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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

WFMW: The Frugal Tip Edition - Meal Planning/Designated Nights

During these, let's call them "interesting," economic times, many of us are finding it necessary to become a little more frugal in our living. In other words... where did all the money go?

Our family is feeling this pinch in a very real way right now, so believe me, I've been looking for ways to cut our budget drastically. One place I knew I needed to cut and be more careful was in our grocery budget. Another was our eating out habit.

I'll be honest. There are a lot of busy evenings that between working all day and with regular evening activities we don't have a lot of time at home for dinner. Most nights like this, we'd grab something out.

NO MORE! the budget says.

I have begun to take a cue from many of my frugal online friends and somewhat plan out meals for the week. But there were still those annoying nights when I don't get home until 5:30 and nights that we have just become accustomed to eating out.

Then a couple of weeks ago we instituted some weekly meals that we don't have to really think about. We designated certain meals to the same nights every week. They're fun and easy for nights that we really don't want to think or cook a whole lot.

So, any time you come by our house on a Tuesday evening, we'll be having Taco Tuesday.... and on any given Friday evening, it's Pizza Friday.

(The great thing about Pizza Friday is that I am using my sourdough starter to make the crusts ahead of time, freezing them, and we can pull out a few at a time... SUPER FRUGAL!)

It has really worked well for us the last few weeks. In fact, I noticed on Sunday that we had not eaten out all week long. That is a MAJOR step for us.

What frugal tips can you share with me?

Visit Kristen at We are THAT family for more frugal tips on this Works for me Wednesday. You might even want to share your own.


Beth said...

We did Taco Tuesdays too for a long time. Now we had to change that to Mexican Monday for a variety of reasons, but if you need any frugal Mexican recipes let me know--I've got quite a few.

Anonymous said...

For our family, we do:
Big Dinner Sundays (Roasts, Chicken, Ham, etc.)
Leftover Mondays
Chicken on Tuesdays
Pasta on Wednesday
CrockPot Thursdays
Fish/meatless Fridays
Mom's choice/eating out Saturdays

Since I have a very picky preschooler and a toddler who runs around the table instead of eating, and a husband who gets "stressed out" by not knowing if he'll like dinner (he's also very picky), having the structure has really helped our family. I just now have to remember to say to my preschooler, "Oh well, I'm sorry you don't like the chicken -- lucky for you that we are having pasta tomorrow night).

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Good job Donna!! That is a hard adjustment to make! I really like the idea of having some nights be the same each week. I haven't tried that, but it would just be so much easier mentally.

Just planning the meals helps me stay on track better and eat out less. Thanks!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Good stuff! We do a set of nights each week but it changes from week to week.

We always have a spaghetti night, a breakfast for dinner night, etc.

Ya just never know when its coming!


KindaSassyCourtney said...

there is wisdom in planning ahead for the busy nights... cooking up a double batch of something and having it in the freezer ready to heat and eat ... congratulations on not eating out. Its not always easy.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! We do Brinner (bfast for dinner) on Fridays and Meatless Mondays. And I keep frozen corn dogs and chicken patties/nuggets on hand for those nights that I get home late or just plain don't feel like putting together a meal.

I'm not telling my hubby about your Pizza Fridays, though. He loves pizza more than anyone I know and I am not so good at the crust! :)