Decrease Stress and Save Money with Meal Planning!
Let’s talk meal planning! This is something that I can be really good at (as in, I do it for a few weeks, and we actually follow it), or it can be completely non-existent like it has been for the past few months. But, I know that it makes such a difference in the stress level around dinner time and financially so I want to be better at it. When you don’t have a plan, it’s so easy to want to go out to eat or order take-out and that can really add up. If you have a plan in place, you know what is on the menu for that day and can plan your day accordingly.
There are so many ways to meal plan, too! Most people that I know who meal plan regularly do it for the week, but I have also heard of people doing it for the month. If you are like me, meal planning for a month seems VERY overwhelming, but planning for a week seems very realistic.
So, how do you get started meal planning?
- Look at your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry and see what you have to make for meals.
- Go through the weekly sale ads and check the “Best Deals” posts on Become a Coupon Queen each Sunday to see what you can get on a good deal that week.
- Check your calendar for any evening activities – you may need something quick and easy on one night or see that your family has plans one night.
- Consider your family’s likes/dislikes for meals and if you plan to do any “theme” nights (ie: Taco Tuesday, Pizza on Friday, etc). Our family usually has breakfast food one night, pizza one night, and one night of leftovers.
- Choose your meals!
Once you have your plan for the week, make sure you post it somewhere so everyone knows the plan. Then, no one has to ask, “What’s for dinner?” Plus, it stays in front of you so you are more likely to follow through with it. I love these magnetic pads of paper that can go right on your refrigerator. I have also seen ideas like this on pinterest that would be so easy to make:
And, remember, this is just a plan. If you change your mind or move meals around, it’s okay. This is to get you started.
So, who’s going to start meal planning this week? If you already meal plan, what tips or suggestions do you have for us?