Congrats, Laura for winning the lunch cut outs! Look out for another giveaway coming up soon with lunch!  
Thanks to all who entered! And as always, thanks for reading!

MEAL PLANS!

I have dabbled in having my meals planned out for the week and my shopping list made based on my plan.  Over the summer, I also started using mint.com for budgeting and set a grocery budget, and I use Grocery IQ for my grocery lists. Having a plan for each night of the week is so much easier than getting to that night and throwing something together on the fly. It also saves money and utilizes the food that we have, so I try to do it most weeks!

I start by looking in the pantry, fridge and freezer to see what we need and have, and build my meal plan and list from there. 

I downloaded some free meal plans from 100 days of real food that are awesome – check these out!  There are also links to recipes included in the meal plans, and a shopping list!  The author also just put out a cookbook!  I also go to my pinterest dinner page and see if I feel like making anything from there. Favorites over the summer included:

Zucchini Pasta {all photos are credited to the websites that are linked to the photos}

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Giada’s baked turkey meatballs

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On pinterest, I found meal planning sheets for the week, printed and laminated them and each week I use a dry erase marker to write out the meal plan for the week, then erase it and redo it for the next week.

Mine looks like this ~ and is clipped to my fridge with a magnet.

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Here are a bunch you can download!

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If you go to pinterest and type in “meal planning sheet” you will find a ton!

As I’m writing up my plan, I’m typing in all the ingredients that I need for the week into my Grocery IQ list!

EASY GROCERY LIST

Grocery IQ is a *free* awesome app where you can have a shared grocery list, and update via your computer or the app itself.  When you are in the grocery store, you easily bring it up and click on the item and it moves to the checked off part of your list.  You can also have multiple lists – Target, Costco, a packing list for a trip, etc. Love this app. Definitely check it out!

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BUDGETING

As far as budgeting, I started using mint.com to track all of my spending and I love it! It is free and you can make up your own categories for budgeting and link all of your bank accounts and credit card accounts. It’s a great resource for saving money!

I set a grocery budget of $450 which is a lofty goal! For the first month, I went over ~ 

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I’m trying to track my spending and then come up with a realistic goal. Some months we have spent over $700 on groceries, and other months have been able to stay under $500. It’s fun to have a goal 🙂 

COUPONS

And last but not least, coupon-ing!  I use Martha Stewart’s system (now on clearance at Staples!) to organize my coupons and gift cards. 

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Sites that I check for coupons are smartsource, coupons.com and mambosprouts.com.  I also look at Target.com/coupons and on Whole Foods website for coupons or grab their coupon book before shopping!

How about you? Do you meal plan?  Do you cut coupons? Do you have a grocery budget each month? 

 

 

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