Have you ever tied menu planning? I don't mean planning what you are going to make this weekend, but really planning out a whole week, two weeks or a month? Thanks to all my new friends in the blog-o-sphere, I have been reading the book: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half -with- America's Cheapest Family by Steve & Annette Economides and their web site.
So far I have inventoried my entire pantry, and only have the freezer and refrigerator to go. I downloaded an app for the iPad to keep it all handy. I now know what I do and do not have in my house. And the next step is doing a meal plan.
I am starting out with one week at a time to see how it goes. I again downloaded an app 'PepperPlate' to help me organize the meal calendar. The best part is that it is shareable between devices. So each person in the family with an iPad or smart phone now has access to it. So no more phone calls from the older ones asking me what is for dinner that night. They can open their app and find out for themselves.
I am one week down, and except for having to switch two days around, it has been working good. We have been craving certain things, and have been adding them to weekend menus. Like next weekend we want grilled hamburgers with wasabi mayo on toasted buns...mmm. I also want BLT's for lunch on Saturday, so those are getting added as we think of them. The funny part is that we are not a dessert eating family. And now with knowing what we have in our pantry, we are making more desserts. This came about when I realized that we had four large boxes of Rice Krispies and no marshmallows in the house. I am not sure if this is good or not quite yet...
I am still reading through the book, and will keep working on our grocery bills. I will keep you informed on the progress. Let me know of any secrets that you have, will you.