We are talking about Saving Money on Groceries by Menu Planning. Learn 8 tips to save big! This is part of our Saving money on Groceries series.
Saving money on groceries by menu planning
Planning your menus will save you a TON of money. It prevents you from buying too much and then throwing out old produce.
It also prevents you from buying extra at the store, because it “looks good” or it “sounds good”. Instead you go to the store with a plan, so you tend to spend less money.
Menu planning is a fairly simple concept that has been around for ages, yet very few people actually do it. I mean, think about it….you plan out ahead of time what you are going to eat so that you can shop correctly, reduce waste and save money.
Well, yes it is. It is simple. The key is to avoid certain pitfalls that always seem to get in the way.
Learn how to save money on food and watch the savings grow!
Here are eight powerful menu planning tips that will help you learn how to save money on groceries.
You will love all the money your family can save!
Let’s get started with these strategies for saving money on groceries!
Learn how to save money on groceries without coupons and how to save money on groceries for a large family!
These tips will make you a pro in no time at all!
1.Always check the sales to maximize your savings
When you are laying out your menu plan, you have to make certain that you go through the sales papers. Planning your menu for a given week or month should absolutely be done with an eye towards the sales.
This is where you can have a large impact on your wallet. Generally speaking you can find any number of awesome deals to work your plan around.
2. Never visit the grocery store without checking the pantry
We all do it. We hop in the car, swing by the store and purchase based on memory.
Checking that before I menu plan will save me money. If I have a ton of pasta in the pantry then I might make two pasta dishes that week so I don’t have to spend anymore money at the store this week.
In fact, make sure you keep a rough list in your purse/wallet of items as you run out. Many people use a recording app on their phone to keep a recording of things that are needed.
Some even have a small chalk board or marker board in the pantry to write down when pantry items are getting low. Just use what works best for you and your family.
3. Plan all three meals to maximize savings
Many people will meal plan for only dinner and that is fine. Why not go ahead and plan out breakfast and lunch too?
I often will end up buying too many eggs, or not enough deli meat. However, when you plan all three meals, this doesn’t happen over and over again, which means you save more money.
4. Always shop off a list
This is a tip that is really important and it prevents us from impulse shopping. Impulse shopping is the biggest enemy we have as menu planners.
The whole idea is to prevent buying too much. Keeping a list and then sticking to it is the ultimate solution and it will keep you focused among all those tasty treats.
5. Go for the produce that is in season
Just like we want to shop off of the sales, we also want to make sure we stick to the produce that is in season. It will be cheaper, last longer and will taste better….
All good reasons to include it in our meal planning.
I mean… do you really want to pay $4 per pound on Strawberries in the winter when they are not going to taste that great, or would rather enjoy apples in the winter when they are about a $1 per pound and taste amazing?
6. Plan for emergency meals
If you have a family, schedules will get interrupted. Emergencies will come up. Your menu planning ideas will occasionally get torched.
Because of this, you need to keep a list of meals that you can make quickly and without a ton of thought. These emergency meals are simple, to the point and will keep you from having to go out to eat and spend far too much.\
Keep this list in a place with some basic instructions for those in the home that are not “cooking friendly” and you will have an added layer of protection.
For example, I like to always have ground beef browned in my freezer. I will have pasta and crushed tomatoes in my pantry.
I can throw spaghetti together in about 15 minutes. Next time my family is in a pinch, I just saved a ton of money by making spaghetti instead of calling in Pizza.
7. Plan for a final leftover night
No matter how well you plan, leftovers will be there on occasion. These can be properly stored and eaten on the scheduled leftover night each week.
Be sure to keep them dated in containers and to throw them out if they are not eaten after one week cycle. This leftover night can also be a “fend for yourself” session to save your sanity and give you a break.
8. Stock up on shelf stable items when they go on sale
If you can get items that will not go bad in the pantry for long periods on sale, stock up. These can be core items that will be the backbone of your emergency meals we spoke of up above.
These sales opportunities are fairly common so keep up with those sales flyers and you will be set on the rest of your meal planning shopping. Make sure you read my post on how to stockpile to save you money.
Ok, so there are my 8 tips on the best way to save money on groceries.
As you can see – menu planning alone can save you a ton of money.
Now, that you know how to save money on groceries, watch the savings add up!
Oh… and don’t forget to check out my super cute DIY menu plan board.
How do you budget for groceries?
If you have any additional tips, please share and let us know!
Watch my LIVE video on how save money by menu planning below:
Saving Money on Groceries by Menu Planning is simple!
Find out how to cut your grocery bill in half with more menu planning tips.
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Make sure you read all the posts in our Saving Money on Groceries Series here.