5 Easy Ways to Save Time and Money on Meals
Pick a day each week and sit down to plan your meals. Plan for all meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks. Use a combination of pantry items already on hand and items that are on sale. You will find that you’ll spend less money if you already know what you’ll be preparing for the week.
Prepare Your Lunch the Night Before
Mornings in many households can be action packed and at times rushed. If you have packed lunch the night before it’s just grab and go. If you’re running late in the morning, it’s more likely that you’ll skip the lunch prep and grab some unplanned takeout.
Plan at Least One “Pantry Meal” Every Week
I’m a coupon shopper so when I find a great price on a Pantry staple I stock up. Even if you’re not a couponer, you should get in the habit of picking up a couple extra Pantry staples when you find a good price. This will help to keep your long term spending lower and build up your pantry.
Plan at least one Dinner from your pantry each week. These are items that you already have on hand. Hopefully, you picked these items up for a great price so that is $0.00 from your budget for the week.
Make a Grocery List
On meal planning day, make your shopping list for items that are not on hand. When you go to the grocery store it’s important that you stick to your list. Remember, you’re taking the time to plan all your meals so you know what you will need for the week. If you want to save time in the grocery store, organize your list by aisle. You may find that there are aisles you can skip altogether. This eliminates the possibility of extra items slipping into your shopping cart. Making a list based on your meal planning will also end the need for extra trips to the grocery store during the week. This will leave you with extra money in your wallet and extra time on your hands.
Leave Your Debit/Credit Card and Your Checkbook at Home
This is going to be a tough one at first. Part of being frugal is eliminating waste. You have made a list and set a budget. If you carry only the money needed to pick up the items on your list, you will not overspend.
Happy Shopping and Happy Saving!