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Old 02-13-2003, 11:53 AM
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how to get started?

I want to start planning my meals and buying only what we need to help save some money.
Any advice on how to get started and keep it organized?

Martha
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Old 02-14-2003, 02:33 PM
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hello there.
www.organizedtimes.com
has a printable combo shopping list and menu planner.it is for a week.and i just use a whole punch and put it in a three ring binder.hope you have a wonderful day.
emmalee
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Old 02-16-2003, 09:13 AM
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This is something that will work great for me because even with a plan and a list, I tend to buy things that I THINK will be useful and used in my cooking, but then somehow doesn't. Or I stick to my plans and think I'm set for a week then find out a couple days later that there isn't really much to eat. I think it's poor planning on my part.

I can always use the extra help.
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Old 02-16-2003, 02:57 PM
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Well, I some how missed the combo shopping list/menu planner. Can you send me a direct link to it?

Martha
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Old 02-16-2003, 03:02 PM
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gosh i hope i do this right.
http://www.organizedtimes.com/grocery.htm
hope this works for you
emmalee
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:43 PM
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Feeding a Frugal Family

Check out www.budget101.com. She has a FREE downloadable e-book (it's like 32 pages I think, but it's double spaced) about how she feeds her family of four--two boys and husband--on less than $200 a month without eating just beans and still eating meat. I picked up some useful info for our situation, maybe it will be helpful to you as well. ;-)
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:36 PM
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The budget101 site is good--I've picked up a lot from there!!


What I did to get started was talk to my family and find out what things they want to eat. It's no use making a meal just to waste it because noone wants it!! Write everything down--you'll be amazed at how many things are cheap to make that are family favorites!! Then I made a master list of regular meals(lasagna, spaghetti, meatloaf, etc) that are fairly frugal. On this list is the list of ingredients for each item, to help me grocery shop and just get the stuff I need. I also have a secondary list for when things are very tight. Then I check the sales ads and my coupons, survey my pantry, and make a menu for the week(or month, or whatever). This way, I don't spend more than I need to, and I know my family will eat the food.

Also, start stocking your pantry!! This has been a lifesaver for us more times than I care to mention!! I always have stuff on hand so I can throw together a pot of meatless chili, or a batch of dinner rolls.(Soup is frugal, but with fresh homemade rolls becomes a feast!!) And always save the leftovers--they can become free food!! Every few weeks we have a "buffet" dinner, using the odds and ends saved. I don't "plan" the use of my leftovers, but will cook extra.(I know, for example, a whole chicken will make 3 or 4 meals. But I don't count on it, just in case lol!!)

Something else that may work for you, if you are creatures of habit: Make a straight menu and have the same stuff. Or, if that's too boring, have "themes"(Mondays are Mexican, Tuesdays are Italian, etc). This not only saves the hassle of figuring out what to make, but cuts down on time in the store, since you'll pretty much be buying the same stuff all the time!!
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:33 AM
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Wonderful ideas! I can get myself started buy fail to follow through.
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:07 PM
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We also have a member here at FC who has created her very own menu planner and shared it with all of us. It's a combo shopping list/menu planner. Just click the link above to check it out.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:17 AM
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Emma Jean & Martha. I checked the organized times site & found (under the resources tab) a link to a grocery list only form. Maybe the other is accessable only if you subscribe?
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