Recently, I was asked to think about the area in which I waste the most money. After much thought, I realized that the area of financial drain I struggle with the most isn’t in buying too many shoes or buying a daily Starbucks (although I do love both new shoes and Starbucks). My area of waste is my kitchen. Specifically, my refrigerator.

I buy food I don’t use, and it goes bad. Or, I don’t have something planned for dinner, so I am more likely to fall into the temptation of eating out – which isn’t good for my wallet or my figure. I just cleaned out  my fridge last night, and I was appalled by how much stuff got thrown away. It’s time for a change.

Right now, I have the Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook in my lap, and I am trying to get ideas. I face two big challenges when it comes to meal planning: my own laziness and my picky husband. He’s not a big fan of vegetables. Or spices. Or beans. He’s a big fan of the kids’ menu. So I have to find things that I can adapt to fit his taste. Another challenge is that I’m not exactly an awesome cook. My repertoire is pretty limited. I know that I get sick of the few dishes I make well; I’m sure my family does, too.

Here’s my plan for the week:

Monday – Keeping it easy with spaghetti. Sauce made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. Don’t tell my husband.

Tuesday – Pulled pork sandwiches, made in the crock pot. I’m a bit of a crock pot addict.

Wednesday – Date night! I don’t have to cook!

Thursday – Lemon-garlic chicken with rice. In the crock pot again! I know, I know.

Friday – Beef and noodles seasoned with bay leaf. Very popular in our house.

Weekend – Leftovers! And maybe “breakfast for dinner” one night.

Do you menu plan? How do you do it? Any tips for a newbie like myself?