How to Save Money with Meal PlanningMeal planning eliminates the dinner stress for me. I would wake up in the morning and just start thinking about what we would have for dinner. Meal planning helps reduce that stress. You can make sure you have all the ingredients necessary to make your meals for the week. My husband and I meal plan for just a week at a time and always shop from a grocery list. This helps us keep our spending on track.
First thing I always do when meal planning is sit down with my local flyers and see what is on sale. My favourite way to look through my local flyers is to go through my flipp app on my ipad. I don't get dirty hands but at the same time I get to see what is on sale. Flipp also has this great search on it so that if you are missing that one ingredient you can just type it in and it will let you know if anyone has it on sale for that week.
I also try to keep an inventory list that we go over on a monthly basis so we always know what we have in stock in our pantry, fridge and freezer. Knowing what you have on hand is half the battle. That way I don't purchase things that are not needed. Don't forget to take a peek in your fridge for items that need to be used up that week.
If you are meal planning for a family you might want to consult with your husband and children to find out what some of their favourite meals are or what they would like to eat the following week. Sometimes you might have to table the item then want to another week due to sales but just knowing they want to have that for dinner will make your job a lot easier.
A great time that I wish was given to me a long time ago is that if you are making a Lasagne for dinner one night why not make two of them up and pop one in the freezer for one of those busy days in your life when you are so drained and time is limited. For us it was hospital days with our daughter. We would have to drive into a different city so she could have her treatments and just talking about what was going on with her disease was exhausted and we all usually came home tired and hungry. It was such a blessing to be able to just pull something out of the freezer and have it feed our family by just throwing it in the oven.
When I am in a cooking rut or sick of making the same thing I turn to pinterest and the different recipes I have pinned there to help get some inspiration of things I could try out on my family. Creating a board in pinterest to post recipes you think your family would like is always a good idea.
- saves you time - no searching for what to make every night
- saves you money - no last minute trips to the grocery store which usually results into impulse spending
- improves your nutrition - less eating out and that allows you to know the ingredients you are actually using to make your meals.
Finally put your shopping list together of the items you need for the week and stick to it. Do not put anything in your cart that is not on your list. Once you get home make sure you have posted your meal plan on the fridge or on a calendar near by.
Happy Menu Planning!