Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saving and Losing

So, here I am, the second week of the new year, and it's hitting me why I don't plan menus. I'm not convinced that it saves me time.

Here's what my planning time has looked like so far. I noticed on facebook earlier this morning that Terri Lynne at Pleasing to You mentioned loving $5 dinner mom. I'm thinking…all right…score – dinner for $5! I google $5 dinners and find the website. Snoop around there for a few minutes, look at recipes and follow links to various other websites, including but not limited to: Frugal Dr. Mom, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest (to get a coupon), Life as Mom, and Coupon Teacher. I've now spend thirty minutes on the computer and still don't have a menu for next week. I have, however, increased the guilt I already feel over not being more frugal. By the way, I suspect the $5 dinner lady doesn't have four children, three of which are teenagers. I'm just guessin'.

So I have to ask myself…is this worth it? Or am I better off pulling into the Publix parking lot with no menu planned and only the bare necessities (you know, eggs, milk, chocolate) on my list and just winging it. You know…let the sale circular inspire as you wander aimlessly through the store. While it sounds fun, and I'm fairly adept at that method; I do know the drawback. In the middle of prepping tomorrow's dinner, I will realize I don't have one critical ingredient and another trip to the store is necessary.

What to do, what to do. Am I saving money? Losing time? Can't decide.


  1. LOL Natalie!! I love the $5 Dinner site but it coupon driven. Maybe we should plan a joint menu and split it ... I've got a normal eater (me), a child, and Scott (whose stomach hold 1/2 cup). We end up eating so many leftovers ... so if we added by 2 people to your six we'd be two families of four ... and it should work.


  2. Honestly, on the Publix side, if you use the circular and do one or a couple of their recipies that they feature that week - those items are usually what is on sale and you will save some $$ if you stock up on those items that you normally use, like the chicken and meat when it's on sale, (1.99lb on skinless/boneless chkn here and I think I've gotten beef at 2.79 the lowest) you will save $$ too. I will forward a few of the most recent emails I've gotten from Kraft Food & Family - honestly is one of the better sites to subscribe to for meal ideas in my opinion.

  3. Natalie, I just check the market's circular (online) and see what meats are on sale. Then I make a quick plan from that. So I don't scheme much but I don't go in completely unarmed either. : )