I recently gave a presentation at church about meal planning. I will have you know that I love to grocery shop the way other girls love to buy shoes and dresses.
How many of you believe that a full grocery cart, full cupboards, or a full fridge equal satisfying meals?
When Andy & I were a young married couple, our grocery trips involved going to the store and loading up our cart with whatever looked good or was on sale.
Unfortunately, a full cart of groceries does not a meal make!
I would stare blankly into the cupboards wondering what could I possibly make with ramen and peanut butter?
It wasn’t until we came up with a more precise plan of attack that we started buying groceries that made sense for the week. A year or two ago, Andy’s sister suggested we get a large dry erase calendar to help organize ourselves. Ever since then it has been a tremendous help to our shopping and our budget.
By planning our meals for the week, we knew exactly what ingredients we needed to buy, and how much we were going to spend. It not only helped fatten our wallets, but it also helped trim our waistlines because we weren’t buying unnecessary goodies.
THE GAME PLAN
- Plan out your meals in advance so you’re not caught by surprise later in the week.
- Make sure you plan meals that you and your family like, so you don’t come to a day & think “Ew.”, and wind up eating out because you either don’t have sufficient ingredients, or can’t think of something else to eat.
- Minimize shopping to once or twice per week to avoid overspending
- Avoid shopping on an empty stomach. Hunger can often trigger unnecessary food purchases
- Stick to only purchasing meal ingredients and basic necessities to minimize spending and unnecessary snacking.
- Try to purchase locally produced items. It will help cut your grocery bill down and stimulate the economy. Bountiful Baskets is a great example of this, as you can typically get $50 worth of produce for half the price. CSA Farm Shares are also a wonderful option. Andy & I are getting our first CSA beef and pork share for $175. It will feed us for a month. We are really excited, because we typically spend twice that every two weeks.
- Once you have your meals planned out and have made a grocery list, run through your weekly circular ads to check for sales. Write down the stores that have the ingredients you need on sale. After that, you can look up coupons online to save even more money. Unleash your inner shopping ninja!
- And always remember to check The Primal Junk Foodie Blog for the recipe of the day, or click "Recipes for Disaster" at the top to find other great, quick, and tasty meals!
Tuck in, Dudes!