Recently, my team at work lost our overtime. Now, I am a strong advocate of living within your means, not using credit (beyond the obvious of house/car) if at all possible and not relying on overtime to survive. But I must say that it is really hard to go from having that little bit of extra cash each paycheck to have fun with to having to budget tightly to make sure you have enough food for everyone. And have I mentioned that with the hubs father living with us, we're a house of SIX. Eep!
So instead of freaking out and losing my marbles over how we were going to feed everyone AND keep it healthier than frozen pizza and chicken nuggets, I turned to Pinterest. Ok, I won't lie. I totally lost my cool, freaked out, raged, cried and stared at the wall when we found out about the income loss. But I had to so I could get it out of my system and move on.
Back to Pinterest. I've got my boards organized so that I have a healthy foods and a not so healthy but yummy foods. If you want to see my boards (including the others that are NOT food oriented), you can follow me. I went first to my healthy foods board for inspiration. I have learned in the past that my family doesn't do well when I try to make a per day menu. We all tend to eat what we crave, within reason, and trying to make a menu telling us what we were going to eat each day for the next week was setting us up to fail. I think that's the first thing you need to think about - how does your family typically choose it's meals? How much variety do they usually prefer? If they're comfortable eating the same basic meal plan each week, then half the work is already done for you. Otherwise, you'll want to sit down and make a menu.
Once we get the menu figured out, then it's time to make the grocery list. I shop at Aldi. If you've been there, then it's 'nuff said. And if you don't? Well, this will help you, too, but you don't know the savings you're missing.
Before (am I the only one who gets excited when I see the 10 free diapers on the side of the box?):