Category Archives: Monthly Meal Plan

Easy Meal Planning for the Slacker Mom!

Food on the Table

I have tried so many things to make getting dinner on a table less of a chore. I’ve even tried making monthly meal plans, which lasted… three months? I think? No matter what I do, I end up wondering what I’m making for dinner sometime around 4:30 p.m.

Or I actually have a meal plan, I’ve defrosted the meat (cue Hallelujah chorus!) only to find I don’t have all the ingredients necessary for the meal. Which really stinks. I want credit for at least trying to make dinner, yet my family seems to feel different.

Sometimes, I feel the Internet was made just for me. It gets me, you know?
Also: Ben & Jerry’s, with their Chocolate Therapy ice cream? They totally get me.

When I came across this totally awesome idea, I was just floored. Here’s the concept, y’all:


{I’m telling ya. Internet was made for me. You can thank me later.}
My favorite part of this new and totally free service (we’ll get to the paid options in a minute) is that they take your local grocery ad and make kid friendly meal plans based on what’s on sale. You can pick and choose recipes based on taste preference, then they create a grocery list for you. Even better, the list can be printed or emailed (to hubby, perhaps?).  There’s even an app for your iphone or Android!

Here’s a super quick video on how it works:

***SPECIAL OFFER***
When you use the promo code SUMMERFREE to sign up, you will receive the current service FREE FOR LIFE! This is a limited time offer so click below to sign up!

Edited to add: I need to clarify the paid service option, I completely forgot. Ordinarily you would get 3 recipes per week for free and then a low introductory rate of $5/month. My understanding, based on playing around with the service, is that using the SUMMERFREE code, you will not need a subscription!

Disclosure: Links in this post are affiliate links. I have personally signed up for this service and so far I’m loving what I see. I hope you’ll use my link to sign up and that you’ll love the service like I do!

 

December 2011 Monthly Meal Plan

December Meal Plan

Maybe you didn’t notice, maybe you did, but I didn’t post a meal plan last month. I actually made a hand-written one and had every intention of typing it up to post, but I didn’t get around to it. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s of any use to anyone but me! There were a couple of “yes pleases” when I asked if I should post my meal plan this month so here we go.
{Laura and Savannah, this is for you!}
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Slacker Mom meal plan if I didn’t post this a week late. :)

This month I’m keeping it simple. It’s December, and I’ve got other things on my plate.
Get it? Plate? Because it’s dinner?
On second thought, that joke was really lame. Can we pretend it didn’t happen?
Okay, so it’s December and I’ve got cookies to bake and presents to wrap and parties to attend. Cooking isn’t exactly my favorite thing in the world anyway–at least not the nightly dinner type of cooking–so simplicity is definitely on the menu this month.
“On the menu?” Sheesh. I will be in town all week, people.
I literally have not one, not two, but three dinners using the same rotisserie chicken. Oh yeah–I can stretch a Costco chicken that far for six people! It really doesn’t get that much easier.
Unless, of course, you’re feeding them ramen.
And even though it doesn’t go on the menu…
it happens.

Click the links below to grab your meal plan. Thanks to the lovely Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler for the idea of adding in an editable Word document version. Adjust to your tastes and print!

December 2011 meal plan – PDF
December 2011 meal plan – Word Document

Monthly Meal Plan for October

Download the October 2011 Meal Plan

Last month, I posted a month long meal plan. It was experimental. I wanted to see if

  1. I could stick with it
  2. it would save money
  3. and if it would save time.
So the first question is, did I stick with it? The short answer is “yes,” I did. It was extremely convienient because I had what I needed in my house to cook, and didn’t have to fret at 4:45 about what was for dinner. Not only did I know what was for dinner, but I actually had all the stuff in my house for dinner. Nice. There were a few many days where I didn’t cook what was on the menu. This really confused my children for some reason! For the most part though I juggled the menu around and still used up the food I purchased in a timely manner.
Did it save time? Yes and no. I didn’t shop nearly as much towards the end of the month but it was a big shopping trip at the beginning. Also I didn’t have to have my husband stop on the way home to pick up ingredients, so he got home earlier. Plus I was able to somewhat successfully see and remember what I needed to defrost for dinner before 4:45 p.m.

 Did it save money?
Um…
No?
It did save money in that I used up what I had purchased. But to be honest, I really screwed up the budget this month and discovered “once a month shopping” isn’t just not in my vocabulary, it’s not in my world. It doesn’t exist. So when I shop a lot at the beginning of the month, that doesn’t really keep my from shopping later on in the month. I spent a lot of money this month. I blame myself, not the meal plan.

With that, I’m going to attempt a second month at the meal plan. This month however, I’m going to shop week-by-week rather than attempt even a bi-monthly shopping trip. Seriously, who was I kidding?? I will shop weekly but should I notice something on a great sale that I need for the following week, I’ll pick it up. Hopefully I will still save money over the course of the month. Also, I did a fairly good job at making sure the snacks were stretched out throughout the course of the month, rather than having snacks the first week and not again till the following month. (We get paid monthly.) The trick I found, was hiding the snacks from my kids until it was the snack of the day. They didn’t ask for what they didn’t know we had!

 This month’s meal plan has a lot of repeats from last month. The smoothies and frozen breakfast items are working really well for us. My kids love checking the menu each day (multiple times) to see what is for the breakfast or snack. The variety seems to get them more excited about getting to the table in the morning, and I feel better knowing I’ve sent them off to school with something slightly better than another bowl of Lucky Charms.

 I’ve also introduced some meal items, some family favorites as well as some new-to-us meals. I’m excited to try them out! I also did a couple of fun snacks and dinners on the upcoming holidays, which I know my kids will love.

 Click on the image above to download the new meal plan, or just click here if you’re too lazy to scroll up! :)

Couponing: To Save or Not to Save?

If you’ve been a follower of Confessions of a Slacker Mom for awhile, you probably know that I like to coupon.

Whether or not you’ve been a faithful follower (and if you aren’t, you should be!), you probably don’t know that I fell off the couponing bandwagon–or did I get back on? I never am sure how that works–for the past couple of months. I’m not alone in this. Even the most veteran of couponers occasionally find themselves in need of a break.

So what was my reasoning for not couponing?
Well…
…you know…
it’s a lot of work.

I can’t tell you how backed up I am in clipping coupons! Sigh. My coupon binder, having purged it of all expired coupons, is almost entirely empty. And you know what?
I’m wasting money.

Folks, I don’t have a lot of money to spare. This month especially, since I really screwed up the grocery budget.  I was doing so great with following my monthly meal plan, that I had this notion of having a lot of extra money.

I didn’t. The money was just better spent than it normally was. But then I went and spent more money, thinking I had extra. Seriously, I don’t know why my husband lets me use a debit card at all. Everyone email him and tell him I’m completely dumb with money, okay?

No, please don’t! And if you’re wondering, yes, I did eventually fess up to the budget snafu. He still loves me (somehow), but hopes I learned my lesson.
{Me too.} 

Where was I? Oh yeah, couponing. My point is, I have an extremely limited amount of money for the rest of the month. I have to spend every last dollar with careful thought and consideration to how it will best impact our food for the month.
In other words, not a good month for stocking up on hairspray.

My plan is to look over the meal plan and see what food we still need for the month. Fortunately, the majority of the nonperishable items have already been purchased. I just need to fill in the gaps. I’m going to pull up the meal plan now, so I can see what I need, and where I can apply coupons.

Confession: I haven’t been *perfect* in using this meal plan, but I’ve been pretty well. Anything requiring a slow cooker hasn’t happened because I’ve been too lazy. For the most part, I’ve rearranged the menu as I go. Nothing ADD about that, right??

Okay, so I’m looking over the menu. Here’s what I need: cheese (printable coupon), applesauce (check for newspaper coupon), Gogurt (printable coupon), bread (Walmart now carried my new favorite milk-free bread, and it’s only $1.67 a loaf!), peanut butter, two boxes of Mac & Cheese (check coupons?), Pepperoni (newspaper coupon), 2 cans non-dairy pizza sauce, yogurt cups (6-printable coupon), eggs, 2 lbs. chicken breasts, bananas, sour cream (newspaper coupon), milk (printable coupon) and maybe some other fruit, too.

See how simple this coupon list is? Before I go, I’ll grab my soon-to-be restocked coupon binder and check for those newspaper coupons. I’ve already printed off my online coupons. I use Coupons.com almost exclusively, unless I’m feeling really proactive and search a company site for any coupon offers.

This here is an affliate link, so feel free to print away using this link! Not sure why the image isn't showing up. Hmm. Oh well. Click it anyway!

 I explained why I don’t have a lot of money this money. :[ So here are a few more things I’m doing to cut costs:

1) Always, always, always price comparing. If the brand name is cheapest with a coupon, I buy that. If the store brand is cheaper still? That’s what lands in my cart.

2) Price matching. I’m going to be perusing my grocery store ads that came in the mail today. If I see a great sale at Smith’s for Gogurt, you can bet I’m going to have Walmart ring me up at that price! (Fyi–they’ll want to see the ad, so be sure to bring it and put a sticky note on the price so you’re not fumbling through it while in line, muttering, “I know it’s in here somewhere!” Not that I’d know about that.)

3. Utah County Walmart’s double coupons on Tuesdays to price match with Ridleys. (I’m ever so grateful with Ridley’s, even though I’ll probably never shop there!) I don’t ordinarily drive down to do this, but when I’m in a pinch, it can be a big money saver. Today, it’s worth the drive! You can read more about this double coupon shindig here. Just remember you can’t price match and double coupon on the same item. Also, it’s gonna take a long time to check out! Freebies2deals.com has a great weekly post on the best double coupon deals at Walmart!

Your turn. Do you coupon? Love it or hate it? And please, tell me (and my husband): am I the only one who screws up on the grocery budget??

Monthly Meal Plan for September

monthly meal plan

{I got this idea from the wonderfully amazing Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler.}

I’ve made a monthly meal plan this month to try and cut down on unnecessary spending. Naturally, I’m posting this late. Wouldn’t be a slacker mom otherwise, am I right?

I’ve found that following this meal plan allows me to shop less (as I forget things less often, and I’m more prepared for much longer). I’m hoping to do most of my shopping for nonperishable items at the beginning of the month, then stock up on milk, bread, and fruits and veggies halfway through. I’ve included two snacks each day, but don’t have much for Saturday and Sunday. Our weekends are loosey goosey around here, and that’s the way I like it!

I also like that having an entire menu allows me to try new things for dinner, as well as include our old standbys. Since I’m keeping track of what snack is for what day, we actually have snacks at the end of the month, rather than chowing them down in the first week. I find myself eating healthier as I’m not just noshing on whatever all day, and my preschooler is less grumpy because I’m better at remembering to feed her. :)

I gotta say though… the best part of this meal plan is not answering the question “What’s for dinner?” My kids just go to the fridge and check it out themselves… ah, bliss!

No judging on my meals, they are what they are. Feel free to adjust to your tastes! 

September Meal Plan – Microsoft Word
September Meal Plan – PDF 

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