Planning weekly meals can save you a ton of money. When you make out your meal plan and your grocery list, the hard part is over. Your meals for the week are set.
Three important tips to save money… once you’ve got your list made #1 Stick to it #2 Clip those coupons #3 Only hit the grocery store once per week!
Meal planning for the week will take time. It took me hours when I first started. I’d drag out my cookbooks, search for new recipes online and angrily clip my coupons. I could totally understand why people would just hit the grocery store on the fly… it’s too time consuming to actually plan a week of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)!
Once I got a nice system in place, I shaved loads of prep time off my meal planning and it became way less of a hassle.
Here are some things to help you with your menu planning:
Keep in mind that this planning has purpose… to save you hundreds (literally) of dollars every month. Plus, planning your meals allows you to prepare fresh, healthy meals for your family!
- Print out your Weekly Meal Plan for $mart Moms. Stick it on your fridge after you’ve compiled the weeks meals. (You might want to print out the “Stock Up List” too and keep it on the fridge).
- Yumm.com – Begin stockpiling a bunch of recipes that your family loves. It’s the one place you can save all your favorite recipes from around the web.
- MealMakeOverMoms.com – Learn how to get your family to eat healthy meals without complaint. Their mission is to help busy families eat better.
- SuperHealthyKids.com – Simplify mealtime and feed your family better.
- Say Mmm.com – Get more help planning meals and organizing your recipes. Use a meal planning calendar, recipe organizer and create simplified grocery lists.
- MealsMatter.org – Customized meal planning tools, meal ideas and expert tips. Improve the nutritional quality of your diet by eating more meals at home.
Kelly at Faithful Provisions has an excellent Meal Planning Guide…
- Include at least one crockpot meal: Include at least 1-2 really easy meals each week that can be dumped in a crockpot. Or pull something out of the freezer. Click here for loads of crock pot recipes.
- Use Leftovers: For lunches especially, eat leftovers or morph it into a quesadilla, salad or something. A great way to make and use leftovers is to check out Robin Miller on the Food Network. Learn her concepts on “cooking once, eating twice.”
- Keep a running list: Keep a running list of meals your family likes.
- Check your calendar: You usually don’t need a full 7 dinners each week, because of other obligations. Also, checking your calendar will allow you to see where to put what meals. For instance, if you have a class one night, that night you’ll want an easy to make and clean-up meal, so you can get out the door fast.
Check out Faithful Provisions for her Meal Planning Series.