milestone monday--becoming debt free #2

milestone monday is back!

if you missed last week's post, here it is.

this week's highlighted strategy that is helping us
reach the goal of paying off jon's 
MBA school loan and
therefore being mostly debt free is.....

(drum roll, please)

not as interesting as you may have thought?...
well, for a type A, listaholic, like myself,
menu planning is the best thing since 
reeses peanut butter eggs (licking lips :)).
notice they are all gone....it's just something about the perfect PB to chocolate ratio

you say it can be very overwhelming,
time consuming,

but i say, menu planning actually
saves me,

so, what do i do to achieve these said promises?

so glad you asked!
**to make his doable for me, i only plan dinners and just wing breakfasts and lunches.


1. at the very beginning of this process (you only have to do this once if you want) i made a big list of all the categories my dinners could fall into.  examples are: mexican food, italian food, casseroles, crock pot dinners, easy/fast, breakfast for dinner, asian, etc.
2.  i then typed up a master list of all the meals i regularly make and put each under the matching category.  again, once you do this the first time, you won't have to do it again.
3. each month, in my Monthly Menu Guide, i now choose 7 categories and put one with each day of the week (ie. Monday-mexican food, Tuesday-casseroles, etc.) ---(3 minutes)
4.  i like to have flexibility and structure at the same time.  so at the beginning of each month (or four week period), i fill out my Monthly Menu Guide.  i decide what my four weeks of dinners under each day and category are going to be and place it in the guide.  this is great because i'm not locked to a specific week, but i can plan ahead when grocery shopping at the beginning of the month or when there are super double coupons at harris teeter (like this week).  ---(maybe 20-30 minutes)

5.  now i make a basic grocery list that will fulfill the month's worth of dinners listed in my guide.  i can start looking for sales, coupons, etc that will match with that grocery list  ---(15 minutes or less)

6.  the guide serves as an outline for each week's meals.  i can pick whichever meal i want from "mexican mondays" and should have most if not all the ingredients ready and waiting to be served. 

in less than an hour per month, i can have a full outline of what we will be eating for dinner, have a grocery list, and peace of mind that my family will be eating healthy and wholesome meals each night for the whole month.  


7.  each week, i then lock down the 5-7 meals we will actually eat that specific week and fill in any missing ingredients, etc in the beginning-of-the-week shopping trip.   i write this on the calendar in my kitchen and we go from there.

8.  on the Monthly Menu Guide, i cross off what we have eaten and leave the rest for the upcoming weeks.  i don't always make something EVERY night (especially on weekends), but it is nice to have a plan if we wanted to.

because of having this loose outline plan, 
i can wake up in the mornings,
and not have to stress about 
what i'm going to make tonight?
what ingredients do i still need?
what things need to be defrosted
or prepared ahead of time.

with a little pre-planning
at the beginning of the month
at the beginning of each week,
i save lots of time
during the weekdays,
much stress.
so i can have more time to do these fun things...
Home Goods bargains!

hope this was helpful and maybe a little step to helping you achieve your money milestones!
happy monday!

********30 second hug update:  like i mentioned in this post, this past week, i tried an experiment where i hugged my husbo for 30 seconds at least 3 times a day.  it was great, but i'm going to have to keep doing it to "make sure it's working ;)"

why don't you try it this week with your loved one?  let me know how it is improving your relationship!

1 comment:

KellySponslerEckert said...

Love reading your tips on planning meals and saving money, time, and not stressing! Kelly Sponsler Eckert