Jul 14 2009

Meal-planning inspiration

I’ve been getting away from meal planning and I don’t like it one bit! Time to get organized once again.

If you’re looking for motiviation to plan your weekly menus and some new organizational ideas, you won’t want to miss this fantastic “back to the basics” guide from Simple Mom.

I’m trying out her idea to use Delicious to help organize all the wonderful recipes I’ve come across online.

I’m also organizing some of our family favorites into a spreadsheet so I can quickly come up with some good options for the week, instead of spending time poring through web sites and cookbooks.

Being in a different part of Pittsburgh, I’m having to find my way to new grocery stores.

Fortunately, I’m close enough to an Aldi to make a weekly trip if needed. I still love Aldi for pantry staples, dairy, certain frozen items and sometimes produce.

Aldi doesn’t have it all, and I’ve been visiting a local grocery concept store called Market District from Giant Eagle. This place is overwhelming and insane. It requires a map. I think on the whole Giant Eagle is an expensive place to shop, but if you’re seeking certain ingredients, it can be a helpful place to go.

In their bulk spices section, you can get whichever amount you need of herbs and spices rather than buying an entire container of an uncommon spice. Less waste, and less total cost.

I’ve gotta be careful though, because the store can be dangerous. They offer lots of free samples and demos, and everything looks so durn appealing. I can see myself spending way too much there if I’m not careful.

Locals, have you been to a Market District? How do you save money there?

If I can work it around Johnny’s nap schedule, I’d like to hit up a farmer’s market if I can. Next summer, I’d like to join a CSA.

K, back to menu-planning I go!


Additional related posts:

  1. Overcoming some menu-planning challenges this week
  2. New Aldi store near me! YAAAAAY!
  3. Cost-calculated meal plans



3 Responses to “Meal-planning inspiration”

  1. I have not been to a Market District, but I love visiting stores that offer the option to buy bulk spices. I’m in Iowa and there aren’t many national chain grocery stores around, just a couple regional ones and Wal-Mart. The nearest Aldi is 30 miles away. Maybe you have better luck with their produce, but around here, it’s often old or tasteless. They have quite a few good deals though.

  2. I’ll have to compare, I never thought of Giant Eagle as particularly expensive (though that could be a regional thing). I like the “Market District” items I’ve tried that they sell in a regular Giant Eagle, so I’ll be curious to hear more about the “Market District” stores!

  3. I love Aldi!! I feed a family of six with a $400 monthly grocery budget by shopping at Aldi and planning my meals. Aldi had definitely evolved over the past couple of years. They now offer lean ground turkey and whole wheat pasta which were 2 of the main items I would purchase at larger stores. I use my little pocket calendar to plan my meals and can easily reference earlier months for dinner ideas. This works for me b/c I shop monthly instead of weekly. Meijer, which is currently only located in the midwest (I think) has a mealing planning widget; their site is http://www.meijermealbox.com. Even though there isn’t a store by you, you can still use it to plan your meals. It is really cool, you choose your recipes for the week and it generates a shopping list for your automatically. You can even add or delete items from the list that you either need to purchase or already have.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (5), Vivienne (3) and Amelia (born September 2013) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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