6 Tips for Easy Meal Planning

Planning meals ahead of time can provide many benefits for the whole family.  Improving your family's nutrition intake, saving time in a busy schedule, and saving money on a tight budget are all perks of planning your meals for you and your family.

photo credit: strengthontherun.com

photo credit: strengthontherun.com

1. Set aside time to plan

Reserve an hour at the beginning of your week to make a plan for your meals for the rest of the week.  Start with the foods you already have, because buying all new ingredients can get costly.

2. Develop your meal plan for the whole week

Decide what your family is eating at the beginning of the week so you're not scrambling last minute.  Buy a calendar or meal planning guide to write down a shopping list with everything you will need.

3. Create a shopping list

Create a list based on where they are in the store to make sure it shopping doesn't take too long and you don't buy unnecessary things.

4. Don't shop Hungry

Shopping hungry can be a threat to your wallet.  Make sure to stay on task and stick to your list.

5. Bargain shop as best you can

  • Most grocery stores have specials or deals of the week
  • Take advantage of your store's shopper's rewards system
  • Buy in bulk, and compare price per pound or ounce. Doing this will diminish the cost of each meal
  • Buy generic brands or the store brands, and use coupons!

6. Cook wisely and efficiently

Cook more than you need and save the rest for another meal. Try using a crockpot so the meal cooks itself while you can do other things

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