I’ve talked about meal planning in the past and how it’s a great way to help you save money on groceries. However I’ll be very honest, this is an area that I’ve struggled with over the years. I’ll do really well for a period of time and then I fall off the meal planning wagon. Unfortunately, I immediately feel the effects on our food budget.
I find that the hardest part of meal planning is making time to do so. What has been working for me lately is scheduling time so that I can plan our meals. I try to plan ahead so that I’m not planning meals when we’re already out of food. I also like to keep the meal planning process simple. I feel that if I make it a complicated process, I’ll dread doing it.
3 Simple Tips For Successful Meal Planning
1. Choose your favorite meals.
I like to use recipe ideas that I find on Pinterest or family favorites that I know everyone enjoys. I also have a meal ideas folder where I like to get some of my meal ideas from. For example this week we are having:
I purchase the bulk of our groceries at Aldi so I don’t need to clip coupons. I plan enough meals to cover at least half of the month. I’m not a fan of grocery shopping so I try to keep my trips to a minimum. I also purchased a couple of meal plans from I am THAT Lady website that are specific to the Aldi store. I found a few meal ideas on her Aldi meal plans that we plan to incorporate as well.
2. Create a shopping list.
Afte choosing your meals, you’ll want to create a shopping list. Going shopping without a list it’s like shopping with blindfolds on. At least that’s how I feel. A shopping list will help you stay on task and help you stick with your grocery budget.
Prior to creating my list, I “shop” our pantry first to see what we already have available. When I go grocery shopping I will only purchase the food we need unless I’m stocking up on an item that’s on sale. This method makes it easy for me to stick with my grocery budget.
To find out how you can keep your grocery bill low without clipping coupons click here for more tips!
3. Pre-prep and freeze when possible.
Once my grocery shopping is complete, I like to pre-prep as many meals as possible. I haven’t mastered the art of freezer cooking yet, so this is next best thing. If you know that you’ll need 1 pound of ground beef for 3 meals, divide the meat before freezing it or better yet cook it. It’s much easier to handle it while the meat is still thawed out. I also like to chop and divide veggies whenever possible. Little steps like these will save you a lot of time when you’re making a meal.
I know there are some amazing tips on the web that include meal planning charts, inventory sheets etc. I’m currently not in a season to do be so detailed in my meal planning so these simple steps make it easy for me. If you want to download the same meal planning sheet that you see here, feel free to sign up for my free newsletter and you’ll have access to the printable along with a couple of other free resources.
What are some of your favorite meal planning tips and tricks? Please comment and share, I would love to hear from you!