How many trips do you make to the shops each month? How many of those are planned? You could be spending extra money each month by taking those unplanned trips. Planning your meals ahead of time can take the impulse shopping out of your grocery budget.
Get the Family Involved
It is uncommon for the entire family to like to eat the same things, and lets face it – kids are fussy eaters. Each person has their own tastes. But when each family member gets a say in at least one meal a week, these differences in tastes can become a chance to be creative, instead of a struggle.
Sit down with the family and plan the week’s meals together. Each person can be in charge of planning one day’s dinner. Kids learn proper nutrition and cooking through planning meals. When you get the entire family involved in the meal planning and preparation, your meals will be more successful and everyone is happier with the results. And, although you’ll find many meals planned for many different tastes, in planning you’ll discover there is probably more overlap of ingredients than you may have thought. You are already cutting down the trips to the grocery store.
Use a Grocery List
When you use meal planning, you also plan when to go to the shop. If you plan meals for a week, two weeks, or a month, you can stock up on foods needed over and over again during those upcoming weeks. Now you can shop at the big food warehouses (such as Costco if you have it in your area) and stock up because you know you are going to be using that ten kilograms of mince and five bottles of pasta sauce.
Avoid deviating from your planned grocery list too much. That is where we all get into trouble in the money department. When you see an item that appeals to you, remember, the store is in business to make you want to buy everything you see. That’s what impulse buying is all about. Just because you see a pretty display of spices doesn’t mean you should buy anything. If it’s not on your list you don’t need it; at least not this time.
Use Online Resources
Having trouble coming up with menus? There are online resources and menu services that will create a week’s worth, or more, of menus for you along with cooking tips and a grocery list. You may be charged a membership fee to take full advantage of these services. However, the money you save with meal planning could easily cover the fee. Type “menu planning” into your search engine and browse the results. Choose one that meets your family’s nutritional and scheduling needs.
Making fewer trips to the grocery store is a proven method for saving money on your food budget. Menu planning takes the guesswork out of what you will be making for dinner. And, since you have planned your meals for the week, you can plan your trip to the grocery store. See how it all works together to save you money?