Us moms with growing families always have one common struggle: the family food budget. No matter what you do you always seem to over spend and it impacts us a little more than we think and with the rising costs, things get worse. But there is a way to help combat that pesky food budget issue: meal planning. Meal planing is a great idea if you are a family that eats out a little too much – contributing to your food budget issues. As moms we get it, you get busy things get put to the side. This is why we wanted to take the time to teach you how to start meal planning to save money!
Start your meal planning journey on a week to week basis to start. Doing things this way will ensure your food stays fresh and you are able to create a meal plan in a timely manner. Trying to do a full month in advance, though some do love to do it this way, can be a bit overwhelming for any beginner. It is all about baby steps to help you save money in the long run.
Creating a meal plan that will work for your budget or decrease your budget means you need to start with coupons. You need to be shopping based on the sales going on at the stores you shop at. Doing this will immediately help you with it comes to your total budget spent. Getting an app like Flipp is a great first step in helping you figure out which food items will be your meal bases for the week. From that point you can then move forward into menu ideas!
Every plan comes with a little paperwork and in this case you are going to want to create or print out a meal planning sheet for the week. This will help you keep everything together and help you better see how a week of meals is going to look for you and your family. Since the first step in your meal planning is a menu this is a crucial first step. While you are making your menu plan don’t forget to get creative, planning meals in advance makes it a lot easier for your family to try out new things. On a regular basis you are going off a list of usual buys and rarely stray from those options since they are easy, work and everyone likes them. It is easy to get stuck in a rut. Meal planning makes it easy to spice things up at least once a week or all week if you wanted to pick a fun theme – a great way to make meal time with family fun. Of course never forget there are amazing apps out there to make all of this even easier!
Once you have created your menu plan it is easy to create a list of all the things you need. Making sure not to forget the other things around the house that you might have run out of. There are great apps out there too that can help you with making shopping lists that multiple people can contribute to. Making it easy to communicate to and not forget things when you are shopping. Another thing to take advantage of is list saving on your online shopping platforms. When you order from certain stores you can easily share you most important items you always need each week (milk, bread etc…) into a list so that you are saving yourself a little time. It is way better than adding them one by one over and over again.
When you are first starting this journey one of the biggest issues is remembering to do your meal planning before you run out of food in the house. This, with a family to raise, is easier said than done sometimes. But with the help of technology you can easily by pass this obstacle with amazing phone and calendar reminders. After all forgetting to get an order in on time could mean a monday without school lunches so making sure to get orders in on time and a schedule that works for you is essential to your success.
Armed with this knowledge you will be well on your way to becoming a meal planning genius.