Save Money With Menu Planning.
One night while I was surfing the web, I came across a website that was talking about menu planning. I always thought it would be way too much work and not worth my time. Plus, it’s fun to be spontaneous, right? Not so, apparently. Being spontaneous was just an excuse for me to be lazy and thus resulted in take-out for dinner… and I was done with that whole charade.
Ever since that night, I have been planning our weekly menus and it has saved us so much money.
I believe that menu planning is an absolute must if you want to save money on groceries – and it’s really not that hard to do, I promise!
I don’t always stick to my menu plan. There are times when we just don’t feel like having anything on it and so we will make something else instead. However, having that plan written out is a great way to avoid buying take-out and that’s why we do it.
This is how we plan our weekly menus:
Shop The Stockpile
The very first thing I do when I am planning our weekly menu is to take inventory of the items I already have on hand. This is one very easy way to start your menu. Perhaps you see some macaroni in your pantry, frozen broccoli in the freezer and cheddar cheese in the fridge… well, lucky you – those are all the fixings for a yummy pot of No Bake Broccoli Mac N’ Cheese.
Going through what you already have is a good first step in planning your menu. This will help you to use up food items before they expire.
When I’m unsure how to piece my ingredients together, I often use the Ingredient Search feature on All Recipes.
Read The Sales Flyers
This is a very important step when it comes to menu planning. Consulting your sales flyers will show you all of the items that are on sale at your stores for that week.
The cheapest items are usually on the front page. These are called “loss-leaders” which means that the prices are so cheap on those items that the store is not making any money. Those are the items you should be paying the most attention to.
Go through your coupon stash and see if you can find any coupons to match up with the items on sale at your stores. If you can find some, set them aside for your shopping trip.
Put all of your coupons into a envelope or something easy to carry with you to the store. If you have are a member of any Canadian rewards programs, don’t forget to bring your cards and any points coupons you may need. Having things in one spot will make it much easier for you when you are at the grocery store and are ready to check out.
Plan Your Menu
Now that you have shopped your stockpile, read the sales flyers and pulled your coupons, you’re ready to get down to business. It’s time to menu plan!
I have a list of food ideas that I usually consult when I am trying to make up a weekly menu. There are a few recipes that I make almost every week. I usually start my menu with those. You can also check out Menu Plan Monday for an abundance of menu ideas.
It may seem like a lot of work, but after a few weeks, you will start to get the hang of it and menu planning will be much easier.
Just think of all the money and stress you are going to save by doing something as simple as planning your menu for a week!
Do you plan weekly menus? How do you do it?