The Top 5 Reasons Meal Planning Saves Money
1. You shop from a list. Shopping from a list is a huge money saver. To plan your meals, write down a weekly plan of what you will be serving each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then make a grocery list of all items you need to make each meal. Don’t forget to check what you have on hand so you won’t double up on items you already own. Now when you go to the grocery store and stick to your list, you won’t buy extra things that you do not need. Download a free Menu Planning Form from FrugalMom.net.
2. Cuts back on fast food. When you know what is for dinner ahead of time, you won’t be tempted to spend money on fast food or pizza delivery. That is because each morning you will know exactly what to take out of the freezer to defrost. You won’t panic at 6:00 and order pizza because you can’t think of anything to have for dinner.
3. You can plan your meals around what is on sale & your coupons. Both of my local grocery stores have their weekly sale flyers online. When I am ready to plan my meals for the upcoming week, I use the flyers to help me decide which dishes to prepare. Don’t forget to check the store flyers against coupons you have, because when you combine a coupon with something on sale, you often get a fantastic deal.
4. You buy the exact quantity of what you need. While it is true that buying in larger quantities can save you money by lowering the price per unit, it isn’t always the case. This is especially true in the warehouse club type stores. When you make your list (and quantities!) from your weekly meal plan, you will buy exactly the amount you need for the week, and you won’t spend money over buying.
5. You can cook from scratch. Cooking from scratch is almost always cheaper than buying prepared foods. When you make your grocery list from your weekly menu, take the time to look up each recipe and find out the ingredients needed for each dish. Often times when shopping without a meal plan, we are tempted to buy convenience foods. Convenience food may save time, and may be easier, but they do not save money.