Meal planning is a life changing, money saving hack that we all need in our lives and budgets!
I never used to meal plan. I’d go grocery shopping each weekend, grab what I thought looked good or I could make a recipe from, and then head on with my week. And never fail, I would end up back at the grocery store every other day to buy more ingredients for recipes I didn’t plan on making or ingredients I forgot to buy. Or maybe I just didn’t feel like cooking so we need some premade things. That was definitely a fail on my part and something that I knew I wanted to change. Don’t forget to sign up for the Sweet Hydrangeas newsletter at the end of the post to get your free meal planning printable
A Clear Plan and A Detailed List
When I was just free-wheeling my weekly recipes and grocery shops, Briam and I would spend upwards of about $1,000 every single month on food. Like hot damn that’s a lot of money! We don’t have kids or pets, it was just the 2 of us, so why the heck were we spending so much freaking money on food? That’s some vacation money! I realized it was because I didn’t have a clear plan and a detailed grocery list. Meal planning, although still hard for me sometimes, has allowed us to cut our grocery spending in half! I’d love to lower it even more, but I’m working on it.
Shop The Sales
It doesn’t take a great deal of time to browse the current ads running at your local grocery stores. I used to ignore these and would just buy whatever I wanted. Now, I’m a huge fan of seeing what’s on BOGO, who has coupons, and using apps that help you save money. (Ibotta being my current favorite). I’m not saying to buy everything that’s on sale or become an extreme coupon person, but just take time to see if there are items that are on sale that you could incorporate into your meal planning routine. Maybe pasta is BOGO, so you stalk up a bit, and make Friday nights lasagna night and have leftovers on Saturday! 2 days taken care of right there!
Track Your Spending
A few days ago I shared the importance of having a budget, and grocery spending certainly falls into budgeting. Setting a budget for yourself and then tracking how much you spend each week at the store can give you a clear picture on just how much (and where) you’re spending your money. If you can swing it, I highly suggested becoming a member of your local warehouse stores. Briam and I are Sam’s Club and BJs members. Both have saved us a ton of money on groceries and other household items like paper towels, shampoo & conditioner, and toilet paper. Even garbage bags!! I think we buy 2 boxes of bags every year! If there’s something you use frequently like lemons or chicken breast, buying in bulk will certainly save you a pretty penny! Just don’t forget to track it!
Has meal planning saved you money? Don’t forget to sign up for the Sweet Hydrangeas newsletter down below to get your free meal planning printable!
Some links in this post may be affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure.
Subscribe to get your free meal planning printable!
It'll be delivered right to your inbox!