Meal Planning & Budgets


I absolutely love cooking and I even love meal planning but budgets, those I am not such a fan of.

As a single person I didn't cook as often because who wants to do the work to downsize a recipe or who wants 3 days of left overs? I ate a lot of Kashi Frozen Waffles or Cereal. Easy. So budgeting for food wasn't very necessary.

In a dating relationship, especially one in which I was in school and work full time, cooking was something both Paul and I took turns doing. I love being in the kitchen and whipping up something new. In fact, I am not very good at repeating recipes. There are just so many meal options out there. Again I never worried about budgeting for food because the cost was share between Paul and I.

Now married. And not just married - but married and my income is decreasing quite a bit with changing positions at work and only working full time as I complete an unpaid internship for my master's degree. Now I have a number I need to work with each month for planning meals.

This week, I gave my first try and planning a weeks worth of meals, shopping for that whole week and staying in a budget.

I didn't do so great. Don't get me wrong, the food is pretty fabulous (minus one day so far) but money wise I may have gone slightly over - by a LOT! I just get so excited to be back in the kitchen. I lost that excitement the month of July with finishing work, completing a tough summer quarter, and of course planning the wedding. I guess I have been a little too on fire!

Here is what I've been whipping up or will finish whipping up this week:
Sunday: Grilled Veggie Wraps - this has been the only failure - the sauce just didn't bring much to the party.

Monday: Shrimp and Succotash - Delicious & Easy!

Tuesday: Stuffed Chicken Breasts: picture goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and asparagus!

Wednesday: Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Braised Chard with Chickpeas - this meal we had company over and it was an overall hit!

Thursday: Loaded Bowl: Quinoa with Black Beans, Tomatoes, cilantro, avocado with a garlic sauce.

Friday: Garlicky Mussels & Cornbread - can't wait!

I am looking up sales & discounts for next week - but as you can imagine... it will be a more simple fare!

I would love to hear ideas, suggestions, inspiration for how others plan meals on a budget!

1 comment:

  1. I love it! It has been such a stress-reliever for me to plan and shop one day a week and then know exactly what I'm making when I get need to run to the store after an 1.5 hr. commute. Looking forward to chatting more about all the lovelies of marriage on Friday..where, by the way, we'll be making Bombay Sloppy Joe's, courtesy of Aarti, the new Food Network Star. :)