So, here's my first update on life with the new E-mealz plan. Some of you asked me to keep you posted on how it worked for me, so here goes.
Now, let me clarify and say that I did not, by any means, actually follow the meal plan. Ha! You're probably wondering then, why I would give it a thumbs up?!? Well, here's why... It gave me 'tracks to run on', so to speak. The meals gave me a basic structure to work with, and I actually did 'plan' on making most of them. There were two that, right off the bat, I decided needed to be swapped out for something of my own...I didn't think that Chicken & Sausage Soup nor Rainbow Layered Salad would fly real well with my gang. So, I just stuck in Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup instead of their soup meal, and left the other slot blank, because in my universe, I never make SEVEN full meals in a week. Of course, they just give seven meal menus, and it's up to me what days to use them on. Turns out, due to schedules and leftovers and such, I only really made three full meals last week...the other days were leftovers or breakfast foods, and one night because of flying around here there and everywhere, we did hit the Burger King value menu. (With the main goal of all this to stick to being within my budget, and we do have some take-out built in to the budget, a $9 spend for the fam for that evening was well within my allowance.)
Now, last week I did buy most of the groceries for many of the meals, so since I didn't make them, I still have them on hand. Plus, I did have a few things stocked away in the freezer. So, this week I'm pretty excited to see how I can stretch what I already have and spend even less than I did last week...which was $148.37.
Now, there may be a random grocery stop or two that didn't get added in, to grab milk or something (I just quick added my 3 main receipts)...and last week did not include anything like paper products...TP, paper towels, etc., for what it's worth.
So, when I printed this week's menu, the first thing I did was scan it to see if there were meals that could use up the stuff I have on hand, and sure enough, there are. Almost all of them, in fact! From the way things are looking right now, I don't think I will be having to buy any meat at all, and because about half of my shopping last week was done at Costco, I still have a decent amount of other stuff on hand too. I'd love to see if I can make it through this week only spending about $50 to 'top off' a few things we need weekly like cereal and some items for the kids lunches. And yes, we're gonna need the good 'ol TP and such...so that'll jack the total up a little bit. (The more I think about it, the more lofty of a goal it seems, but I'm gonna try!)
I will admit, it does throw me off a bit to have my grocery-week run from Wednesday-Wednesday. Because, in my mind, a week is Sunday-Saturday. I get to the weekend and think "I made it!", when in reality, with my plan, I'm actually only half-way. So, it's another of my silly mind games, but I'm just saying...it's a little weird for me.
I'll continue to post my progress in using this plan, and in the meantime, let me know if you have questions about it or anything specific you'd like me to post on about how it works.