I’ve been eager to write my catholic guide to meal planning since I started this blog. This seemed like the perfect time to do it because I just got my new Blessed Is She Catholic Planner in the mail.
This planner has become an integral part of my meal planning. (FYI, I don’t get compensated from Blessed Is She. I just love the company and really love the planner and want to share my experience with it. I’m just a BIS fangirl).
As a quick aside, the planner is actually pretty expensive. That’s because it literally has everything you could ever want in a planner. Well, I saw that there weren’t a ton left to order, and I mentioned to my husband that I’d need to get it soon. I told him I didn’t think it was wise because we have some big purchases coming up. You know what he said? “Yea, but it’s for the family. I’m ordering it.” And he did. What a guy?!
Anyway. . .I love meal planning. I also love grocery shopping. For some reason, I get enjoyment from making a weekly plan and an organized grocery list. I especially love taking the kids to the grocery store. We usually stay for at least an hour and a half. I let them help put veggies in bags and items in the cart. My oldest insists on putting at least one thing on the belt at checkout. When the kids are less than thrilled to be there, I simply grab a box of something and let them munch.
I’m sure I wouldn’t find the experience nearly as fun if it wasn’t for careful planning. It’s essential that I get to the store with a complete list, written in the order of the store set up. Not only does planning make my trip go smoothly, but it also helps me save money because I’m not purchasing random items I haven’t planned for. This is essential for me because I’m a big sucker for good marketing.
Planning also helps the rest of my week go smoothly because it stops me from running to the store several times throughout the week. After a year and a half of careful budgeting, I’ve noticed that these little trips to the grocery store are probably the biggest sources of overspending for us. They often lead to us going to the more expensive store that’s closer and also getting more than we really need.
*Note* After I published my first meal plan I got a great question. The reader asked how I manage perishable food like fruits and veggies when I do all my grocery shopping for the week on Monday. I’m so glad she asked this. Certain foods definitely don’t make it at home from Monday to Friday, let alone the weekend, even in the freezer. For instance, I personally like to buy my fish the day I make it. For this reason, it’s most important to do the planning ahead of time, and less important to do all the shopping at once. Sometimes I’ll plan for the week and mark items I’ll get at a second trip later in the week. By doing this, I still avoid overspending and wasting time.
OK, now that all that’s been said, here’s my step-by-step guide to catholic meal planning:
And there you have it! This method honestly makes my grocery trips not only bearable, but truly enjoyable! I love knowing what my plan is for the week!
A couple final notes:
*On Ibotta. (Another FYI: same thing as BIS, I don’t get anything from the company, I’m just promoting it because it’s a no-brainer, in my opinion). I’ve tried every money-saving app under the sun (obviously that’s an exaggeration and if you have one you love, please leave it in the comments!). Anyway, I’ve tried a lot of them, and a lot of them felt like big fat scams. This app makes perfect sense. It’s not really “free” money, because they are paying you back for information. When you send your receipt, they use the information about what you purchase for, I assume, marketing purposes.
If you are OK with that, there is no reason you should not be using this. It actually blows my mind that more people don’t. My only suggestion is to use it after you’ve written down your meals. This way, you’re only looking for what you need. This prevents you from getting things you really don’t need simply because they look like good deals. Again, if you decide to download the app, please use my referral code (qnoywfa). You’ll get $10 off the bat simply for using the app one time and then I’ll get $5. It’s really pretty awesome.
*You may feel like something is missing in my plan, so let me just say, I don’t do coupons. Let me clarify: if a coupon that I can use crosses my path, I’ll gladly use it, but I don’t actively pursue them. I’ve tried it. I bought newspapers and ended up spending more on newspapers than I saved with the coupons. I’ve researched couponing online for a significant amount of time. I’ve also spent way longer than necessary searching for coupons online and printing them off. There always seems to be a glitch or something that prevents it from being easy.
Anyway, I’ve found that couponing makes no sense for me. It wastes both my time and money. If you are one of those magical people who have great success with coupons, I applaud you. Feel free to leave your tips in the comments. I’m never against re-trying something I’ve failed at in the past. For now, though, I’m no couponer.
Happy meal planning!