This week was a lesson in why you should plan ahead.
If you have been following this blog you probably already know that we took a trip this following weekend and it threw us for a little bit of a loop as regards our meal plans and shopping. (See the post Menu for Week Starting 4/11/2016) As a result we had to purchase ingredients for a couple of meals “on the fly” (See the #whatsfordinner posts for Tuesday and Wednesday).
Monday we ate on the road. So that didn’t factor in to this budget.
On Tuesday we had several errands to run after getting back into town so we picked up the stuff we needed to make dinner for that night “on the fly” while we were out. That ended up costing us $26.99. Then we were able to put together a menu plan for the 2 weeks.
As noted in the #whatsfordinner post for Wednesday we also purchased what we needed that meal “on the fly” from a local store. That ran us $40.17.
Finally, Wednesday evening, we were able to get out and do our real shopping. As before, we decided to buy our produce from Sprouts and the other items from Crest Foods. That added up as follows. Produce (Sprouts) $35.72 and Other Items (Crest) $46.76.
All told we ended up $50.36 under budget. Though if you look at the breakdown between the “on the fly” meals and rest of the meal plan its shockingly clear why meal planning is a necessity.
$ 67.16 - “on the fly” meals total (just 2 meals)
$ 82.48 - remaining meals total (6 more meals)
$149.64 - Grand Total
It’s really quite shocking how much you can learn from this. Even though we were making the meals at home we spent a lot more for the “on the fly” meals than we should. Why? After thinking about it a little it became clear. It is because you just stop and grab what you need at the most convenient place and just pay. You don’t shop. For instance as we were shopping for the remaining meals last night we took time to review what we needed and made smart choices like noticing that the Brazilian Flank Steak that we are making Friday calls for Flank Steak (duh). Well the Flank Steak would have cost us close to $15 whereas another cut of steak was on sale for $4.17.
Clearly there is no substitute for Meal Planning.