5 Tips to Save Money While Meal Planning

tips for meal planning

5 Tips to Save Money While Meal Planning

tips for meal planning

Why Should You Meal Plan?

Meal planning is the process of deciding what your daily meals are going to be ahead of time. It’s a good way to reduce the stress of figuring out meals one-by-one, make it simpler to eat healthier, and save money on eating out.

Even if you’ve been meal planning for a while, it’s possible you could save even more money with these helpful tips.

Tip 1: See What You Already Have at Home

Before you start planning your meals for the week, make sure to check your cabinets and pantry to see what ingredients are there. You can use these items that have already been purchased as the basis for your upcoming meals, and this also prevents you from spending money on items that you already have.

Tip 2: Check Out What’s on Sale

Whether it’s in a paper flyer or on a store’s website, it’s usually pretty easy to find what the current sales are at your local stores. Discounts on proteins and produce are most likely to help you save the most money.

Don’t forget to look for two-for-one sales and similar bulk discounts that are a good way to stock up on non-perishable staples, like canned goods, pasta and rice. 

If you’re feeding a large household, look into joining a wholesale club like Costco or Sam’s Club. The cost of membership may be worth the savings of buying in bulk.

Tip 3: Find Recipes with Fewer or Similar Ingredients

Using recipes that require fewer ingredients can be a simple way to lower your grocery bill. An internet search is a great way to find alternative recipes to ones you’re already making. 

If you’re not too concerned with repeating certain items, finding recipes that include similar ingredients may help you save even more money per serving. This works well for ingredients that are pre-packaged, since smaller packages usually cost more per serving.

Tip 4: Incorporate Vegetarian Meals

Vegetarian meals are a great way to include more vegetables in your diet while also allowing you to spend less of your grocery budget on animal proteins. You can do this by replacing the meat in your current recipes with vegetarian alternatives like portobello mushrooms or chickpeas, or by finding recipes that are originally vegetarian.

Tip 5: Plan for Your Leftovers

It can take some creativity, but making a plan for leftovers is a good way to ensure that you’re getting the most out of all of the food you cook.

Some people are fine just reheating the previous night’s dinner, but if there are people in your household who don’t like doing that, consider coming up with different ways to repurpose your leftovers. Some examples of doing this include:

  • If you have chicken tacos for dinner, use leftover chicken for salads the next day.
  • If dinner is steak, rice and veggies, use the steak the next day for sandwiches for lunch, and put the rice and veggies in a soup for dinner.
  • Roast sweet potatoes as a part of dinner, and use leftover potatoes for a skillet bowl with eggs in the morning for breakfast.

Using Artful Agenda to Meal Plan

Artful Agenda comes with a dedicated section for planning your meals. You can access this section in both the Week view and the Day view. When you add something to your weekly meal plan, it also shows up on the day, making it easy to keep track of the meals you’ve planned.

Our List section is the perfect place to keep track of your favorite recipes and grocery lists. It’s also a good place to make note of the last time you used each recipe to make sure you’re not repeating the same ones too frequently. You can even add notes to the recipes to tweak them and indicate if your family liked them.

Start meal planning today using Artful Agenda!

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