With a growing family, food is always in the top spending categories of our monthly budget. Keeping a good balance between healthy, convenient, and economical choices is tough.
We’ve made it a point recently to focus on the food category to determine ways to save money on groceries. There are the normal ways such as watching for items on sale and coupon clipping. Something that I haven’t done consistently before is meal planning but it makes sense to me that this, combined with sales and coupons, is an effective way to handle the grocery shopping.
Meal planning has several advantages:
- You save time, which is money, by ideally making one efficient store visit per week. Also, when I’m dropping by the store several times per week to pick up dinner then I’m more likely to pick up other impulse items therefore spending more money.
- You can make healthier decisions because you’re allotting time to sit down and plan out your meals for the week or extended period of time that you’ve chosen. When you’ve got to make a quick food decision then there’s a higher likelihood that it will be a poor one.
- Meal planning will give you and your family some quality time together. Involving the kids in the process is a plus as you’ll give them a voice in the matter and teach them the importance of thinking ahead.
- You’ll be less likely to overspend at the store since you’ve planned things out and should know exactly what you’re going for.
- Plan to pack or eat at home for lunch and breakfast as well as dinner. You’ll save by not going to restaurants. Save the restaurant visits for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and so on.
Combine Meal Planning with Growing a Garden!
If you can grow your very own veggies combined with meal planning then you’re really going to be ahead of the curve when it comes to saving at the store. You’ll get more nutrition at a lower cost plus all of the other benefits of gardening. If you’ve got kids old enough to help out then you’re even better off and you’ll be teaching them a great skill that they can pass down.
You may think of growing a garden as a large time sucking undertaking. I actually think that it is therapeutic if you do it properly. It is more time but time well spent! I’ve raised small gardens as a homeowner and been around all sizes of them growing up. There is nothing better than a truly fresh tomato, cucumber, or ear of corn especially if you grew them. With all of the online resources plus friends and family you’ve most likely got a nice knowledge base within reach.
Get creative with how you feed your family and you’ll find ways to eat reasonably. I hope that you’ve found this post to be worthwhile and helpful! Thanks for reading!