One of the daily tasks we all must tackle is the cooking, grocery shopping, and meal planning. If you are on a limited budget, this is of special importance. While I mostly blog about cleaning and organizing everything in your home, organizing your meals is also an area I think we can all aim to do better. Let’s go through a few steps I use to plan my weekly shopping and meals.
Need a printable shopping list? You can get one of mine for free (as seen below) here. It is in my shopify store, but it is totally free. You won’t be prompted to enter any payment info. It is delivered as a digital printable download via email.
Steps to Organizing Your Meals:
1. Check your fridge and pantry first. Cleaning out your refrigerator before you shop will help you to see what items you already have on hand. This way, you don’t purchase duplicates and waste money.
2. Once you have checked what foods you already have, make a list of meal ideas you can prepare to use those items. Try to use up everything you buy. As a whole, we are pretty wasteful of our foods in America. We can all help to be more responsible in this area.
3. With your meal/menu list, start a shopping list for the ideas you still need to buy to complete those meals. Think of simple meal plans. There is no need to try to make every meal complicated. For example, see if you can serve the same breakfast items 2-3 times in a week. You can alternate days for variety.
4. Before you head to the store, check the store website to see what meats are on sale. Meats tend to be the most expensive portion of the recipe, so try to save money there by shopping for what is on sale that week.
Read my # 7 tip below to save on meat. Meat is generally the freshest and can be discounted if your store has an in-house butcher. The meat is perfectly safe to consume and can be frozen until a later date.
5. Look for “buy one get one free” items, and try to utilize your savings here. If you have a Publix, they are well known for good deals in this area for ‘buy one get one free” options. Don’t buy it just because it is on sale. Check the savings and see if it truly is a bargain. Sometimes, just buying generic stores brands is more cost efficient. Buying ahead will save you money in the weeks to come.
6. Don’t forget your Dollar Tree stores. These stores are usually excellent places to find paper and cleaning products. I also use them for tin foil, zipper bags, plastic wrap, trash bags, napkins, etc. When I shop for groceries, I include all of these household items in my shopping list.
7. Look for discounted items. Most grocery stores have certain times of the day that they mark down certain food items. My stores do this in the mornings, so I try to shop after dropping the kids off at school. I often buy discounted meat and fresh fruits and veggies as soon as they are marked down. Bagged salads are often discounted, also.
Call your local store to get that information and you can rack up the savings. Talk to the butcher to see when the meats are usually discounted. In my stores, they have a certain area in the store where they place discounted meats. Also, as you are shopping, try to keep a little flexibility in your menu. For example, if you plan to purchase bananas for breakfast, but strawberries are on sale, swap that item out on the menu and you’ll save money.
8. Eat your freshest foods first during your week. Plan your menu to use your lettuce, tomatoes, or any other fresh produce early in the week while it is at it’s peak of freshness.
9. Freeze your leftovers. My mother-in-law was such an inspiration early on to us in our marriage. She watched me toss our leftovers more than a few times. She gently suggested I start saving them. Finally, after being very wasteful, it finally clicked with me that I could freeze most of what I served. Freezing your leftovers is the best alternative to just storing them in the fridge. They last much longer in the freezer.
Need to organize your weekly meal plan? Get this meal planner page (as seen below) to schedule your weekly menu plan. This item is a digital printable download delivered to your email address.
10. Save and repeat your menus. My final suggestion on organizing your meals is to save and keep those menus for future rotation. Most of us serve many of the same type of meals monthly. Save these ideas for future menu planning.
For example, Saturdays are a big breakfast day for our family. I usually cook a large breakfast that includes the same items every Saturday. Repeating family favorites will help simplify your meal planning.
Need a recipe printable page? Get this recipe page printable (as shown below) for free here. It is in my shopify store, but it is totally free. You won’t be prompted to enter any payment info. It is delivered as a digital printable download via email.
Need to deep clean? I have lists for you to guide you along.
My How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Bathroom list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Kids’ Rooms list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Living Room list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Bedroom list can be found here.
Also, to keep up the general housework, you may need to create a daily housekeeping schedule that suits your specific needs. To do so, I have created a helpful series you can read here.
Need some Inspiration to Declutter? Join us for the Year Long Through Declutter Series by subscribing by email below. To subscribe, leave a comment below.
The Year Long Thorough Declutter Series is designed to help you declutter every room and every space in your home. It includes daily tasks, so you can track your progress. It also includes detailed lists to declutter each room and each space within your home. You can sign up here.
Need to Declutter Every room? I have declutter checklists for every room and every space in your home to guide you along below.
Also, you can get the complete digital printable copy of the Year Long Thorough Declutter Series Calendar and Checklists here. The printable digital download is delivered to your email. It includes 25 pages of printable calendar pages and checklists to help you declutter every room in your home. You can find that here.
2022 update: The year long thorough declutter series is on video now. You can subscribe via youtube through the video shown in this post below.
Struggling with the daily housekeeping chores? Check out my ebook on this topic, entitled Make Over Your Homemaking. Use this link to get it at a discounted price.
How to Declutter the Guest Room or Your Kid’s Room checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Laundry Room and Patio checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Coat Closet/Hall Closet/Linen Closet checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Home Office checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Attic checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Garage checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Living Room checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Kitchen Checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Entry/Foyer/Mudroom checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Clothing checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Bedroom checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Bathroom checklist can be found here.
To Subscribe to this Declutter Series, drop me a comment below. Your email will be sent to me but will not be posted publicly. You’ll receive a daily declutter task via email for the daily task we are working on. You can unsubscribe at any time.
New to deemiddleton.com and don’t know where to start? I recommend going in this order:
Step 1: Check out this post on the 1st step you should take to get organized. If you don’t have a calendar, you can grab my free weekly printable calendar page here. It is in my shopify store, but it is totally free, so you won’t be prompted to put in any payment information. It is a free download and will be delivered straight to your email.
Also, you can get the complete digital printable copy of the Year Long Thorough Declutter Series Calendar and Checklists here. The printable digital download is delivered to your email. It includes 25 pages of printable calendar pages and checklists to help you declutter every room in your home. You can sign up here.
Step 2: Create a daily Housekeeping Schedule. You can use this series to start to set up your own schedule. You can also use this simplified weekly schedule.If you often ask: What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house? Or, if you struggle to get organized and have tried and failed time and again, you can likely find out which of these 11 reasons cause you to fail to get organized.
Step 3: How do you remove clutter? How Do You Declutter Your Home?.…Sign up for the Declutter Series and get your entire home decluttered in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.”Declutter Your Home” checklists are provided in each email.
Step 4: What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house? Use a timer and use the Deep Cleaning Checklists above. They will help you get your home sparkling after you’ve decluttered.
Interested in becoming a full-time blogger like me? Check out my blogging series. At the top of every page on my blog, you’ll find a drop down menu. Just select the BLOGGING category.
Check out the most popular posts on deemiddleton.com:
Also, check out a great post on decluttering over here from becomingminimalist.com. Joshua Becker has some great tips on decluttering and minimalism.
For further reading, check out the fly lady here. She has some great cleaning and kitchen decluttering ideas plus excellent organization tips to get you started.