Meal planning is one of the most important things to do to save money for the family on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, we waste hundreds of dollars in money spent on impulse buys due to a lack of planning. Easy meal planning can make all the difference. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of other ways to use those savings!
Easy Meal Planning: 7 Reasons You need to Plan
Easy meal planning really is possible, and important. We’ve listed 7 reasons to help convince you that you need to plan! We’ve also got some terrific resources for you to help make it easy.
- Avoid “impulse buys” at the grocery store – Grocery stores pay big bucks to special marketing services JUST for the sake of grabbing your attention while shopping for the things you need, and it pays off for them. Shopping without a list is a big budget buster! Don’t do it, my friend. Meal planning solves this problem.
- Use items from the pantry: use what you have on hand. How many times do you find expired items in the pantry or buy too many of one thing and not enough of another? Meal planning sends you to the pantry to scan the items you have on hand and put your goods to work for your family meals.
- Don’t waste fresh food: use what you have on hand in planning. See above and replace “pantry” with “refrigerator” as the same principle applies.
- Planning ahead means more home cooked meals & less take-out. Take out is expensive and should be used for designated nights or special occasions (and going out too) for those who are budgeting their money.
- Improved health – Home cooked meals are generally healthier. You can add more fresh foods, control meal portions, less additives, and plan healthier meals.
- Meet individual dietary needs with planning. Need to provide gluten-free or other special dietary needs for one or more family member? It doesn’t have to be complicated if you spend a little time planning.
- Save time and money – A little time planning can save you a lot of time and money! The amount of food that is wasted each year because of poor meal planning is shocking. Taking a little time to plan saves you a lot of time and money in the long run as you know what you need to buy and can stick to a budget.
Getting Started With Easy Meal Planning
Get started with meal planning by checking your pantry and refrigerator each week and making a list of items you need to use up. Use those items to come up with meals for the family.
Create a list of items needed to purchase to complete your menu.
Save even more money by checking out the sales at your local grocery store first and using those sale items to help plan your meals.
I try to shop mostly BOGO items!
Build A Menu – easy meal planning
Consider using a service, like Build A Menu (which I use) to shop the sales, plan meals, store special recipes, collect favorites, try new recipes and more. I save enough money in one MONTH of planning with Build A Menu to pay for the entire YEAR of the service!
I save enough money in one MONTH of planning with Build A Menu to pay for the entire YEAR of the service! ~Kelli Becton
Seriously, at only $8 per month – you save a ton of money every single week. I’d hazard a guess that I save at least $50 a week or $200 a month because of using a weekly meal plan and shopping the sales.
Many menu choices to choose from
- Dine on a Dime
- Family Friendly
- Low Carb
- Low Fat/Sensible Portions (Points Based)
- Gluten Free
- Allergy Friendly (No Gluten, Dairy or Nuts)
- Clean Eating
- Slow Cooker
- Your Choice of Side Dishes
- Trim Healthy Mama Friendly
All memberships include ALL the weekly recipes so members can completely customize what works best for them.
Unlike other menu planning sites that make you choose certain categories, Build A Menu members have access to all the categories, every week so they can “mix and match to build the menu that works best for their families tastes and budget.”
Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals – easy meal planning
This is also a terrific option for busy families. When you take the time to do the planning, you save time and money later. With these plans, the list is made for you. Then, shop the sales at your local stores & stock up on the items you will need.