Menu Planning on a Budget

What's for supper seems to be a favorite question from my kids as of  late and I am usually asking myself that same question also at 3 or 4pm. A great fix to this problem is menu planning. I know the thought of menu planning can be very intimidating when you are new to it.

I am on a mission to get back into menu planning and I want to share my tips and help you plan low cost menu's also. I hear all the time how time consuming it would be to menu plan. I don't find it any harder than making your grocery list and combing coupons with your items. It will save time and money in the end and will be less stressful each night when it comes time to cook.

First what you need to decide is if you want to plan your menu and then shop or look at what is on sale and then plan your meals. If you are looking to make low cost budget friendly meals planning from the weekly flyers is likely the best way to go. Our flyers are out Thursday and start Friday. Sometimes they arrive on Friday but none the less I usually shop on the weekends. Want flyers online check out
How do you want to menu plan, on a weekly page or a monthly calendar? There are many options online for printable menu's for menu planning. If you are good with Excel or Word you can make your own also. I like a monthly plan as I can see what we had last week at a quick glance. I also keep my menu plans in a binder for idea's for other months when I need them.

Here are a couple sites that have Free printable menu planners:
Vertex 42 (I use the monthly calendar one from here)

I have also heard of people using Google Calendar but I have yet to use Google Calendar. If you try this way please let me know how it works for you. I would love to know more about Google Calendar and setting up menus with it.

Okay so we have something to write on now on to planning the meals. I buy my meat at a local butchers but the rest of my food is bought at the grocery store. Once a month I get a Fruit & Veggie box from our local health unit. It is at a group rate which helps us save a lot on these items and it is offered to anyone who is interested.

Usually I will sit down with an idea of what we would like to have for the week by looking at what is in our pantry, fridge and freezer and chose my groceries that are on sale to go with our meals. This week maybe ground beef is on sale, you may want to stock up enough to get through the month or so. You may just want to purchase enough for the week. Maybe this week you will do 2 or 3 ground beef meals.

As for recipes/meal idea's I usually take our favorites and rotate them over a 2 or 3 week period adding in a new meal here and there. I am hoping to get back to trying out a new recipe at least once a week. I have made a binder of our favorite meals and I use this as I menu plan.

I hope this helps and I will be posting more about menu planning in the coming weeks. If you have any comments, questions or tips please let me know. I will include those in my next menu planning post.



  1. Starting in January - I hope to be more organized in this area too!

  2. Would love to have you come share your menu with us on Marvelous Menu Monday :)


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