Have you been wanting to cut down on your grocery bill each week, without having to compromise on your nutrition and health? While buying fresh food can become pricey each week, there are several ways that you can meal plan and stay on a healthy track while saving some cash.
If you are not someone who normally figures out a meal plan ahead of time, it is a great way to save money in general, as it will help you to prevent any last-minute takeout or delivery splurges throughout the week.
We have pulled together some ways that you can meal plan and stay healthy while also staying on a budget.
1 – Know what your menu is for the week.
First, know what it is that you would like to meal plan for the week. This is totally personal preference and depends on what you, or you and your family, enjoy. For some people, they prefer to prep a few different meals throughout the week so that they are not eating the same thing each day. For others, eating the same meals each day helps to keep them on a healthy track.
As you are deciding what you would like to have for the week, make a list of ingredients that you will need for the meals, which you can plan to bring to the grocery store so that you have a plan when you get there and can avoid spending money on anything extra.
2 – Check what you already have on hand.
Before heading to the grocery store, take a look in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to see what you already have and what you can use for the week. Make sure that as you are checking out what you have on hand you are taking time to look at the expiration dates to see what should be used up first. If you have some items that will need to be used in the upcoming week, try to incorporate them into your meal plan.
3 – Look at what is on sale.
Another thing you should do before heading out to shop is check store flyers as well as coupon sites online. You may be surprised at how many great deals there are at various grocery stores that you would never know about had you not checked it out! And of course, when you get to the grocery store of your choice, look around to ensure that you are purchasing each ingredient at the lowest price possible.
4 – Avoid any recipes that require a special ingredient.
A meal plan should be quick, easy, and convenient. If you are looking at recipes that require a special ingredient that you know you will not have or would not normally buy, consider avoiding that recipe. In many cases, special ingredients can not only cost more, but may not work in other recipes, and therefore may be hard to fully use up.
5 – Make extra to freeze.
When you meal plan, you are ideally prepping enough food to help get you through most of the week. If you have the time and the ingredients, consider making extra so that you can not only serve and enjoy, but also freeze a batch in meal-sized portions for you and your family to go back to.
6 – Make sure you are eating something you enjoy!
After all your hard work preparing, shopping, cooking, and prepping, you want to ensure that what you make you will enjoy so your food will not go to waste. If you are prepping for your family, encourage them to get involved in the process so you can prepare balanced meals that everyone loves!