It is no surprise I love meal planning – but I have to confess – I am NOT a traditional meal planner. Having grown up in a one wage household with a mum whose meal planning personality is a Supermarket Strategist meant I grew up knowing at the start of the day what was for dinner that night because my mum planned meals in line with the supermarket specials and what was in season and growing in our vegetable patches (Italian background remember!)
While I didn’t inherit my mums approach to meal planning (I’m an Intuitive so plan on the day based on what I feel like), I did develop an understanding of food and appreciating its value – in dollar terms and how it helps to bring people together, sharing what you have, and creating simple fuss-free food.
To help use meal planning as a great strategy to save money, I’ve got four tips that are crucial to help you keep an eye on your food budget:
Do you actually know what your family likes to eat? If you do, ensure you cook those meals for each family member on different nights. Not only will you have less food waste, you’ll have a bunch of happy campers on your hands, that are willing to help because there is a special night dedicated to ‘their’ meal. What more could you want – willing helpers!!
What’s on Special?
As I mentioned, my mum’s meal planning personality is a Supermarket Strategiest. She loves getting a bargain and can tell you which supermarket has the best deals! She was so good at managing a food budget for a family of five on one wage. She is still so good at it and she loves looking at the junk mail to see what the best deals are for the items she uses on a regular basis. That is the key – saving money on items you actually use!
What’s in Your Pantry?
Your pantry presents an opportunity for you to buy your favourite ingredients in bulk when big savings are on offer. The trick is to be selective about what you buy in bulk, because you don’t want to overspend your food budget to the point of not getting the other items you need on a weekly basis.
I talk about this a lot, mainly because we are so used to getting fruit and vegetables all year round – regardless of season! Make sure you check lists put out by the fruit and vegetable growers authorities in your state to find out what is in season. If they are in season, they are in bountiful supply and cheap!
Louise helps busy women solve the What’s for Dinner Challenge and learn more about what’s in the food we eat. Her amazing e-book, Too Busy To Eat Well, is available to purchase from the SAHM store. (click here)
Home Economist @ http://www.mealplanningyourway.com/
Additive Alert Community Talks Presenter
Member of Home Economics Institute of Australia (HEIA)