One of the first things I tell people when they ask me how to save money on groceries is to plan a menu. You may not always stick to it, but it is worth it to have as a guide! With a menu, you can account for all the food you will eat through the week. You should list snacks as well as meals as it will help you know how much you are eating and what you need to purchase to compensate for every snack and meal. I am going to give you some steps I use to prepare my menu. You may have another method, you should use what works for you and your family!
- Make a list of your favorite meals. Below are some of ours.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Tacos (Roll-Ups/Tortillas)
Roast beef, veggies
Oven Fried Chicken
Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins
(The list goes on! My crew loves to eat!)
- Try to keep on hand ingredients for these items. When ingredients for these items go on sale and you even have a coupon, STOCK UP!
- Write out each day of the week horizontally across the paper.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
- Under each day write Breakfast, Lunch, Supper, Snack vertically.
- As you look at each day, think of what you do that day. If you do not have any special routines or events happening that day or that week, it should be much easier to plan your meals. On busy days, you will want quick easy meals or possibly crock-pot dinners you prepare in the morning and ready for the evening without any worries!
- From ingredients you have on hand and recipes you enjoy, start filling in the blanks with what you want to eat. Remember if you are busy, you are not going to want to plan a difficult dish to fix for that particular day or meal.
- Once you have filled in as much as you can with what you have on hand, look at what is on sale at the grocery stores and fill in the blanks with recipes containing those items.
- If you are still having a difficult time getting a menu together, consult your cookbooks or online websites for ideas for meals. Taste of Home has an advanced recipe search where you can type in the ingredients you have on hand, and it will return search results for recipes which contain those ingredients.
- Your menu should look full at this point. You do not have to plan gourmet meals. Keep them simple. Make sure you include plenty of protein, fruit, and veggies for a balanced diet.
You can see my other posts on the Walking You Through Saving on Grocery Series below. Thank you for reading.
- Walking You Through Savings on Groceries Part 1
- Walking You Through Savings On Groceries Part 2- A Trip to Kroger
- Walking You Through Saving On Groceries Part 3- Grocery Budget
Next Topic: Making Your Grocery List