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Saturday, June 30, 2012

6 reasons i struggle with menu planning

i've done this before, but i'm doing it again. Menu Planning! you might remember from one of my recent posts about trying to greatly decrease our grocery bill each month. currently we are spending way too much on food mostly because we are not planning well. my goal for july is to not only to plan but to track what i spend purely on food when grocery shopping to see where we can start not only eating healthier (which is another one of my goals) but eating cheaper--which, honestly, are seemingly two very opposing goals in our culture these days. i think once you realize that you're struggling with something, it's important to figure out why exactly you're struggling with it, so here are the reasons i struggle with menu planning and making grocery bills smaller:
  1. time.  i have tons of time right now to scour the pinterest boards for recipes, meticulously plan a menu, and spend tons of time baking in advance or making snack foods rather than purchasing them...but i am not going to have all this time once the school year begins again.
  2. space. we have a very small freezer and very limited pantry space, so planning in advance or buying in bulk can be difficult because many of the plans i have come across require lots of storage space, which we simply do not have.
  3. health. it's difficult to find the healthiest choicest that also save you money. organic is so much more expensive, and cheap/processed foods, which are already cheaper, also tend to be on sale more often. further, buying fresh is so difficult to plan out because if you're anything like me fresh foods go bad before i even have the chance to use it all. 
  4. numbers. i honestly think it's very difficult to plan for two. it may be because so many things you buy are intended for families of four. our leftovers are either way too much--so we get tired of the dish and don't want to eat it anymore before it goes bad (i'd freeze it, but remember, we don't have a lot of freezer space)--or there's only enough for one person left--what do you do with that when you're trying to plan out all your meals, including lunches? 
  5. energy/patience. sometimes i just really don't want to cook and just want to go out to eat. although i think it's fine for this to happen every once and a while if you have some extra money to eat out happens way too often in our house.
  6. pickiness. there are some dishes i could eat anytime, anywhere. there are lots of dishes, though, that because of very specific tastes or current stomach-situations, i am not always in the mood for. 
hopefully the next couple of months can be a good period of trial and error, where i can learn the methods that work best for our family of two. i will be posting my theories and learned-lessons along the way, and hopefully they will help someone else out there, too, if for no other reasons than helping you realize that you're not the only one who struggles with wanting to be that awesome mother-of-five who has all these amazing methods for saving money while eating really good food and creating amazing crafts and being in really great shape--and who has the time to actually blog all about it at the same time! i just don't know how some of these women do what they do! but i must not do what i do to be like them but to be who i am and try to be living more sustainably and healthily and productively, resting in the grace that i am loved regardless of how cool my blog is or what size jeans i'm wearing. 
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