I’ve been a little overwhelmed by food lately. It’s just that there is so much that goes into meal planning. I’m sure I don’t need to tell the average homemaker that.
Every week, I go through the same routine.
- Find recipes for the week based on our health needs and budget
(What should my budget be?)
- Go through pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what needs to be restocked
- Make a shopping list based on the recipes and restocking needs
- Find any coupons I may be able to use
- Find time to go to the grocery store without the kids having to tag along
- Go to the grocery store and resist impulse buying (avoid bakery at all costs!)
- Try to be as frugal as possible without sacrificing the health of our family
- Don’t forget main ingredients! Get EVERYTHING on your list!
- Get home and unload groceries (freezer items first) without getting distracted by the kids
- Make the next meal of the day and prepare meals ahead of time if possible
This gets to be pretty overwhelming every week. I suppose some people have meal planning and grocery shopping down to a science. I’m not one of those people! I would say there are three categories of grocery shoppers that people fall into.
Category #1: The Budget Busters
- These grocery shoppers are the type that don’t do any planning. They look around the kitchen a while before going to the grocery store. Once they are there, they proceed to put whatever looks good into their grocery cart. ” Hmmmm, I think this $10 jar of almost butter looks good. I think I’ll get that! Oooo, and that! And, I could do something with that!” Before they know it, they’ve got a grocery cart full of condiments and they’ve gone way over their budget. And, they almost always run out of meals before the week is over.
Category #2: The Mindful Mommies
- These grocery shopping mommies will do their best to find food that’s healthy AND on sale! If they can get something that’s healthy AND low-cost, then they’ve “done what they came to do.” Mission accomplished! Planning healthy meals and staying within the monthly budget are a mindful mommy’s constant companions. She eats, sleeps,and… well, eats her mission to have healthy, low-cost food in her home every week.
Category #3: The Crazy Coupon Crew
- These Coupon Crazies are Crazy about Coupons! All they care about is spending the least amount of money possible. No time to worry about whether or not that bag of potato chips is healthy or not. ” If there is a coupon for it and it’s a double coupon day, then I’m buying it! After all… food is food, right? Gotta make sure we stay UNDER budget!” So, they spend all of their time clipping coupons instead of planning meals. And, when the shopping is all done, they’ve got a pantry full of processed food and a rather empty fridge.
Want to know how I came up with those categories? They’re ALL Me! I’ve been to both extremes. I’ve been that Budget Buster who goes down every isle and searches for anything that catches my eye. I’ve been part of the Crazy Coupon Crew and only cared about dollars and cents. And, now, I’m starting to settle into the middle category where I should be at this point in my life. I’m a Mindful Mommy with 4 beautiful children and a great husband to think about. It’s a little overwhelming at times, but I know it’s worth it. As long as my family is eating healthy and our finances aren’t suffering, I will feel confident in saying, “Mission Complete!”