Now that Ian’s back to work I’ve gone down to 3 shifts per week at work – and I’m loving it!
However, now that I’m working part-time my schedule isn’t always consistent, which has made meal planning a little more difficult.
I used to meal plan every week (one of the many reasons I miss being on maternity leave so much – it made grocery shopping very easy and inexpensive), but since cutting my shifts I’ve kind of gotten away from it a little bit.
We do our grocery shopping every Friday morning, but now I find myself working some Fridays and have to change my shopping to Thursdays – usually before my schedule has been posted at work.
Clearly not knowing what I’m working some weeks before I try and make our family’s meal plan has left our lists with holes and has me getting very, very close to our max. budget or going over.
Unfortunately this lack of planning has left me scrounging for ideas this week! I went shopping last Thursday morning before I knew my work schedule and definitely didn’t buy everything that I needed for this week.
And while that may leave some people running back to the grocery store, I’ve decided to just rummage through our freezer and cupboards for dinner ideas…but that’s all part of the fun and so far we’re making it work.
For instance, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce Sunday night, so last night we had leftovers. Tonight is steaks cut from half a roast I bought and froze a couple months ago, tomorrow night will be stir-fry made from the same roast and Thursday night I’m working – so grilled cheese is on the menu!
I’m hoping to find a system that works for us once again and may just have to do more pantry cooking weeks!
Pantry cooking (along with freezer cooking) is when you only make meals from what you already have in your pantry and/or freezer and buy nothing else (aside from fresh fruits and veggies, of course).
I used to love doing this and cooked from our pantry (and freezer) for 1 week every month. I’d actually forgotten all about this when I went back to work last November, but it used to save us $20-$30 a month!
I’ll be taking up the challenge once again, but maybe I’ll try this money-saving method every other week and save our family even more!