Use a Chalkboard to Post Your Weekly Menus

I have a two-fold approach to saving money on food. First, always have a menu. I bought a very cheap chalkboard ($3) and decorated it to match my kitchen decor. I write up the week's menu on that chalkboard based upon all the things I have in the house (it's a good time to go through the kitchen cupboards, the chest freezer, and all other nooks and crannies to discover the food you've forgotten about!).

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Making the menu first will cut your shopping bill greatly because you aren't buying things you already have, and you only buy those things you need. It has cut down on impulse buying and makes me look through all the sales papers for great deals.

Secondly, I reserve the bottom half of my chalkboard for the "Leftover Menu." After every meal as I'm packing up the leftover food, I write exactly what I have available, and I put the date next to it - "Green Beans (9/28)" This way everyone in the house knows what is waiting in the fridge (no more lookie-loos wasting precious energy staring into the fridge!) and we're all aware that there are plenty of things to eat. And if you include "Leftover Night" as one of your menu ideas, you can get rid of everything before it spoils.
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I have been doing this for several months now and have reduced the amount of spoiled or old food that had to be thrown out to next to nothing!

Comments

October 1, 20080 found this helpful

I do find that making out a weekly menu really helps me....then I don't have to dream up what we're having. Even if the menus change due to varous circumstances, atleast starting out with a plan is helpful. Sometimes I like to show the menus to my husband for his approval and other times I just let him be surprised. I do not use a chalkboard but rather just write in a notebook. I keep the menus too so some weeks all I have to do is pick ones that were already planned. My kids don't always like the same things but it usually works out and I can pull some things for them so they are happy and get full. My son would be happy with pizza every single day of the week and that's not gonna happen!

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