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I don’t know if this is belongs under the heading Ditching Debt, What to Eat or just ‘Round Here. It’s a handy little thing I’m working on that really helps in both areas.

One of the easiest ways to save money is by planning what you eat and shopping accordingly. No one would argue that groceries are cheaper than restaurants, but when you don’t have the proper groceries, what do you do? You go to a restaurant.

Consider this my restaurant insurance.

I’ve shown you how I use my calendar to create a weekly menu. Working that out only weekly helps me to account for food in my pantry that’s nearing it’s expiration date, what’s on sale at the store, and what we’re in the mood for. And of course, if I was unable to make that chicken casserole last Thursday, I still have the ingredients and I’ll pencil it in for Monday instead.

But sometimes, occasionally, every once in a while. . .

I don’t wanna.

I don’t have the concentration or creativity to think of what to cook that week. I think “Tacos on Monday, Chicken nuggets on Tuesday, and for Wednesday. . .um . . . tacos?”

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a comprehensive list of all the meals my family enjoys that I could reference in times like that?

I’ve tried. It’s nearly impossible to think of everything in one sitting to make a list.

What’s a girl to do? If only I made a list each week and wrote it down, then maybe at the end of the year I could look back over those weekly lists and. . .wait a second. I think I did something like that!

Before tossing my 2009 calendar into the trash, I thumbed through the pages while joyfully cataloging each meal into my computer.

Ooooh, maybe I could even make a ratings system! That would be cool. Just think, with a table in Word. . .

If you’re interested in seeing the comprehensive list, I’ll have a link here later today.