Meal planning is by far one of the best ways to save money on food. Going to the grocery store without a list and goal in mind is a disaster for your wallet. So, here are my four easy steps to make a meal plan.
First, know your ingredients.
Take a look at what you already have in your kitchen. Are there veggies in the bottom of your fridge that need to be eaten before they go bad? A frozen steak that just needs mashed potatoes to make a meal? Write down all the ingredients that you just found and that need to be used, you’ll start with these for your meal plan.
Second, search the sales.
Look through the store sales to see what you may need that’s on sale. I usually use the store’s app or look online, but if you prefer to keep the sale papers and look through those, that always works too. Continue making your ingredient list by adding in items that are on sale.
Choose what meals you want to make with those ingredients that you’ve written down and assign the meals to specific days of the week. Okay, this may sound like the hard part, but once you’ve done it a few times, it’ll come naturally to you. And, it’s totally okay if you need to use Pinterest for inspiration. You can also use websites like Supercook where you enter in the ingredients you have and it will give you recipe ideas.
Remember, you don’t have to write a meal for every single day if you don’t want to. Even if you want to just meal plan for three meals a week and “wing” the other nights, that works too. I always try to include at least one leftover night (we eat out of the fridge and mom gets the night off from cooking). So, make it your own and find what works for your family.
Fourth, go shopping!
Once you’ve got all the meals picked out in your calendar, all that’s left is to make a grocery list and get to it.
So, there you have it, a simple way to meal plan for your family. How do you prepare your weekly meals? Let me know in the comments!