Learn the value of a weekly meal planner and save!

It's hard to make ends meet these days. Food is expensive and waste can sabotage your budget. You've got to be clever and organized these days, if you want serve balanced, nutritious meals and still stay afloat.

The carefree days of shopping on a whim are gone. This is not to say that you can't serve a variety of dishes that fulfill adequate nutrition and deliver a tempting meal at the same time. A weekly diet meal planner can be your solution.

It's easy to set up a weekly healthy meal plans. This task is best accomplished when you work on a month's calendar of menus. Why?

Every week, all of the grocery stores advertise their sale items, hoping to entice you to do your week's shopping with them. However, with food costs being what they are, you've got to forget store loyalty if you want your food budget to stay intact. You've got to check out the best offerings from each store, and use those items to build your weekly meal planner shopping list.

For example, you see that Joe's Market has chicken on sale at a great price. The manager at Joe's Market has given you an invite to peruse all of his groceries. Joe's is also offering sweet bell peppers at an irresistible price.

Go stock up on these savings, and pencil in what you can do with ten pounds of chicken and a bunch of bell peppers, over the next month.

You might make an entree of roasted chicken with salsa, chicken enchiladas, a big pot of gumbo, chicken salad sandwiches and a Chinese chicken cashew salad. Now there's a diverse set of dishes that can fill out a number of slots on your weekly meal menu planner.

Your family will be none the wiser at your clever integration of these bargains into their daily fare. You've got five different dishes from one basic ingredient. Buying that chicken at a sale price, in volume, fills in a goodly portion of your weekly menu planning for the next couple of months.

Let's say that shrimp is on sale this week. This nutritious menu staple can stand in for a diverse set of entrees. Get out your weekly meal planner and see where you can intersperse this delicious taste treat.

The traditional shrimp chef's salad is a good start. How about a shrimp and cheese omelet for a great breakfast treat?

Shrimp scampi is heavenly. Shrimp fried rice is extremely economical. A shrimp cocktail can add a glamorous touch to the daily menu.

The trick to your weekly menu planning lies in taking advantage of foods which are offered on sale. When you plan in advance, use your imagination and buy carefully, there's no excuse for a bland menu.