I’ll admit that up until a couple of weeks ago, my meal-planning had completely fell to the bottom of my list of priorities. I honestly can’t even remember the last time that I had meal planned. When we lived in our previous home before moving to Wisconsin, I was a meal planning queen and I always knew what we were having for dinner on any given night and our grocery trips were always based around those meals. It made life so much easier!
I knew I needed to revamp our current grocery and meal habits after sitting down one night and totaling up the amount of money we spend each month just on food. That includes grocery trips, eating out, fast food, and the food that I was purchasing at work instead of bringing my lunch. Boy was that a wake-up call! I knew that meal planning and packing my lunch again would help us save at least a little bit of money on our food bill. (Truth be told, we were spending more on food than we do on rent! UFFDA!)
Meal planning can seem a little tedious and a little daunting, but with just 30min of planning and a trip to the grocery store, you’ll be saving a little extra money and you’ll actually know the answer to the question, “What’s for dinner tonight?”
Meal Planning Tips:
1. Grab your cookbooks, your laptop and pull up your favorite Pinterest recipes and list requests from your kids and your spouse.
2. In addition to cookbooks and Pinterest, you’ll also need a notebook and a pen. Title your first page, “Grocery List” and the second page “Meals”. Further divide your grocery list into each section of the grocery store. (i.e. Produce, Meats, Dairy, etc.)
3. As you peruse your cookbooks and Pinterest, add your meals to the “Meals” list and the ingredients for each recipe onto the correct section of your grocery list.
4. You can take it one step further and even add each meal to each day in your planner or to a calendar in your kitchen. That way you’ll have your meals planned out for each day.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m driving home from work at the end of the day and Cory asks me, “What’s for dinner tonight?” I get a little cranky if I don’t know the answer to it. Knowing ahead of time what I’m making for dinner has immensely decreased my evening stress and increased my productivity after I get home from work at night!
In addition to evening meal planning, don’t forget to plan out any school lunches, work lunches, and breakfasts as well. Add those ingredients to your grocery list and you’ll be good to go! Prior to starting our meal planning again, I was constantly stopping at the grocery store on my way home from work to just grab “a few things.” That always turned into grabbing a few more things that we didn’t need or running through the drive-thru, which obviously costs significantly more than what it would cost to just take the extra time to plan ahead!
Hooray for organization and saving a little extra money on that grocery tab!
What meal planning tips and tricks do you have?
I’m dying to hear them– anything to make this process easier!