Meal Planning, Organization, The Home

7 Steps to Money Saving Meal Plans

We all want to be in control of our money and our time, right? However, when I arrive home, I have a whole list of tasks to accomplish. Keep reading on for a first-hand look at my money saving meal plan process for busy moms that will cut down the time you spend cooking AND the money you spend on groceries!

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of Gods varied grace.1 Peter 4:10

My family was spending between$1000 – $1200 on groceries each month! Although this doesn’t even include eating out when I didn’t have a plan! This created a domino effect of wasted food that went bad from not being used. Or leftovers that didn’t get eaten. MORE WASTED MONEY!

I Challenge you

It’s very easy to take a look at your spending habits if your bank tracks them. With an app, you should be able to see how your bank totals your spending based on where you are when you purchase something. I challenge you to take a close look at how much you are spending on food and make a decision to make some changes! Come up with even more money saving ideas! Feel free to read my Budgeting Strategies also!

,After watching this number for a few months, and being emotionally distraught that it was out of control, I decided I had to make a change. I had to make better decisions for my family. As the wife and organizer of our chaotic life, I am the glue that holds us all together. That means it falls on me to watch these things, keep the chaos under control (whenever possible), and make the necessary changes. I came up with a simple meal planning process to help me commit and stay accountable to a plan. You can even start this in the middle of the week, without shopping at all. Just go with what you already have on hand and use it up.

Here’s my step by step process

My 2 Week Meal Planning Sheet

Step 1 COMMIT:

Vow to cook at home more! Set a goal and make it reachable! Are there days during the week or month can you cook and still keep up with your family’s schedule? Come up with a number and track your success. Keep yourself accountable!

Step 2 GATHER:

Pull out your most loved recipes and find meals that you can make in 20 – 30 minutes. I save my more in-depth longer meals for weekends. Try to take into account what you already have in your fridge/freezer to use before buying new. There may be nights when a crock-pot meal or instant pot meal would help you have dinner ready after an appointment, meeting or school function.

Step 3 PLAN:

Write your meal plan out for the week or two. Here’s my weekly meal plan printable and plan your meals according to how much time you have each day. If you have a day or two where you can’t avoid a meal out that’s OK! The point is to improve where you are currently by having a plan.

Step 4 LIST:

Gather your recipes and make your list. Whether you shop online for groceries, or go to the store to get your groceries it is important to be as thorough as possible to reduce return trips later. This eliminates the forgotten item and the trip costing another $50 worth of impulse buys! My motto is “if I don’t absolutely need the item I forgot, then we are making this meal without it!” If I do need to go to the store, I try and make sure I get anything else from future meals I may have forgotten too!

Step 5 PREP THE PLAN:

Once home and groceries are put away, take another look at your weekly schedule. (I put this in my weekly planner) Pencil out any steps you can do to make meal prep easier. for example, when I make pizza at home, I make my dough in the morning. Then pop it in the fridge for the day to rise. Although this adds to my morning tasks, it saves me a whole step when I get home from work! Plus, I AM COMMITTED to that meal. Hello Accountability!

On Pizza night, it takes me about 20 minutes to get 2 pizzas in the oven and make a salad while they bake! If I have extra time in the morning, I even cut up a few veggies as well. Write each prep on the day that it needs to be done and see how much easier it is to prep the meal that evening! Find more tips on Time Management in this Post!

Step 6 ACCOUNTABILITY:

Take out any meats from the freezer and keep them in sight in the fridge. Once they are thawed you got to cook right? This also keeps you accountable to your plan!

Meal Planning in My Planner

Step 7 EVALUATE:

At the end of the week, (I usually do this on Saturday or Sunday) go through and see how you did and prepare the next weeks prep plan and take out meat again! I also take the time to prepare some Grab N Go Breakfasts as well. This saves me so much time without sacrificing healthy eating. Check out my Busy Mom Breakfast Tips and why Healthy Lunches are so important. See if they will help you too!

I pray each of us will strive to be what God has called us to be. And may we be good stewards of what he has given us, gifts, time, blessings, and money.

See the results of your labor

With this process alone, I have saved hundreds of hard-earned dollars! We have reduced our grocery budget to $800/month to feed a family of 5! Take a look at my meal planning binder! There you’ll find even more ideas to save time when planning your meals.

Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. (Be the best you! Don’t strive to be something you are not!) 1 Corinthians 7:20

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Are you looking for budget-friendly recipes for your meal plans? Visit my Recipe’s Page!

Related Posts:

8 Tips for Creating and Cleaning Routine

Meal Planning Binder set up, and What’s in Mine

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