It’s not everyones cup of tea to decide what you want for tea on Friday when it may only be Monday but Meal Planning can be an essential tool for cutting down your weekly shopping costs.
I love thinking about food. I love cooking and I really enjoy my food but gone is the luxury of time. I also now have to factor in additional weekly costs that I never used to think about such as baby milk and nappies. I’ve always planned my meals. There was a point in my life when I lived on my own and money was tight. If i didn’t plan how I was going to use up left overs or work out where I could spend my money I would not have survived.
Meal Planning can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. I have attached a simple weekly sheet that can be printed. My suggestion would be to work out the meals just before you do your weekly shop. Therefore only buying what you need for that week. This in theory should stop you spending more than what you need to. Buying extra food which could potentially be wasted.
My Meal Planning sheet allows you to make a note of what will be eaten for the main 3 meals of the day. Write down what you and the children are going to eat even if you have a baby thats currently weaning. Allow for the veg and fruit he/she may need for those finger foods and purees. Once you have planned what your going to eat, perhaps utilising what you have in the freezer/fridge already then write down what you need in the shopping list section. Simple.
It’s a bit hard to get use to at first but once you’re in the routine of planning you won’t go back. This also gets rid of the last minute teas or takeaways. Allowing you to be healthy and eat wholesome meals. Knowing what your going to have on any given day will allow you to prep for the cooking side. Be it you put together a lasagne in the morning ready for that nights tea. It allows you to be organised.
This is a good way to get eating up left overs from big roast dinners. You could plan to have a roast chicken on a sunday then for the following weeks planning have a chicken curry on the monday using up the left over chicken.
Its all about investing a time at the beginning to save time during the week and to also save some pennies. Everyone loves to save money.
Do you already plan your meals? Has it saved you any money?