When my husband and I started living together, we noticed a lot of stuff in our cupboard that we never even used and that were expired for years. Stuff we actually paid for! Plus, we went to the grocery store almost every day, to buy the products we needed for diner. Terribly time consuming and a very expensive habit if you ask me. Everyone knows that it’s easy to put things in your cart that you don’t really need. Imagine doing this every day! Time for a change. We decided to make a meal plan every week and go to the grocery store only once a week. Turns out, to plan your meals can really pay off!
It not only reduced the amount of discarded food, but also the amount of money we spent. We’ve been planning meals for a good four years now and we never skipped a week. And although it might seem like a lot of work, it really isn’t. I only plan out dinners, no breakfast or lunches, so that’s only seven meals to come up with each week. It’s fun, it’s clear for everybody in your family and let’s be honest: you have some pretty good things to look forward to when the week starts!
Keep a list of all the good stuff
What definitely helps in choosing what you want to plan for the week, is to keep a list of all the meals you have made and loved. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget all the wonderful things that you can choose from, when you plan your meals. Which can and will result in eating the same things every week. Variation is what you want when you plan your meals.
Check what’s on sale and use it
What really helps in saving money when meal planning, is to weekly check what’s on sale in your local grocery store and to base your recipes on those items. For instance, if salmon is half price, it might be a great week to use it in a pasta or an oven dish! Or put it in your freezer of course.
Spend some time every week searching for new recipes
To boost your cooking, it may be come in handy to keep searching for new and exciting recipes each week. Browse through magazines, cookbooks or food blogs and get inspired! Of course, don’t forget to save, copy or write down the ones you end up loving!
Keep your pantry fully stocked
When planning your meals weekly, I strongly recommend you keeping your pantry fully stocked with things you can keep for a longer period of time. Things like pasta, rice, spices and flower are things you will always need. It’s a real time saver to already have those things in your pantry.
I love planning my meals every week! Though you have to invest some time in it – for me it’s no more than 10 minutes – it also saves you a lot of time! I always like to use a nice, bright and handy mealplanning sheet when planning my meals. If you want to try mealplanning as well, I made a printable that you can download for free. For now, I wish you lots of fun planning your meals and please let me know in the comments down below if you have any advice on the matter.