Meal Planning

I recently told a friend that meal planning is what keeps me sane. Seriously. It has taken me years to figure out what works best for our family. I've finally settled upon a flexible daily menu. We can swap days, but it's nice to know I have ingredients in my pantry for these certain meals each week. Without this little piece of paper, my grocery envelope dwindles and I have nothing to show for it. 

Also, we are paying private school tuition this year. That really helps me stay on track.

I typically don't cook on the weekends. We eat leftovers and sandwiches. Weekends are unpredictable---we may take a sporadic date night, or, like today, eat a quick lunch at Costco after shopping. I try to allow a little wiggle room in my weekly budget for the weekends.

I've been curious lately how much the average mom spends on feeding her family for a month. I challenged myself in January to see if I could spend only $600, and it was HARD! The $600 was for everything: nightly dinners, lunches, school lunches, snacks, bottled waters, coffee, and dinner for friends who just had babies.     

Any meal planning tips you'd like to share? I'll take them.