We all know groceries are expensive. If you have a large family, this can be especially true.
If you are trying to cut your weekly or monthly food bill, a fundamental strategy is proper meal planning.
When you implement an organized meal plan, not only will you save money, you will also save time.
Who wants to spend all their time running back and forth to the grocery store?
Here are some ways that you can save money by keeping a meal plan.
I spoke about this topic on my Savings Segment on Fox. Watch the replay video here:
(I’ll add the replay video right here as soon as it’s made available from Fox)
Prevents You From Purchasing Items You Do Not Need
By taking the time to decide what ingredients, and the quantity that you need for each meal you can create a detailed list to take with you on your shopping spree.
By sticking to the list and checking to make sure you have every ingredient you will prevent having to return to the supermarket for items that were overlooked.
Without a list, you can become confused and distracted and end up with odd and end ingredients that you don’t need or incomplete meals.
Or like me, with several extra items like cookies or cakes!
Taking the extra time every week to compile a list is a little work but will save you money.
Enables You To Repeat Ingredients For Multiple Meals
When you are creating your meal plan, try to choose recipes where you can use the same ingredients for multiple meals.
Purchasing rice, pasta, beans, soups, tomato sauces, and canned vegetables are a great way to stretch your dollar.
Items like these can be repeated in several dishes such as different casseroles, multiple Mexican and Italian dishes.
This strategy enables you as the consumer to buy less and uses it for more.
You can reduce your grocery bill by purchasing these staple foods rather than the more expensive already prepped meals and you’ll get more meal for your money.
Helps You Keep Food Waste Down
Have you made meals where you had leftovers? What did you do with them?
Many times when we are not planning correctly, we tend to overestimate the ingredients we need.
By creating your meals, you can figure out exactly how much your family eats and how much or many of the ingredients you need to purchase.
If you have extra, make sure to save it. These are my favorite meal prep containers! They really help us from wasting leftovers.
Right after dinner, I pile up the leftovers in these containers and I immediately put them in the freezer. Then I don’t have to worry about the leftovers going bad or going to waste.
Don’t let fresh produce spoil; instead, chop up the vegetables when you buy them and put the ones you will not use right away into the freezer.
By saving and utilizing your ingredients, you will discover that you will need to buy less on your next trip to the supermarket.
Encourages You To Get In And Out Of The Store Quicker
Alright, this is a no-brainer people. The more time you spend in the store, the more money you are going to spend. Unfortunately, many people do not understand this concept.
Ever wonder why you don’t see a lot of clocks in the grocery store? The answer is simple they don’t want you to know what time it is. Store owners want to keep you in the store if they can.
When you already have an organized grocery list to go with your meal plan, you will be able to get in and get out fast.
Next time you are in a store try to get exactly what you need and then leave.Don’t stick around to see if there is something else you want or get distracted by an exclusive deal for an item you may never use.
Trust me it works!
I’ve even tried timing myself to see how fast I can get in and out of the store. I often make a game of it with the kids that way I am truly focused on getting just what I need. One child holds the clock and tells me how long I have left until my time is up. They encourage me and the goal of just buying what I need helps my budget!
Enables Better Organization
Having an organized freezer, refrigerator, and pantry comes from excellent meal planning.
By keeping similar ingredients organized together, you will be able to keep track of what you have and will be able to create better meal plans.
If you clutter these areas up with items that you don’t need or are mismatched, then you are doing yourself a disservice.
Your meal planning will run a lot smoother with proper organization.
Take a few minutes every week to scan through your kitchen and make sure everything is organized.
There it is folks. I challenge everyone to try and use these simple ideas to cut their food cost.
Implementing a meal plan is a sure way to get control of your food budget and finances.
Try it for yourself, and you will see.
It isn’t hard to start using these ideas today. Good luck to you all!
YOUR TURN: What’s your biggest attention grabber or time waster at the grocery store? Let me know in the comments below!
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