January 14, 2013

Counting Your Costs ~ Meal Planning and Frugality

Being frugal today is going against the grain. In my mind its part of staying true to the plan God had for my life and yours, the plan He still has- a plan to glorify Him!

How I look at and handle our finances goes hand in hand with that.
This may sound extreme, but hear me out...(smiling at you).
If I budget over what we need in any area of our finances... say I allot...

$25 worth of Starbucks

in a month instead of $10 when the overview of our budget shows me I shouldn’t even spend $10, I am "over budgeting"…

I'm placing my wants… above my needs.

This can be the case with every aspect of our budget... not just a simplicity like coffee.

The extras are easier for me to define as over budgeting then the other general things in our life, which society has taught me are a need, when in all actuality, they are just a want! Another post... by an older, wiser woman?


I have learned, well… let me be honest…
I AM LEARNING, that my wants get in the way of my joy.

This could be a whole different post in itself :)

Our Joy as believers is at its best when we glorify God.

Our finances do not fall outside of His plan of joy for us.

This… is a life long lesson.

Let me give you a quick glance at a tool I have recently began using to save in our home.


We all eat, some more some less, but food is a part of everyone's budget.

I used to shop every week and spend way more and get way less. However, I started menu planning and began to save. That's step one-

Menu plan.

Step two is stick with it...

So really that's just step one and you need to be consistent ;-)

Step 1. Menu plan…consistently

After planning for a few months (which I was introduced to and encouraged to stick with by an older, wiser- Thank you Marci @ Thankful Homemaker) and still shopping every week, I said to my self

Menu planning has taken a lot of stress out of my daily routine!

Praise God!!

What would happen if I planned a WHOLE MONTH in Advance?

Step 2. Make a monthly menu
Or rotating master meal list…Or go by seasons.  Lots of different options in this department…
I sit, usually with coffee or tea and think about what I want to make for the next 30 or so dinners.
I usually ask my boys what they would like for dinner too…if they are not in the room they usually get called in so I can get there input for just a moment and are sent off with a kiss and a warm feeling knowing mommy cares what they think about eating- since that isn’t always so apparent at the table when dinner wasn’t their choice!  I chicken scratch the 30 or so meals down and then put them into weeks 1-5.

This makes the rest of the months menus simplistic.
I love simplistic.

Doing one big Shopping trip at the beginning of the month has saved us a lot! Fewer opportunities to spend more and get less because

I have all I "need" after the first week and so subsequent trips are only "easy list" items like milk and eggs and fruit and veggies ;)
1. Menu plan
2. Meals for a month- one big shopping trip
3. Easy list shopping for the rest of the month
4. Master lists - this makes taking inventory easy and cuts down on planning time from month to month:)
~ If you do one particular thing regularly...(like make lists of basics you always use in the kitchen... Or wherever) do it and SAVE IT!
Keep it accessible.
Time saver. Money saver.  Frugality!

Here's to finding joy in His plan, for His glory! True joy:)

Enjoying the ride so far? I would love to hear about it from you.

Because He loved me first,

OH ! …Have your own planning system? Do share! Would you take a moment to encourage the rest of us?


  1. Good morning! Meal planning is really a blessing, I have started it few weeks ago and seen how is useful for saving money, but also a lot of time.
    Being organized is the best thing a homemaker can do!

    1. Hi Gege!

      Yes it is such a great skill to develop and what a blessing it can be to your family!

      Blessings to you. :)

  2. I make a menu plan for the month and just do one big shopping trip. It saves us a lot! And if there's any extra left over in my grocery budget(minus a small amount for milk, fruit, and veggies) I am able to stock up on items we use often that are on sale.
    It also helps to keep us from eating out. Everything I need for the meal is there and I don't have to stress over what to make. :)

    1. Ahhh stress-less meals! :)

      Thanks for sharing, Ashlyn, we hope you don't mind we shared your tip on the Facebook page. :)



Thank you for sharing with us!

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