Save Money by Learning How to Make a Meal Plan
If you are struggling to make ends meet or you want to free up money from your monthly budget have you considered making a monthly meal plan? Planning your meals and doing your shopping either weekly or monthly can show great benefits by reducing the amount of money you spend on food for your household.
Last minute trips to the local take away outlet can make serious inroads into your budget, so the idea of this system is to make a plan and try to stick to it as much as possible. You can off course incorporate trips to the take away in your plan, if want a treat or you know that a certain day will be hectic and will leave little time for cooking.
The first thing you need to do is to get a pen and paper and write a list of the food you currently have in you fridge, freezer and larder. As you go make a list using the headings of meat, vegetables, herbs, spices, oils etc and their locations. I bet that as you work you will find food that you didn’t know you had.
Once you have your lists of foods you can then start meal planning. You might want to do either a weekly plan or go for a monthly plan. If you do decide to make a monthly plan then you will need to shop more than once a month as you will no doubt need perishable items. If you stay with a weekly plan then it should be possible to shop just the once that week.
It is a good idea to check what is on special offer at you local food store. You can either search the internet or look at the adverts in the local papers for offers on staple foods. Incorporating the foods that are on special into your plan will help to reduce costs. Also you may want to get out any cookery books you have for inspiration. Using this information you can start to plan your meals. You do this by making a grid on paper with the days and meals marked out on them, or type meal planner into a search engine to find a suitable form you could print out.
Think of all the meals you can make using the foods you already have in the house. For example if you have found a packet of frozen chicken breasts, you could make a meal of chicken wrapped in bacon, with salad and guacamole just by buying some bacon and salad vegetables and avocados. As you work through the days filling in the blanks for breakfast, lunch and dinner, find recipes that will use up the items in you stores, adding to your shopping list those items you will need to buy from the store.
In the end you will have either a week or month’s worth of meals and a shopping list. The important thing when you go shopping the idea is to stick to the list; so that once the shopping is done you will have all the products you need for your meals plans and nothing else.
Following these simple steps provides an easy way to be in control of your budget. As this is an effective method to save money on your groceries. Good luck with your meal planning.