One of the quickest ways to save money in your budget is to utilize our Frugal Living Menu Planning Tips. Not only are these great for making sure your family is eating healthy foods all the time, they are perfect for keeping your grocery budget intact. A menu plan can make a world of difference in your financial life, but also in your peace of mind and ability to care for your family.
Make a list of your family’s favorite foods. This is something I recommend you do with your family. Sit down and create a simple list of your family’s favorite menu items. This list can be your top 10, 15 or 20 recipes, or it can be a lengthy list that includes recipes you want to try as well as well. Talk with your family to make sure that everything on your list is something at least one or two people enjoy. If there are menu items that are not loved by everyone in the family, make note that those nights may also be sandwich or leftover nights for some.
Evaluate commonly used ingredients. Once you have a list of preferred recipes, go through them to evaluate commonly used ingredients. Create a master list of things you should always keep on hand for menu planning. This will likely be things like canned vegetables, sauces pasta, rice and flour or specific meats. This is handy for you to watch for when utilizing the coupons we talked about a few weeks ago in our post about frugal living through coupons.
Create a weekly menu using foods, sales and supplies on hand. Now that you have a master list of your favorite meals, make a weekly menu plan using those recipes in combination with what meats and fresh produce is on sale currently and/or what supplies you already have on hand. You can create a weekly menu or a monthly menu and shop accordingly.
Prep in advance for easier cooking during the week. When you go shopping for ingredients, come home and immediately prep your supplies. This helps considerably when you are rushing around during the week juggling work and home life. Things like cutting up vegetables, portioning meats and mixing up sauces can all be done easily on the weekend to make throwing meals together easier throughout the week.
Menu planning is a great way to not only save money, but to feed your family healthy home cooked meals. These frugal living menu planning tips are one of the best ways to create more money in your grocery budget. Not only will you see how you can save by buying ingredients in bulk when on sale, you will be preparing food so you are no longer falling victim to the last minute take out meals you maybe struggling to avoid.
Do you have any menu planning tips to share?