From contributing writer Kimberlee.
Are you trying to stick to a budget? Do you need to save money on groceries? Try menu planning!
I feed our family of six (including 3 teens and a 12 year old) for $125 or less per week, and the primary way that I am able to stick to my budget is by making a weekly meal plan. Here are just a few ways that menu planning saves you money.
Spend Less on Eating Out
It’s 5:00, you’re tired, and the kids are hungry, but you have no idea what to feed them. Looks like another trip through the drive thru!
Making a weekly menu plan will enable you to avoid eating out by default because you will know what’s for dinner, and on busy days you can plan to have dinner waiting in the crock pot. You will also be saving gas money by driving less.
Avoid Impulse Buys
Remember that time you went to the store for a gallon of milk and ended up with $30 worth of groceries? Menu planning helps you avoid those impulse buys because you stay out of the grocery store except for your once-a-week shopping day.
You will also spend less on groceries because making a detailed menu plan enables you to make a detailed grocery list which means you can purchase exactly what you need at the store rather than grabbing whatever looks good.
Use What You Have
Making a weekly menu plan enables you to take time to inventory what is currently in your pantry, fridge and freezer. You don’t buy a third container of chicken broth because you are aware that you have two at home. Using what you have enables you to spend less on groceries too.
Why not give menu planning a shot this week?
Menu Planning Resources
- Five Simple Ways to Menu Plan
- 14 Days of Real Food Menu Plan
- Weekly Menu Plan Ideas
- How to Menu Plan
- Easy Meal Planning (including free forms)