“Ano kayang lulutuin ko?” – This had been my usual dilemma every afternoon. Actually, thinking of what to cook is really not a chore for me. Anything connected to cooking is fun. So, I thought there was no reason for me to create a meal plan.
That was until I realized that I was wasting so much food and I was spending so much on food. One meal would usually cost us P150 on the average, and I would incur P3,000-4000 on groceries per week (baby’s milk excluded). Such realization made me decide to whip up meals which are cheaper but healthier than our food choices then. I have decided to create a weekly meal plan with a COST LIMIT. It’s actually challenging but the following reasons pressed me to carry it out: First, we are not getting any younger. Eating too much meat and junk food is definitely not good for us. Second, I need to cut our expenses. Windfalls have stopped from falling and our financial status is not at its best. We also need to save for Baby C’s education. Lastly, I need to expose Baby C to eating vegetables and to simple living.
So, here’s my meal plan for the week.
I have stated the corresponding (approximate) cost of the meal (rice not included). I have also posted it on the fridge so that my husband would know what to expect and so that our househelp would know what to cook for breakfast. And it also serves as a “HINDI UNLI ANG BUDGET NATIN” notice. Lol. Seriously, I believe that every member of the household should be aware na hindi pinupulot ang pera.
Together with this meal plan is a food shopping plan.
Wet Market for fish and seafood – Twice a month (It would be too tiring to go to the wet market every week. Although Farmers Market is relatively near to our place, I find commuting stressful. Besides, weekends are for resting.)
Puregold for canned goods, meat, baby’s milk, toiletries etc. – Weekly (Actually, I could go there as many times as I want since it’s just a few blocks away from our condo. There is also a Puregold near my workplace.)
Sidewalk for vegetables/fruits – Every day or as needed (There are sidewalk vendors near my workplace who sell vegetables such as broccoli, lettuce, squash, malunggay and all the veggies in bahay kubo. The veggies there are way cheaper than those in Supermarket or Farmers.
S&R – Once every two months (S&R has been my happy place. Hahaha. However, it has also been my temptation place. Haha. I really find it difficult to resist the Buy 1 Take 1 muffins/cakes, chips and cookies in giant bags, pizza and even the bedsheets on sale. Hence, the imposition of S&R trip limit.)
We can’t live without food. It’s definitely a NEED. However, delicious and unhealthy food is a WANT. In household financial planning, knowing the difference between needs and wants is crucial.
But you know, I don’t plan to eradicate eating out or eating greasy and extremely delicious food. I want to live the present as much as I want to prepare for the future. My objective is to live a simple but balanced life.