The following is a gues post from Randa over at The Bewitchin’ Kitchen. If you’re new to meal planning, she has a meal planning course for you! If you purchase Randa’s meal planning course through my affiliate link, I will send you my Printable Meal Planning Bundle for FREE. Just forward your receipt to me at [email protected] and I’ll email it to you! The Printable Meal Planning Bundle is $25 – and that is actual price, not an inflated price – so this is a super good deal! OK – on to Randa’s post!
There are many benefits to meal planning but certainly one of the most important is that meal planning saves money. You may be wondering how simply writing down your meals for the week ahead of time could possibly save you any money but it actually can make quite a noticeable difference.
Let me show you how.
1. You don’t have to rely on takeout or eating out as much
I’m not saying that you have to give up eating out entirely but when it becomes your fall-back position every time you forget to plan for dinner, it can really become expensive.
Pick and choose the times you want to include takeout or dining out on your meal plan according to your preferences and your budget.
2. There’s less food waste.
Do you grow science experiments in your fridge like I used to?
With a meal plan in place, you know just what food you need to buy at the grocery store. There’s no coming home with $300 worth of groceries, but nothing that actually goes together to form meals.
Also, when you hang that meal plan up in a prominent spot in your kitchen, it can help remind you of what you have on hand so it all gets used.
Finally, with a meal plan, you can know just what you’re going to do with your leftovers and incorporate them into your meals. You’re roasting a chicken on Monday? Plan to use the leftover chicken on Wednesday to make chicken quesadillas or chicken tacos.
Not sure where to start? Head here to learn how to meal plan.
3. You can easily take advantage of sales.
Take a look at your weekly grocery flyers and see what’s on sale for that week. Chicken for 99 cents a pound? Plan for 2 or 3 chicken meals that week!
If you have the freezer space, you might even want to stock up and plan a few meals for the coming weeks too.
4. You can make use of less expensive foods.
By planning ahead and knowing what’s coming up on the meal plan, you can take advantage of cheaper cuts of meat.
You know what you’re going to make and when so you have time to get that tougher cut of meat into a marinade, the slow cooker, or in the oven to slow braise.
Buy dried beans for that bean salad you have planned. You’ve got time now to soak them in advance.
When you eliminate the last-minute scrambling, you gain back time and money!
5. A meal plan helps you use up what you already have on hand.
It is so easy for food to get pushed to the bottom of the freezer or the back of the pantry and forget that it’s there.
Or you simply stare at it every time you see it, not sure what to do with it. If you start meal planning, you won’t be as likely to buy those random items in the first place, but it can also help with the existing food waiting to be used.
Keep a list on your fridge and jot down any of those items as you find them. Then, when you’re meal planning, you can incorporate those into your plans.
Still have a lot of onions left from last week’s plan? Maybe this week could include onion soup.
Found a forgotten box of rice in the back of the cupboard? Plan some chicken and rice casserole or add rice as a side dish for a few meals this week.
Meal planning can help you stay organized and save time, but the savings in your grocery budget are one of the biggest benefits it brings.
Give it a try and you’ll see it make a difference for your family too!
I highly suggest going through The Meal Planning Method. You save more money after going through the course than what it costs (it’s a no brainer at just $29). REGISTER HERE.
Randa Derkson is a busy mom of two, blogger at The Bewitchin’ Kitchen, Culinary Nutrition Expert, and sick of of the overwhelm when it comes to health. She’s the head nutrition expert at RandaDerkson.com where she’s committed to making healthy living easier.