Meal Planning made Easy!
One Simple Tip that Changed My Grocery Bill Forever!
If I could give you one simple thing that has forever changed my grocery bill it would be learning to create an effective Menu Plan and learning to stick to it! I used coupons for almost 6 months without seeing any reduction in my spending before I finally discovered the lost art of Meal Planning.
Creating a meal plan is simple; Follow these three simple steps to get started:
– Start by taking Inventory of what you already have on hand. I am shocked how many times I go to the store and buy something I already have when I’m shopping without a list or a plan. We all do it, we don’t want to get home without something we need so we buy one “Just In Case” You can save a lot of money by planning your menu from what you already have on hand.
I like to take a quick visual inventory of my Freezer, Fridge and Pantry before I start my meal plan for the week.
– Create your menu from what you already have starting with Protein first. Protein is the most expensive part of each meal so starting with this helps you save money! Here’s an example of how this works. If I see that I have some leftover Ground Beef in my freezer then I think of meals I could make using this and write it down on my Menu on a night that works for us. I could choose from Chili, Sloppy Joes, Tacos, Spaghetti, any one of those meals would allow me to use what I already have and help me reduce the amount I need to buy.
– Add in Any Extras you need. Once you’ve written down a list of the meals you plan on making from what you have on hand, make a shopping list of all the other items you need to complete each meal. For example, to make spaghetti you may need to add Pasta Sauce, French bread or Green Beans, whatever you need to complete the meal for your family.
– Don’t Forget Special Events. I like for my meal plan to be complete, I include snack ideas, and any special events I need to cook for or take a meal to. By making sure that all the items I need to cook in a week are on my meal plan I can avoid additional trips to the store and this helps me build a better shopping list that’s complete.
Plan for Success
Did you know that you can save almost 30% just by shopping with a list and avoiding impulse purchases. Once you have your menu plan complete you can create a shopping list of all the items you need to buy for the week.
I like to add in any sales that I want to grab or deals using coupons from the Store Pages on PassionForSavings.com while I’m making my Shopping List. Going through the sales before I shop helps me plan my shopping list and make sure I have all the coupons I need before I hit the stores! I just add any deals I want to grab to my shopping list, this is another way I make sure it’s complete and that I can stick to it when I get to the store.
Creating a Menu Plan and shopping with a list will save you so much money! It’s a simple idea & it takes some discipline to develop this habit, but it is the one thing I credit with reducing my grocery budget the most and the one thing that I still do every week, even if I don’t clip a single coupon because it’s vital to staying within our families budget!
We have a FREE Printable Menu that you can download and use to start planning your families meals today! Just Click this link to download the FREE Printable Menu, then use the strategies outlined in this lesson to help you get started!
You can also download our FREE Shopping List here to go with the menu plan worksheet.