Meal Planning Tips to Save Money and Sanity

SIMPLE FAMILY MEAL PLANNING TIPS TO SAVE MONEY – MEAL PLANNER TEMPLATES Last Updated on January 1, 2020 by Jane 2 Comments Sharing is caring! Share Tweet Pin Save thousands every year with these easy-to-implement family meal planning tips! Did you ever have times in your life when you overspend at the grocery, only to end up not having something to eat later that week? And then you consider take out, which is more expensive and unhealthier, and then beat yourself up for not serving healthier dishes for your family? Sounds familiar? I was there once, too! Fortunately, there is a way around it and it’s super easy and effective: meal planning. I’ve been meal planning for quite some time now and this is, hands-down, my most favorite tip on how to save money on food. This weekly routine has been instrumental in helping us cut our grocery bill in half, from over $600 per month to $300, and at the same time in eating healthy. WHAT IS MEAL PLANNING? Most of us plan for essential things in our lives with such dedication, whether it’s your dream wedding or the ultimate family vacation. But do you plan for everyday events like cooking and dining? Meal planning is not as grand as picking the menu for your wedding, but it’s an important aspect in life that allows you to feed your family with nutritious and delicious food while allowing you to save time and money. Think of meal planning this way: you sit down on the table one night, pen and paper in hand, and then you try to figure out what to feed your family for the rest of the week. When you go to the stores, you know exactly which ingredients to buy, and you’re sure you’ll use every single one of them. Welcome to This Mama Blogs Play Video The main goal of meal planning is to reduce your stress and take the guesswork out of your meals. When you know what to prepare and cook, you become less overwhelmed and more focused. And if you’ve always hated spending time in the kitchen because of the sheer amount of work you seem to have to do, then meal planning could make cooking more enjoyable for you as well. HOW TO PLAN YOUR MEALS EFFECTIVELY You don’t need a complicated, elaborate strategy to pull off an effective meal plan. However, there are golden rules that you should live by to ensure that meal planning truly serves its purpose. 1. CONSIDER WHAT YOUR FAMILY LIKES . Yes, you’d like good quality meals that are high in nutrition, but we have different tastes. It’s essential to ask your family members what they want to eat at different days of the week, so they actually look forward to dinnertime. 2. ANTICIPATE NO-COOK DINNERS. There might be times when you come home late from work that you won’t have time to prepare a hearty dinner, or when the kids have events that you deem it impractical to cook for just you and your husband. During these nights, you might take comfort knowing that you can throw in a pre-cooked dinner into the microwave or come up with an easy instant pot meal that you don’t have to watch often. You’ll find relief knowing that dinner’s delicious but almost effortless to make. 3. BE FLEXIBLE. You might think that deviating from the meal plan is counter-intuitive from having one in the first place, but you have to forgive yourself sometimes. If you planned to have roast chicken for dinner but forgot to thaw chicken in the morning, then you have to cook something else. You can have the roast chicken the next night. Meal planning doesn’t mean your dishes are set in stone; feel free to deviate when the situation calls for it. PRO TIPS! USE IBOTTA TO SAVE MORE MONEY ON FOOD! Earn cash back on items you regularly buy at the grocery store, such as milk, bread, vegetables, fruits, meats, toilet paper, toothpaste, medicine or yogurt. Make extra $0.25 for each grocery receipt you scan through the app! Yes, it’s that simple and there’s no need to link a credit card to start using it. It works like couponing but more convenient! I’ve been an Ibotta user for over two years now and have earned over $800 in cash back from my weekly grocery purchases and bonuses! Join Ibotta for FREE and you’ll also receive a $10 Ibotta Bonus after scanning your first grocery receipts. Join Ibotta INVEST IN HIGH QUALITY CONTAINERS Having high quality food containers at your disposal is essential in keeping your ingredients fresh for days and reducing food waste. I use airtight containers or mason jars for fresh salads, and use Ziplock freezer bags for freezer meals. If you’ll be microwaving, freezing or using a dishwasher, make sure that your containers are safe for doing so, too. mason jars SIMPLE FAMILY MEAL PLANNING TIPS TO SAVE MONEY

Want to save money (aren’t we all)? Maybe TIME? Me too. If you like me…