Being organised is the best way to save with food and groceries, and keeping within your budget. But being organised also is helped by having a visible menu planner that encompasses all food & snacks needed for the week. It doesn’t need to be rigid it can be as flexible as you need but it is important that you create the habit of following it to get the best out of your budget, pantry and food. Food wastage is a huge problem in Australia and so this will also help cut down on food wastage and as always help you save money! So read on to work out how to save money with menu planning.
Saving money with menu planning
- Make a list of every one you will need to cater for.
- List every meal you need and snacks.
- Look through your fridge and freezer for item you need to use.
- Shop your pantry first. See anything that you have that need to be used up. Check this out to help sort out your pantry
- Look through the catalogues and work out what is on special and season – start selecting meals.
- On you physical meal plan start filling in meals. Start with your mains. Knowing what you are cooking for dinner and then if there is left overs there lunch the next day. Fill in blanks & write grocery list as you plan.
- Always double check your pantry, fridge and freezer for food ready to be eaten or ingredients first.
To create flexibility within your meal planner, I always have “can’t be bothered” meals in my freezer. This could be a frozen pizza or frozen fish and chips. A meal you don’t need to think about – this is a great back up when things don’t go according to plan or just life. Having a back up meal in your freezer may be slightly more expensive than your average meal however it could mean the difference between this or takeaway which could really damage your budget.
Do you have any tips on menu planning or staying on track with your grocery budget? I would love to hear them and hear how you save money with menu planning.