Today we are talking about saving money by doing a Weekly Meal Plan! How many of you do a meal plan each week?
One of the easiest ways to save is by cutting down on my food expenses and I do that by weekly meal planning. I find that when I follow my meal plan I end up spending less money at the store and also end up wasting less food–which in turn saves me money 🙂
I have to admit, I resisted doing a meal plan for many years, saying that there was no way I could plan what I wanted to eat a week from now! Where is the spontaneity in that? What if I just wasn’t in the mood for that nights meal? However, when my family took a beach vacation last year and I had to plan and pack very carefully what we were going to eat all week I truly saw the benefit of having a meal plan. I was able to sit down, plan out exactly what I need to make, what I needed to bring and then while we were on vacation I was able to relax knowing that everything was prepared and ready to go. I just needed to look at my plan for the day, defrost what was needed and we were all set. It really made the vacation more enjoyable.
Now I will admit, I do occasionally fall off the meal planning wagon and during those times I find we tend to eat out more, eat less nutritious meals and spend more on food.
So here is how I do my meal planning. First I print out the NEPA MOM Printable Weekly Meal Plan. I then check my fridge, freezer and pantry and see if there are any items that I need to use up soon. I also take note of any items that I need to stock up on. I then consult my calendar to see what nights I need to make quick meals and fill in those with our favorite standbys–like tacos.
Finally, I check the store fliers and see what items are on sale that week, print out my coupons, and plan my shopping trip to round out my meals for the week. At this point I also make a note of what is on sale this week that would make a great meal for the following week.
I then hang my plan on the fridge and consult it every morning to see what I need to do to prepare for dinner that night.
Hope this helps you plan your meals and save some money! If you already meal plan please share with us how you do it so we can all learn from each other!