Here at Spend Smart. Eat Smart. we talk about planning meals a lot. This is because it is easier to save money and make healthy food choices when you have a plan. I know that on the weeks that I do not have a plan, or on the weeks when my plan goes wrong, I end up making more trips to the store, spending more money, and making less healthy choices.
My colleagues have written many great blogs about meal planning here, here, here, and here. If you want more information about meal planning, take some time to read this helpful information. Today, I am going to tell you about how meal planning works for my family of five.
I do a lot of cooking on the weekend, so I usually plan out my meals and write my grocery list on Friday. First, I look at what I have on hand and think of what meals I can make to use up these foods before they go bad. Then, I write down all of the meals I am going to make that week. Our 5-Day Meal Planning Worksheet can be helpful for this step. Finally, I write my grocery list and go shopping.
Now it is time for a confession, I rarely stick to my meal plan as written. We are an active family and things come up, so I give myself a break here. If it is 5:30 on Monday night and everyone is hungry but I have not even started supper, I will pull out Sunday’s leftovers and re-heat them. This pushes Monday’s meal to another night, but that is ok. Just remember, if you have raw meat in your refrigerator, it is only good for 3-4 days, so stick it in the freezer if you will not be using it soon.
Meal planning is a great way to get your healthy new year’s resolutions off to the right start. So, give meal planning a try!