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I’ve gotten away from meal planning and it has certainly cost me money. What I’ve found with our family grocery budget is that without a meal plan in place, we make many more “short” trips to the grocery store and spend way too much money!
Another reason for meal planning is the way that it can help you use what food is in your pantry or freezer before purchasing new items. Since we moved to the midwest, we’ve found that food prices are higher in our supermarkets. Most items cost more, especially chicken. Because of my chemical sensitivities, I have to purchase organic meats (which are very pricey). So shopping around is necessary.
With meal planning, shopping the various store weekly ads can help me to buy what’s on special. This helps tremendously for meeting my goal to shop for a variety of delicious foods that are temporarily marked down. It pushes me to vary the menu plan, otherwise I tend to get in a rut with my meals.
It’s also important to use every coupon and cash back service available to me. I love to shop in stores that offer digital coupons and most stores do that now. I can easily plan a meal based on a terrific coupon. This is also a good way to stockpile things that you’ll need when they are marked down + have a coupon code (or paper coupon). Some of the cash back services change their list of items often, so it’s helpful to check the list often.
Here are my favorite apps to save money:
What are your favorite ways to make the grocery bill grow smaller? Sometimes the items on the coupon or cash back apps cost more than the grocery’s generic brand. Trying some of the generic foods is usually my preferred option, but some generics aren’t near as tasty. Also, if you look carefully, you can often purchase the name brand cheaper with the generic using sales + coupons.
Here is the weekly meal plan:
Monday: Pan-fried Cod and Green Salad
Tuesday: Potato Soup
Wednesday: Spaghetti and Green Salad
Thursday: Tuna Noodle Casserole and Green Beans
Friday: Home-Made Pizza
Saturday: Fish with Baked Potato and Green Beans
Sunday: Salmon Patties with Mashed Potatoes and English Peas
Our lunch menus are usually leftovers or sandwiches. I keep deli meat, cheese, and bread in supply. Breakfast consists of oatmeal with fruit and nuts or bagels. This keeps it very simple and quick. The above meals are favorites and I can practically fix them in my sleep.
Here are a few posts I wrote about saving money on food:
Do you meal plan? How has it benefitted you? I would love to hear!
@2019, copyright Lisa Ehrman