Meal Planning – Saves Time and Money

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Do you spend more time when you get home from work trying to figure out what to cook only to find out you don’t have all the ingredients or nothing is defrosted? Check to see how much time is wasted on this the next few nights. Meal planning will not only save you time, but it will also save you money.

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The most money is saved by planning meals around items on sale. This is great, but even if you decide you want to plan your meals around what your family wants and not what Store XYZX has on sale, this will still save you money. I’ve heard some people go to the store multiple times during the week. Everyone is different, but for me, I am likely to throw something else in the basket while I’m at the store (especially if my husband goes for us) and it is time consuming. Even if is there is nothing else going on that night when others make multiple trips to the store, I would prefer to use that time to sit back and relax. By following these 8 steps, you should save time and money.

  1. Check your calendar to see what nights have activities that dinner will need to be quick.
    1. We have a night like that this week, so I’m planning to use the crock pot to cook pulled pork. It will be ready when we get home and easy clean up since we use the crock pot bags when we can.
  2. Decide what the meals for the week will be. The sale papers can also be used what you want to cook.
  3. Check to see what ingredients you need to buy after checking the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator and put those on the grocery list.
  4. Check to see if you have any coupons opportunities for the items you need.
    1. There are coupons you use when you purchase the groceries.
      1. Paper coupons
      2. Apps for certain grocery stores like Albertsons and Target
    2. There are apps that you can use after you go to the grocery store, but be sure and review them to see if you need to purchase a certain size or quantity before heading out to the store. Certainly do not purchase more than you need just for the “app coupon”, but if you use the product anyway it might be beneficial to look at it. I love using the Ibotta app. If you would like to give it a try, by using this referral code JVHWPXK, you will receive money from Ibotta if 1) this is your first time to register to use it and 2) you redeem a rebate (certain rebates are excluded) within the timeline stated, and I will receive a referral fee. (www.ibotta.com). There have been some weeks that I did not make much using this, but hey, every little bit helps and it is free money.
    3. If you use Wal-Mart, be sure to use the Wal-Mart app and the “saving catcher” feature. It scans to see if the items you purchased were on sale and if they are they pass the savings on to you. It generally takes a few days to hear back how you did. I plan to redeem my dollars to use at Christmas time.
  5. Purchase your groceries, but only purchase what is on the list. Impulse shopping adds up and it is a good idea not to go shopping when you are hungry.
  6. Post the menu for the family to see. This avoids the questions “What is for dinner”. While you will still have to answer, “What time is dinner going to be ready?” that is one less question to answer!
  7. By having your meals planned and posted it will help you coordinate what needs to be defrosted which days.
  8. Any meal prepping you can do at the beginning of the week such as chopping onions, browning ground meat, and the like is a plus too to help save time later.

Don’t delay starting to meal plan. You’ll be amazed at how much time and money you will save. The more you plan around what is on sale and use coupons, both paper and apps, the more you will save. If you don’t have time to do it “all in”, with what is on sale, then just plan what you will cook for the week and go to the store once to get started.

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Mealing planning good for budgets

Meal planning not only saves time but also money. Find out how to plan meals, grocery shop, and prepare during the week your meals.