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Diligent Meal Planning and Budgeting

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Diligent Meal Planning and Budgeting




Do you know how to meal plan? Do you know how to budget for groceries?


I am a woman on a mission.  If you have followed this blog at all you know that my overall mission is to be more DILIGENT about how I do everything I put my hand to in this life.  I long to live Colossians 3:17 as my daily goal, ” Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

Even though it is a general mission, to “do all in the name of the Lord”, it is not any less powerful when it is applied specifically to daily activities in my life.  This year, I actually seek to take on several “mini” missions that fall into this one.


Spending less on groceries.

Let me describe my normal grocery routine: I write a menu on Thursday; I go grocery shopping on Friday. We occasionally use the menu to prepare menus through the week. That’s what my pre-Chronic Lyme routine looked like. Now the routine is, go shopping on Friday. Spend the two-week grocery budget. One week later we all act like nothing is in the house. 

What exactly is wrong with this? Uh – no menu, much less one that makes use of my OVERFLOWING pantry! I tend to menu (when I menu) what we all prefer to eat – so I end up purchasing a lot of food when there is perfectly good food in my pantry and freezer already. I am determined to change this.

So, going forward, I am going to spend very little on groceries. I am going to write menus using what I have in my freezers and my pantry. I am using the tips, ready-made meal plans, and recipes from the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle. I will also be using my subscription to SidetrackedSarah’s Freezer to Slow Cooker meals (we’ve already found some awesome faves). These ready-made meal plans are a HUGE help when I am struggling with brain fog or am just too worn out to think about what we are going to eat for the next two weeks.


          Do you have trouble with too much food but acting as though there is nothing to eat in the house?

When I read Proverbs 31:11-20 I am reminded that this woman had a plan for bringing food into the home – for her family AND for the needy. Menu planning, garden planning, researching healthy foods on a budget – all fall into this area where I need to improve. For this year, I am working to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:16) by being more diligent about our meal planning and prep.

Keeping an eye on how much is being spent is part of the deal too. Menu planning is one way to keep from overspending. Creating a grocery budget is another. Everydollar has a great post for getting started.

How do you budget for groceries? Weekly? Monthly?


So that’s my plan – shop my own pantry and freezer FIRST. Make a menu from recipes I have on hand from RealPlans and the Meal Planning bundles (I got last year’s too, just didn’t use it like I should have. Ugh.) Keep to a grocery budget.

Share your favorite tip or go-to recipe in the comments!





Angela – The Diligent Woman


If you want to work on getting your finances in order while also getting your menu plan figured out – check out the Master Your Money Bundle!

Take control of your family's finances.


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Great practical tips, Angela, but I have to say that shopping your own pantry and freezer FIRST is brilliant! We stock up on items as they go on sale, and then they get forgotten. I’m going to implement this tip in my weekly meal planning. Thanks! Pinning your post!

Amanda Hartrich

“One week later we all act like nothing is in the house” . . . Oh my goodness, we have the same family! And the same menu planning problem. This is great encouragement for me to get a handle on our freezer(s) and pantry. Thanks!

Julie Pfeifer

“Now the routine is, go shopping on Friday. Spend the two-week grocery budget. One week later we all act like nothing is in the house.” Ohhh, this is me! I must begin shopping my pantry and freezer first as well. I used to be much better at meal planning. I just need to sit down and jump back in. We’re working on our budget, and I know food is the place I can really save the most. Eating out kills our budget!

Aimee Imbeau

My husband does the shopping…and the cooking;) I am a very blessed woman! He plans dinner meals well – our most difficult meal is lunch, I find. Sometimes, I make pizza muffins or something like that ahead of time and have them in the freezer. That helps, but it isn’t always easy to that sort of thing!

Sarah Geringer

Great ideas here, Angela! I try to go through our freezer, pantry and refrigerators every week before making a shopping list, and then I build our meals around what we already have, filling in gaps with what we buy. Thanks for these tips!