.  Nowadays, we only plan out our dinners, but usually have left overs for lunches and snacks.  I have also been making sure to include a vegetarian dinner at least once weekly and planning out my meals also reminds me to try new recipes rather than sticking to old trusted dishes. Little E's allergies has also forced us to eat more wholesome and naturally.  A blessing in disguise.

3) To reduce stress and scrambling after work.  It is nearly impossible to think up a meal when you have an attention seeking toddler attached to you at the end of the day.  Walking into the house with a plan makes things that much easier.

Do you plan out your meals?  How has it helped you? How do you cut down on grocery costs? 

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday - Ginger chicken and vegetable stir fry, brown rice
Tuesday - Black bean slow cooker soup, sweet potato rolls
Wednesday - Coconut shrimp and orzo salad with broccoli
Thursday - Home made chicken fingers, sweet potato fries, corn
Friday - something quick and easy or something on the road (heading out of town)

P.S. I am working from home again this week.  AWESOME.  Looks like I will be until the end of the month due to the extensive damage in my work office.  Going back to the office is going to be tough after this!


  1. Let me know what you think of the soup tomorrow! I've got something new in the slow cooker today (not really a slow cooker recipe). We'll see how it works out...

  2. How do you make your chicken fingers? With panko? I've been looking for a good recipe. Can you send me yours possibly?

  3. Hey Bec - I linked to the recipe I am using this time. Sometimes I use crushed rice krispies with herbs/spices.

  4. I do a meal plan each week as well! It really does reduce stress. I started back when I was in grad school and A. was working long hours. Wicked time saver.
    We cut the bill down by eating a largely vegetarian diet (I was vegan before having the kidlet and so was the hubs by default). I do make roasts or some sort of meat dish on Sundays (no idea why Sundays) - makes us feel like we're having a night out on the town!