Are you tired of eating the same things or scrounging around in the kitchen while looking for ingredients to put together to make something? If so, meal planning is worth it because you can figure out what you are going to prepare ahead of time and then purchase the ingredients needed to make those meals.
However, if you have a budget that you need to stick to, you are also going to need to make sure you are not spending too much money while buying food for your meals. If you get creative, you can easily meal plan while sticking to your budget instead of going over and spending more than you can afford.
Look at Weekly Circulars for Different Grocery Stores
Instead of planning your meals out and then looking at the weekly circulars for different grocery stores to see what is on sale, you should do the exact opposite. Look at the circulars first and check out which grocery stores are having some of the best sales on ingredients that you can use to make all different types of meals for yourself and your family.
Some circulars will come with coupons attached to them and some stores have digital coupons available for customers to clip. Once you figure out which store has the best sales, you can then create a list of meals that you want to make using those ingredients that you can find at some affordable prices.
Skip the Meat a Few Times a Week
The meat in a dish is often the most expensive ingredient. You can save money throughout the week by skipping the meat in some dishes. While it is something you might not usually do, there are plenty of meatless meals you can make that are still delicious and fulfilling. Some examples of tasty and filling meat-free dishes include:
- Ravioli, Sauce and Cheese Bake
- Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli
- Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta
- Salad Bowls with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, Olives, and Cheese
- Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Rice and Bean Bowl with Guacamole and Sour Cream
While these are some meatless suggestions, there are hundreds of other recipes that you can prepare that are meat-free and made with affordable ingredients.
Buy Some of Your Meat in Bulk
When you do want to have meat for different meals, you should try to buy it in bulk as soon as you notice that it is on sale. Grocery stores will often have weekly sales on different types of meat, such as chicken leg quarters, chicken drumsticks, thin-cut pork chops, and ground beef.
If you can catch a good sale or even get meat when it has been marked down at the grocery store, you can stock up on it and then keep it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. You may even benefit from getting a deep freezer to have extra storage space for the meats that you plan to purchase in bulk.
When you have a budget to stick to, but you also want to start meal planning I have one more tip for you. You should check the circulars for sales and then create a list of meals that you will make based on what you can get at reasonable prices.
You can also benefit from preparing meatless dishes several times a week. Also from buying some meat in bulk because that will help you save even more money. Once you start planning your meals, you are going to save money because you are no longer going to feel the need to buy food on impulse from fast-food restaurants and other places.