Have you ever run into this situation? You get home from work or pick the kids up from school and rush home, only to be completely overwhelmed by the idea of making dinner. Rather than spending hours thawing meat and making dinner, you hit the drive-thru or go out to eat.
What a budget killer!
Use meal planning to make healthy meals your family and budget will love.
Come Up With An Initial List of Meals
You know what your family likes to eat! Create a list of meals that your family will enjoy. Include easy meals like breakfast for dinner, casseroles, tacos, and spaghetti. From this list, you can create your first meal plan.
If you get overwhelmed at the idea of planning a week of meals at a time, use meal themes to schedule. One night may be reserved for breakfast foods, while another may be Italian night. Use whatever works for you and your family!
Watch the Ads
To save money on your grocery expenses, watch the ads for your favorite grocery stores. If there’s a deal you can’t pass up, work it into your meal plan and enjoy the savings! This can help you save money on in-season produce and make the most of meat sales.
Stock Up When You Can
You know a good price when you see one, so stock up when you run sales. This gives you more flexibility in your meal plans, since you can use your stock to expand your options each week. Learn how to freeze meat and preserve dry ingredients. You may also wish to keep a pantry list and a freezer list. This can help you avoid overspending and keep a tidy kitchen.
And don’t forget to print your coupons to take to the store!
Meal planning isn’t just good for your finances, it’s good for your family’s diet. Start out small and add more meals as you get more flexible with your meal plans!
Do you meal plan or is dinner usually a “surprise”?
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