One thing families struggle with is keeping the grocery bill under control. Going in without a list and buying the first thing that looks good is no fun, and ends up costing way more in the end. Learning how to meal plan and sticking to it is easier than you think. Follow these simple tips to easy meal planning and a cheaper grocery bill.
- Assign Each Day A Theme – This could make meal planning so easy! Salad Sundays, Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesday, Wild Rice Wednesday, etc. There are so many options and making out your weekly grocery list would only take a few minutes. Make it fun for the whole family by asking the kids to pick their favorites!
- Pinterest – This deserves it’s own category. Spend a few minutes daily searching around on Pinterest for great recipes. Pin these to a board called “Dinner,” or something similar. When it is time to prepare your grocery list, all of the recipes will be pinned in your folder. You may also find great ideas in our recipe posts!
- Prepare Your Meat Ahead – When you are cooking, it is easier to prepare almost all of your meat at once. If you are going to be using a lot of chicken, it is easy to clean and dress it all at once, properly freeze and pull out what you need for dinner. This saves time during the week, especially for busy moms. Find out what else you can freeze to save time and money!
- Don’t Forget the Sides – While making out your meal plan for the week, also include side dishes. There is nothing worse than having every night’s main dish planned out, but no sides. What I like to do is make side dishes that can use a lot of the same ingredients.
- Get Help – It get’s hard trying to figure out something to cook every night of the week, get the kids and spouse in on it. Ask them what their favorite meals are or if they have any suggestions for dinner. You would be surprised at how many great ideas they can come up with!
- Keep Stocked Up – Keep a stock of basic supplies, both in your freezer and pantry. A few extra bags of frozen veggies or extra rice and cream of mushroom soup can make a big difference. No matter if it’s extra company or an emergency backup, it is great to have a nice stock. Consider getting a deep freezer and a nice stockpile of freezer bags.
- Write Your Meal Plan – Having your meal plan listed in a central location will stop the confusion of everyone asking what’s for dinner. A great idea is to print out a free meal planner printable, frame it and hang in the kitchen. Easily fill it in every week and you are ready to go. You might also like to write your plan on a meal planning whiteboard like this!
- Subscription Services – Another idea is to take advantage of subscription services that offer grocery delivery. You’ll save money, be able to buy larger quantities for cheaper prices, and plan your meals around the current sales the services offer. Check out our list of Grocery & Household Subscription Services we suggest!
I hope these tips help make planning dinner and cooking dinner just little bit easier. To help you prepare this coming week’s meal I am going to share with you a sample of one of my weekly meal plans. You can also print this PDF “What’s On The Menu” that you can print out and put on your refrigerator or hang in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy!
Monday – Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
Tuesday – Healthy Beef Stroganoff
Thursday – Chicken Marsala with Fresh Garden Salad *I use chicken stock instead of wine*
Friday – Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash
Saturday – Chicken Fajita Pasta
Sunday – Grilled Ribs with French Fries and Steamed Broccoli
Print your Free Meal Planner Here