Save Money by Planning Meals Ahead
11/28/2016 10:30AM ● Published by Hood Magazine
- It’s good to begin with a visual of the amount you are currently spending on food. Get out a pen and paper and take a look at your bank statements. Add up all the money you spent on any kind of fast food or sit down restaurant in the last month. Combine that amount with what you have spent on groceries. That number will help you decide what your realistic budget for food should look like.
- First, choose a day that is convenient for you to be your weekly shopping day.
- Decide on a budget. Divide it up between which stores you plan to shop at.
- Start your meal plan by checking out all of the grocery sale flyers. What is on sale? What is in season right now?
- Search for recipes online that include as many of the sale ingredients as possible.
- Do a quick search online for printable coupons. Only search coupons for items that are on your grocery list!
- Do an additional quick search for store coupons.
- Most people will do a weekly meal plan, but if you’re a big planner, by all means go ahead and make a monthly plan, or even a 6 to 8 week plan! The more meals you have planned ahead, the better chance you’ll have at creating and maintaining a new meal planning habit for your family.
- For those 4+ week meal plans, decide ahead of time how often you want to shop. I will usually do one short weekly trip for fresh ingredients, then one big trip once a month, usually planned for the day after payday.