Our Thrifty Thursday tip this week is to Meal Plan. Planning out a week's worth of meals is an excellent way to save not only time, but money spent on groceries!
How Does Meal Planning Work?
Typically, this is where you sit down and decide what you will make for each meal throughout the week.
1. Write it out. Whether you put it up on a dry erase board, stamp it down on a chalkboard, or simply jot it down on a piece of paper & tack it to the fridge, writing it down helps you stick to the plan.
2. Make a list of what you will all need for each meal. Go through your cupboards, fridge and freezer. Write down the items you are missing to make that meal, also noting what you already have on hand.
3. Take a quick trip to the grocery store. Here's where it gets tricky. Buy ONLY the items on your list. You're saving money, remember?
4. Organize your items based upon the meal. This can be done a few different ways. A common idea found on Pinterest, shows small totes in your pantry labeled by the week day. Other ideas simply have all the ingredients bundled together in your cupboard, pantry or fridge and labeled with the specific meal they are going to be used for.
Benefits of Meal Planning
Now that you've realized how fairly easy it is to meal plan, the benefits are great! You eventually save TIME not only in the mental capacity by not having to decide what to cook every night, but also being able to delegate the workload. This way, your kid or spouse could easily grab the stuff and get started making dinner. You just pull out the bin for that day & cook. You also save MONEY by only buying things needed to create that meal. And last, you actually save SPACE in your kitchen or pantry by not having excess amounts of random grocery items that you don't know what to do with.
To add, if you have leftovers from your meals, you can incorporate them into a second meal throughout the week, or section them up to bring to work, so you're not spending money going out to lunch!
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