Hey lovely people!
Let's talk about one of my favorite ways to save money, meal planning. I know you hear that you should do it, but I am about to drive the point home. I want you to succeed with your money and your overall life. Although it doesn't seem like a big deal to plan out a meal, it really does make things easier.
Meal planning will make your life so much better, and allow you to accomplish the other things in your life that you need to. We are so busy and have a lot of things on the calendar. You need to relieve somethings off your plate and off your wallet!
When you are trying to get out of debt and manage your money better, you have to manage all aspects about your life differently.
You have to evaluate places that you make mistakes, and areas that need changes. Most of us can take a moment to reevaluate how we spend money on food. There is usually room in that area for improvement.
WHAT IS MEAL PLANNING
Meal planning is simple. All it means is that you sit down one day of the week and plan all your meals for the next 7 days. (if you are feeling fancy you can do the rest of the month). It usually is more realistic to go a week at a time, because you want to have the freshest ingredients for each meal.
HOW DOES IT HELP MY MONEY?
So this how meal planning helps you achieve your financial goals. At the beginning of the month you need to set a food budget based on all the things in your household you are responsible for financially. Once you develop your monthly budget, you will then break that down to a weekly budget.
Then boom you take that magic weekly number and use that to plan your meal budget for the week. There are many tools I like to keep myself in line with our money when it comes to grocery shopping like couponing or my favorite mobile app Ibotta.
The important step that many miss, is planning ALL your meals. That means planning your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even your snacks. I have little ones at home, so snacks are important to plan as well. When staying home with my girls, I like to stay on schedule with our day as much as possible.
Having a designated snack time, helps free up time for me to quickly put a load of laundry in the machine(or any task that doesn't require a lot of time.)
THE EXTRA BONUS TO MEAL PLANNING
That brings me to the next point about meal planning, which is the time saving aspect. When you plan your meals ahead of time and follow that up with shopping for all the items at once, you automatically set up a better week.
You don't have to spend time after work or after kid's activities deciding what to eat. This allows for time saving and mental sanity; as a wife and mom, you know when need as many opportunities of those as we can get! You also allow your family to make better dietary choices when you decide ahead of time what you will eat. Even the snacks are healthier, when thought out.
I recommend that you start on a Saturday planning your meals, and shop as early on Sunday as possible for all the things you will need for your menu plan. Then woolah...enjoy your week. All your meals are on autopilot!
Oh and let's not forget giving yourself even more time in the week if you prep all your meals on Sunday! But that is for another post :)
So let me know if you meal plan already, and are you able to stick with it? Don't forget to download your own menu planner.