Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Spending too much time planning dinner each night? Busting your food budget? Meal planning and shopping once a week or monthly based on your family’s needs will save you precious time and money! Cut your Grocery Bill in Half. Meal Planning Saving you time and money.
Meal Planning Saving You Time and Money
Menu Planning is another option that can help drastically reduce your weekly grocery expenses.
If you have a small budget, it’s essential to know how to meal plan properly so that you can save money and still feed your family.
Most don’t even think twice about it and a menu plan to help organize their busy days.
For me, it eliminates the “what is for dinner” question and helps to reduce our grocery budget.
Aimlessly wandering down the grocery store aisles and grabbing whatever looked good at the time is not a good way to shop.
In fact, we need to start with the basics.
Becoming a Better Planner
Without a plan, you could be spending more than you bargained for at the grocery store. Even worse, grocery shopping before eating meals lowers your impulse control so you spend even more.
A simple grocery trip can easily blow your $200 budget, just because you are hungry.
Creating a shopping list will keep you better prepared.
Lists are great when you can stick to them. I like to write a list of the items I need for that week’s meals. I also keep a record of the items we are getting low on.
This helps plan for the week and keeps my stockpile up to par for our family’s needs.
Start by looking through the food you currently have.
You’ll be able to make sure you’re not buying duplicates of food you already have plenty of.
Overall, each month, I would save an average of 70 to 90% off our grocery bill by shopping loss leaders, using coupons & meal planning.
Even when money is tight, you want to enjoy the food that you’re eating.
You Can Become A Super Saver
Who doesn’t like to have a little extra in their wallets at the end of the week?
I found that by planning our meals; I spend less time at the grocery store.
I shoot for shopping at one store a week.
However, sometimes those loss leaders will pull me to a few different stores (not often does this happen). Plus, one store a week means less travel time and gas savings.
“By failing to plan, you are planning to fail.
– BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
The weekly grocery fliers are a great way to see what the store specials are.
Entire recipes can be planned around using only the items that are on sale this week.
SALES, SALES & More SALES – Make sure you are paying attention.
It pays to menu plan based on that week’s sale flyer.
Think of using those loss leaders to your advantage.
What are the loss leaders?
Loss leaders are marketing tactics that grocery stores use to get you through the door to shop.
They place select items on sale for the cost it pays them to put them on their shelves.
Often, the sales price won’t even cover the costs of the product — advertising, overhead, cost of the goods, etc. They will take a loss on the sale, hence “loss leader.”
These sales are advertised on the front of the sales flyers.
Pork chops & apples are on sale. Guess what?
I plan on making a pork chop apple bake for supper. I typically sit down on Sundays and plan my family’s meal plan.
Plus, I am purchasing more to stock up on.
I will make applesauce or freeze pork chops for a future meal.
Added Benefits to Meal Planning
Become a Better Cook
Menu planning has forced me to be a better cook.
My meals taste better because I put more time into planning them out in advance.
I have learned many new dishes to cook and I even have fun doing it.
YES, I said fun while cooking!
I usually try to experiment with a new recipe twice a month to change up the pallet a little.
This has made me a better cook, and it makes me enjoy cooking.
I am working on the cleanup part.
That is never fun for me. I love that the kids are getting old enough to start helping out more.
By planning out my weekly menu for the following week, it saves me many hours of planning.
It is all done in one day. I love that meal planning will eliminate the “what’s for dinner?” question every day.
If you end up having a busy day and don’t have time to cook that week’s planned meal, I keep 3 fast meal ideas and the items I will need in my pantry.
My fast meals are quick dinner ideas that I can make in 15 to 20 minutes.
Such as taco night, Spaghetti and meatballs (I make and freeze meatballs ahead of time), etc
Freezer cooking is a great time saver and will help with meal prep.
Here are some tips to getting you started.
Save Your Sanity
I have very little patience when I am starving. All I can think of is, “ what can I eat right now?”
It feels like I am wearing horse blinders and I can’t see past the moment of starvation.
Planning my menu has saved my sanity.
You can always count on dinner being served at 5 pm (In our house).
Do you know why? I have become organized.
I know exactly what I am supposed to cook on any given day.
This is a great benefit when you have a million and one things going on in that brain of yours.
The more you meal plan, the easier it becomes.
Women by nature are great at multitasking, but let us not overdo it. Save your sanity, time, and make a menu plan. Meal Planning Saving You Time and Money.
Are you a menu planner? I would love to know.
How to prep each week for your meal? Leave us a comment below.
To Read More About Menu Planning
- Menu Planning Apps & Tools
- Meal Planning 101- “Ready to Try Menu Planning” – Plus Free Menu Printables
- Frequently Asked Questions About Meal Planning
- Freezer Cook Like a Pro! – Easy Tips To Get Started