One way that I try to save as much money as I can with my food expenses each month is by meal planning. Food is expensive. Many families spend somewhere between $500 to $1,000 a month on food, and some families spend much more than that.
Here is how you can save money by meal planning:
You’ll have less waste.
One big benefit of meal planning is that you will have less food waste. It is said that around 40% of food that is bought is thrown away and wasted. That’s a lot of money wasted!
You might think that you don’t waste that much food, but you probably do. Next time you make a meal, really think about how much food you are wasting.
You’ll buy what you need.
You will have less waste because you will be buying what you need at the grocery store. When meal planning, you will create a specific grocery list of the exact items that you need. You will go through your pantry, fridge, and so on, and if you do not have the required item for the meal, then you will know exactly what you need to buy at the store.
You won’t be strolling down each aisle to see what you may need. This is how money is wasted. If you are only buying parts of a meal, then it is obviously not what you need because you want/need a full meal to eat.
It can stop you from wanting to go out to eat.
Another great thing about meal planning is that you won’t want to go out to eat as much.
You can completely avoid the “What’s for dinner?” question and save money because you will already have options for dinner. This is one of the major problems that I have when it comes to my food spending – I either don’t know what to make, I’m too lazy to even think about it, or I don’t have the necessary ingredients to actually make a full meal. It’s no fun to start a meal only to realize that you can’t even make the full meal because you forgot to buy that one item when you were at the grocery store.
Meal planning will save you money on going out to eat. You can create a wide variety of items to eat, and you will known that you have the ingredients to make your meals as well.
Do you meal plan? Why or why not?
Image from Flickr by littleprincessdiaries