Carving out time in your busy schedule each week (or month) to meal plan can save you a ton of time. Setting aside just 20-30 minutes each week can end up saving you hours of time through the week but believe it or not, a little planning can also cut down on your grocery bills. That’s something we call can appreciate so today I’m sharing my favorite ways meal planning can save you money.
Before I started meal planning, I’d not only spend hours of wasted time trying to figure out what to have for dinner, we also find ourselves buying whatever we felt like at the grocery store only to end up with a pantry full of food that didn’t make sense or that just sat there unused.
For just the two of us, we could easily spend $125 to $150 a week on groceries. What’s crazy about that to me is that we aren’t brand snobs and we don’t buy a lot of junk food so It’s hard to imagine where that money was being spent.
Once I started meal planning, I was able to cut our grocery bill almost in half and on average we are now spending $60 – $75 depending on the week and what we are buying. Today I am sharing with you how meal planning has saved us about 50% on our grocery bills each week!
Meal planning saves you money because you are only buying what you need for the week.
I typically spend about 20 minutes on Saturday every week, mapping out my meal plan for the week. You can read more about my weekly meal planning process here. By making a detailed meal plan, I am making my list based only on the items I need to fill the menu items I have come up with. WHen I go to the store, I don’t need or get drawn in to other items because I’m only focused on what is on my list. This means that my bills are much lower because I’m not buying nearly as much as I used to.
Plan meals based around things you already have on hand.
The one are where B and I will stray from our weekly menu is with sale meats. We don’t eat a lot of beef but when shopping we always browse through the meat section keeping our eyes open for any “butcher specials” or reduced items. Anything that we find that we know we can use we will buy and freeze for future use. This is a big savings because the meal is often considerably less on sale and it gives us meal options for future weeks.
I always take a quick look through my pantry, food cabinets and the freezer to see what meals I can create around what I’ve got on hand. This in turn means that I have to buy less when I go to the store.
Plan meals around weekly grocery specials.
Living in a fairly rural area, we don’t have access to a lot of fancy grocery stores. We really only have a couple of options but that doesn’t stop me from checking out each store’s weekly specials to decide where I’m going to shop for the week. Any specials I plan to take advantage of will then help me form my meal plan for the week. Getting items on sale means I’m saving more money.
That’s it. Three very simple ways you can save a ton of money on your grocery bill simply by taking a little bit of time to plan you meals for the week. B and I have successfully cut our bill in half by doing this and it has become a part of my regular routine that I actually miss if I don’t do it. Our grocery bills notice it too.
I hope this inspires you to give meal planning a try and to help you get started you can access the exact meal planner and organized shopping list that I use. It’s 100% free and I send new designs out each month for free to those that are on my email list. Get access now by signing up below.