Hello, my name is Justine and I was once a shopaholic. Phew now that’s off my chest let me explain how I was so surprised I was shopping all wrong most of my life.

When I was living in Brisbane my fortnightly shopping would be the same every time. I would sit down and make up a menu plan, briefly check my cupboards to see what I needed and head to the shops. We had a menu plan, a shopping list and I tried to buy in bulk to save some money. But when it came to packing up my house including my pantry I was so surprised! I had all this excess food that I had been wasting over the years and I couldn’t believe it.  How could I possibly have out of date items?

A lot of people ask me “How can I possibly afford to be travelling?” Travelling Australia is expensive but you can save momey. We are obviously on a tight budget so to keeping my grocery bill down helps a lot. I wish I could say this menu plan was my idea, but unfortunately, it’s not 🙁 I remember seeing something like this months ago on the internet but could not find it again. So this is my version to reduce my spending.

4 steps on how to use the No Waste Menu Plan

1. On the right side of the menu is “Food that needs to be used“. Go and check your fruit bowl, fridge, pantry & freezer on what you have that needs to be used in your next shop. This gives you the start of your menu plan.

2. Now that you have a list of what needs using,  you can go and create your menu around these items. This way you’ll use all your food before it expires.

As you can see Breakfast we general have cereal (2 different types) for the majority of the week and one treat. The girls always ask for pancakes on treat day and that’s perfect because they are cheap and easy to make.

Lunches if we are travelling it is always sandwiches and when we have stopped somewhere we’ll have something different just to mix it up a little.

The Snacks I have listed is what we pack in our little morning tea esky (a piece of fruit, yogurt pack, two biscuits, some dried fruit & nuts each) plus coffee each day. Once a week we’ll pack veggie sticks and a dip and we also add a treat to the shop. Just in case we are doing a tour and need the girls to behave (usually a lollipop).

3. Travelling/Stopping & Dinner – Before I can work out my dinner menu I need to work out if I am travelling or not. Our travel slow cooker is great to use on long travel days. And on a stopped day I generally use the Baby Q.

4. To Buy is obviously where you write your shopping list. It’s good to use this section throughout the week for all the little things that you have run out of.

It’s simple and easy to use and it made my weekly shop simple and reduced my spending. Don’t forget you can laminate your blank menu plan just as I did so you can use it over and over again.

So if you’re needing to save yourself some money then maybe you could start menu planning like this. Feel free to print off and use our  NO WASTE MENU PLAN here.

4 Replies to “Save money and food – Use our Menu Planner”

  1. I love it Justine. What a great idea. I mostly avoid my freezer because I don’t even really know whats in it most of the time. I am so going to start doing this. You have just changed me 🙂

    1. I hear you. I use to avoid the pantry. I just kept pushing things in the back. We have a family competition for the most out of date item. One member had meat from 2009, I had a can from 2007 and my mum had peppermint essence from 1980 lol. Love your comment Nadine

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