Feb 5, 2020

Family Meal Planning and Budgeting

I shared the other day how meal prep helps us stay healthy both physically and financially.

Buying groceries is where a big chunk of our money goes. I do my best to clip coupons (which there are so many apps for nowadays, yay), and I try to meal plan and prep. This helps insure we aren't buying food that will go to waste, throwing random things into our cart that we don't need It also assures we aren't over spending on eating out.

Now, don't get me wrong we love to go out to eat. It is a fun family activity, and something we enjoy doing on date nights, but it is way more expensive than eating at home. So, we try to limit it.

I know budgeting looks different for everyone and for every circumstance, but this is what works for us.

Tips for Meal Planning and Food Budgeting

1. Shop your pantry and fridge / freezer first. Check to see what you have on hand and try to use it up in your weeks meals.

2. Make a list of things you can make using what you already have. Plan out breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. You can add snacks in too. Write down the ingredients you are missing and need to buy.

3. Buy the items you need. 

  • Make sure to shop around. Check and compare prices at the stores you frequent the most. 
  • I have an app for each of the places we buy our groceries at, and make sure I am getting the item at the cheapest place. This is time-consuming, but every penny counts. 
  • On a scrap piece of paper I write down the name of the grocery store and the items I need from that store. 
  • I will also add any coupons for the item I need to the apps accordingly

4. Stick to the list. I put my blinders on. No wandering the isles or looking around.
  • For a while wandering the isles was something I liked to do. So, for a minute I would send my husband on grocery runs. It worked! We saved money every time.
  • A lot of retailers now offer pick up or even delivery. I know Walmart does FREE pickup, so if you're trying to stick to your budget and don't want to wander through the store adding random things to your cart, this might be a great thing to try.

5. Stick to your menu. 
I shared a meme last week it read- "Monday- Chicken and veggies. Tuesday- Chili. Wednesday- I ordered pizza. Meal planning is hard!" It is, but it is worth it. 

Hope this helps!

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