I often have the opportunity to talk to people about ways they can save money on their food spending. The first thing I always say is to make a menu, then make a list based on the menu, and only buy what’s on the list. I tell people over and over that if they do nothing else but these three things they will see a reduction in their spending simply because they’re prepared.
Want to know how long it’s been since I’ve written out a menu? Go ahead, guess.
I would say about six weeks.
At the beginning of the year I did a big shop in order to put lots of meals into the freezer, so I was basically just using what we had, no worrying about it because I had lots stockpiled. I had lots of options.
Then at the beginning of February I did a bit more shopping. Still no menu, still had lots stockpiled.
We’re now nearing the end of another month and my stockpile isn’t as large as before. We’ve used up much of the convenience food I had stored up. Now I don’t have anything to grab on the way out the door to stave off the mid morning munchies the kids always get. So we’re more likely to stop and grab something small at McDonalds on our way wherever. Or on the way home because we’re out later than I expected and I want to make sure Little Boy gets something to eat before he falls alseep in the car.
And let me tell you, friends, it definitely costs money to not have a menu.
When I have a menu, we eat more substantial breakfasts, which means that the mid-morning munchies aren’t as severe. When I have a menu, it means I have a plan, so I can start cooking dinner earlier in the day which means I won’t be asking to get pizza that night.
So, I’m working on a menu right now. And I feel empowered already! And I’m sure that Handsome is grateful. He’s a very graceful husband, moving funds around in our budget to cover my indescretion, knowing that I only allow myself to be menu-less for a certain length of time. But he only puts up with it for so long before garnishing my personal allowance. And since my personal allowance is incredibly small, that means not a very long time!