One of the first steps to simplifying our lives that we took this year is to simplify our kitchen and eating habits. It seemed that week after week the hubs and I would be cleaning out the refrigerator and throwing out vegetables, condiments, milk, and anything else that we didn't consume in time. This made me sick! I hate throwing money down the drain, don't you? So, in order to stop our hemorrhaging of money, we decided to start meal planning for the week and only buying what we needed for our meals.
The first thing I did was go on my favorite site, Etsy, and find a beautiful meal planning/grocery list that has a magnet on the back so it sits in plain site all day, everyday on the refrigerator. Easy access is key. That way, if we ran out of something, it is right there. I ended up purchasing our planning/grocery list from Perideau Designs. Bridgett is fantastic. I have order multiple times from her and have been impressed each time. Here is a peek at what I got:
Here is what we do. Every Friday, we decide what we are eating for the week and write it down for each day. Then, we browse through our fridge and pantry and see what we are out of and what we need to buy. Very simple, right? Now that we have gotten this system working well, we typically need to buy almost everything for each recipe (except baking stuff - that lasts forever and you never use all of it for one recipe). We've been doing meal planning for about 3 months now and our grocery bills have gone down, our waistline has shrunk and our fridge now looks like this at the end of each week:
The first shelf is juice and milk for the little guy. The 2nd and 3rd shelves are leftovers from the week that will be eaten by the end of the week and the drawers have cheese, veggies and fruit that will be gone as well. That is pretty much it. Simple, simple. Have you tried meal planning? How did it go?
PS - I have added a new CUSTOMIZED option to my pushpins in my Etsy shop. I can now spell out names, places and other words with the pushpins! Here is a peak: