Tired of Overspending? Follow This Easy Weekly Meal Plan & Start Saving Money!



One of the fastest ways for my family to go over our weekly food budget is going out to eat. We often fall into the trap of making large food purchases at the grocery store, and then getting home with it all and being left wondering what we're going to have for weekly dinners. Busy days lead into chaotic evenings, and the last thing I want to have to worry is about is wondering what we'll have for dinner.


During the current pandemic, I have really fallen off the meal planning wagon. I used to be so very good about meal planning, and then everything in our lives swiftly changed. As we ease back into some sense of normalcy, meal planning is coming back into my usual routine. It does take some time to plan meals out, and I usually like to plan for 3 - 4 weeks at a time. Planning meals helps me save a lot of time at home, and it also helps tremendously when I shop for groceries. Knowing exactly what I need for meal prep cuts out a lot of 'extras' when I shop, which helps us waste less food and save more money.



Easy Meal Planning, Step by Step

*  Make meal planning a priority.
The first step in meal planning is set aside a time each week to meal plan.
I choose one specific day each week which I do my meal planning (typically Sunday). This is the day that I set aside half an hour to look for meal ideas, and then physically plan my meals out.

* Write it down!
I keep a notepad for ideas on hand, and start jotting down recipes I might like to try.
I also use a Meal Planner, which serves as a meal calendar for our family. You can grab this free printable meal planner in our Mommy's Block Party Mom Planner Pack (free!!). The printable pack also has lots of other free planning tools which are super handy!

* Get ideas! 
Pinterest is awesome for meal ideas. Follow our MBP Recipe Board for meal ideas!




* Make your shopping list. 
My favorite grocery list pad is this one from Knock Knock. I keep it on my fridge and check the items we need throughout the week, and then also add the needed ingredients for our weekly meals. I take this list with me when I grocery shop or when I make online grocery orders. This helps me stick to what we need, and saves our family money.

* Work with a clean pantry and fridge.
The last thing I do after the meals are planned, but before I go shopping, is to clean out the pantry and fridge. This includes cleaning out containers (and recycling as much as possible), getting rid of empty pantry boxes (again, recycling as we're able to), and reorganizing shelves, etc. This helps to make space for items that will be coming in, and also helps me take stock of staple items (like olive oil, seasonings, etc) which might need to be replaced.




Sample Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday
Slow Cooker Ritz Chicken

Monday
Brats and Tots

Tuesday
Ham Steak with veggies and corn bread muffins


Wednesday
Rigatoni with meat sauce, broccoli, and garlic bread

Thursday
Roasted pork tenderloin with white rice and saute'd zucchini

Friday
Lemon chicken with roasted potatoes and roasted green beans

Saturday
Beef and broccoli with rice
Better than takeout! Get the recipe here.


I love meal planning! Are you a meal planner, too?

Hopefully, these ideas are helpful! My family has enjoyed all of these delicious meals (with our own variations, of course) in the past week. We've been able to stick to our meal plan and not go out to eat, which has ultimately saved us money. All of the meals have been super tasty, and we've enjoyed each and every one of them! We've also been sticking to a stricter dinner time (eating earlier), which allows time for us to meal prep as a family, sit at the table with no screens, and then have family time after dinner, as well.

Even though it does take a bit of time to get everything organized, it sets us up for an easy, breezy, and enjoyable week together.

Love these tips? 

Want to see more meal planning tips & weekly meal plans? Let us know your thoughts or share your meal planning tips in the comments or connect with our team over on MBP social media:

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Wishing you a scrumptious week of easy meal planning, prep & of course, eating!


3 comments

  1. I try to plav out too. We do tend to splurge a little on the weekends though

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do that sometimes, too! It happens!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing these great tips! Meal planning really helps me save money and time!

    ReplyDelete

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