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Meal planning with a budget

I have meal planned before. Mostly just dinners and with no budget. Just made a list of dinners that we would have for that week, make the shopping list, and then bought it. I used to meal plan breakfast & lunch but once my first two kiddos started school, I stopped.
Things have changed, I have 4 kiddos in school (with 2 year old & soon to be newborn at home). During the school year isn’t bad since 4/6 eat at school. Summer time & school vacations are a different story. Dinners aren’t effected but not planning breakfast & lunch just throw me a curve ball. And it’s not like I am surprised when they are home…I have the school schedule!

I have also never planned with a budget before. Like I said, just wrote out what we wanted and then bought it. Should it be no surprise when I tell you that we, usually, run out of our food budget each month before the month is over!? It shouldn’t!
We usually go to the store with a list. Rarely do we go without or hungry. (<—— bad idea by the way!)

This month I am changing that. This month I am going to be aware of our budget & use it.
We will sometimes have to sacrifice meals that want to have meals we can afford. I will have to take time out of my day each week to look up ads, look at what is on sale, and plan our meals around that.
Will it be a pain? Probably.
Will it be worth it? Definitely.

We have a small budget to work with & it needs to feed 7 people, 3 meals a day + some snacks & a few desserts.

I will be updating how things are going, what I am doing, and some recipes if anyone is interested. I’ll give as much detail as I can.
I was already to start meal planning today but the 2 stores that we are going to do our shopping at, their new weekly ads don’t come out until tomorrow. So I will sit down with my pen & paper tomorrow for dinners. I have made my weekly list for lunch & breakfast.

I will be posting things & hopefully I can share something useful to you & you can share the same with me. This is a first & I am sure that I will mess up. But at least I’m learning!

Any tricks/tips or recipes that you have would be awesome!

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