Good meal planning can save some serious cash, and like I mentioned here we are all about saving some dough. A good meal plan can take some stress out of the evenings as well. I have a few tips for successful meal planning, these are just things that have been working for us.
1. Take Inventory I always look in my fridge and see what I have and what might go bad if I don't use it.
2. Check Out Sales I look through the grocery ad to see what is on sale. I am not extremely into using coupons, but If chicken breasts are on sale I'll make sure to pick up a family pack and freeze what we don't use that week
4. Stock up only stock up on what you will use. For us The Mr. goes through chips and cereal quickly and those items can be a great deal on sale, but you won't find a closet full of random canned items and way too much deodorant in our house. I'll always buy extra meat on a good sale, I don't buy it unless it is on sale which recently good sales have been fewer.
5. Schedule I'll go through our plans for the week and see how many nights I actually need to have dinner for the two of us
6. Recipe Plan Once I know how many nights I need to have food for I'll start picking out meals with the sale items and what I have on hand in mind, but I don't assign meals to a particular night, I'll cook what I feel like that night. I keep a list of meals so when planing I can easily come up with what to cook, that way I'm not spending forever trying to think of what to eat. Meals are either in my recipe binder or on pinterest. If I picked a more expensive meal to make like this one, I'll pick a cheaper meal to balance it out.
7. Shop When actually shopping I cut impulse buys and stick to my list (flower bulbs, make up and cat toys really draw me in though) I also go shopping at night, usually 10pm. I love it, the store is typically empty and calm. I avoid shopping during the day because it simply makes me cranky and I always put it off, but find what time works well for you
These steps for me have provided successful meal planning so far in our life. As our life changes I am sure so will my meal planning, I see more freezer meals and crockpot meals in the eventual future for us.