How to Save Money Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning
When I first started researching how to save money grocery shopping, I heard a lot about meal planning. After reading up on it more and diving in over a year ago, I can see how it’s really cutting costs. It’s easy – if you want to learn how to save money grocery shopping, start planning meals. On Sunday or Monday, look through your local grocery ads. Circle what’s on sale that you can use for a meal during the week. Then sit down and create a meal plan based on what you find on sale. You might be able to easily see how meal planning will save you time, but how exactly will it save you money?
- Planning meals around what’s on sale saves money. As much as you may want a steak supper, chicken may be the best deal this week. Instead of buying steak for full price and planning that as one of your meals for the week, plan on having chicken for many of your meals instead.
- When you plan out your meals, you are less likely to stop and grab. Having the meal plan for the week and having exactly what you are going to make brings down the temptation to stop and pick something up when you are uninspired to cook. Picking up take-out for your family costs around $20, whereas cooking from scratch should cost under $10.
- Shopping once a week saves gas money. Since you are planning out your shopping trip and you know exactly what you will need this week for meals, you won’t have to stop at the grocery store several times during the week, thus saving you time and gas money.
Start your own meal planning grocery list and stick it on the refrigerator. I keep the list of my weekly meals right in the front of the fridge (it also saves you from answering the question of “What’s for supper?” every night!) and then I keep all the recipes I need for the week in a binder in the kitchen. No digging through recipe books or trying to remember where I left that recipe, I always know right where it is.
When you’ve got so much else going on all the time, meal planning ensures that you won’t lose your sanity over trying to create healthy meals for your family. Plus, since you are planning them around the weekly sales, you will be saving money on your grocery budget.