I've tried several ways to menu plan and be frugal. I've only menu planned once I know what's on offer, I've menu planned according to our cravings, I've menu planned for boosting our immunity and now I am menu planning for the summer.
I don't write down every detail, some things are just a given in our diet, i.e vegetables, salads, super foods, hemp hearts etc. So when I write down a week or two week menu, I keep it simple.
First I plan out our weekly schedule. I need to know when we're home and out. Since I've booked a few evenings a week to hit the gym, and the kids in gym care, I plan out a "lunch box dinner" and iltapala (evening snack) for them to have there.
I will be using my crock pot a few times a week, just so that I can organize and de-itemize the house a bit more during the day. Since it's summer, the bbq will be used quite a bit as well.
I guess this menu is more for my kids than it is for me. I am not a big fan of hot dogs or other stuff I have on the menu, so I will make a few dishes just for me (which the kids usually don't like) during the week.
After writing out our menu, I write out the shopping list to go with it. Besides fresh produce, I think one shopping trip will do.
In about two weeks, I'll throw in a few new dishes and take out a few.
How do you plan your menu, and how do you shop for your groceries?
More on 'Cooking on a Budget' HERE