Ever since I began buying groceries for myself, I was meal planning. Whether it was a basic meal like pancakes (a favorite in my college days) or something a little more complex like baked ziti, I always had a meal plan for the week. Meal planning is one of the easiest ways you can save money at home. By creating a meal plan, you can use more of what you have in your pantry and avoid restaurants or take out. We’re going to take things a step further. I’m going to share with you my top tricks and tips on meal planning that will save you money.
The Top Meal Planning Tips To Save You Money
- Use what you already have
Check your cabinets, fridge, freezer, and pantry from top to bottom. Make a list of everything you already have on hand. Are there any meals you planned to make last week that you didn’t end up making? Are there any ingredients you can pair together to make a meal? Leftover taco shells can turn into a taco night or some spare rice into a stir-fry. By meal planning from your pantry first, you can save yourself tons of money on groceries.
- Plan Ahead for Busy Nights
Plan quick and easy meals if you know your schedule will be busy. Consider meals that can be reheated easily for nights when not everyone will be home for dinner at the same time. Save the meals that require more prep work or cooking time for when you’re not as busy.
- Put your leftovers to work
Whether it’s leftover pizza or last night’s home cooked meal, leftovers are a great way to stretch your food budget further. When planning your meals, look for dishes that will give you enough leftovers for another meal.
- Write it down
Don’t rely on your head to remember all the meals you planned to make, be sure to write them down. This will help you stick to your meal plan, and plan your meals. Your meal plan can be flexible, but you should still have one to work with.
- Add in new recipes
It won’t take long for eating at home to get boring. Instead of cycling through the same recipes, try to add in a new recipe or two every week. A little variation will make meal planning less boring, and you’ll be less tempted to eat out.
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Do you use a meal plan?