Thursday, March 4, 2010

Planning Ahead Saves You Time And Money

I just posted a blog on and thought I would share it with my readers too!

For many years, I would come home from work and start searching for something to cook for my family. I would get so frustrated that I would head to the nearest McDonalds and just pick something up. I didn’t know then what I know now about Meal Planning. A little planning ahead will have big payoffs in the end. It has managed to save my family thousands of dollars in the last year!

I sit down every Sunday night and create my meal plan and grocery list using a form that I find here. You can choose which form fits your family’s needs the most. I make my plan using the 2 week form. That way I can try to make two weeks worth of meals with what I have on hand. I then go grocery shopping for any items I need to go with the second week of meals on my form.
I also sit down with my Pantry/Freezer Inventory. It is the same form, which you can find here, but I use one for my pantry and one for my freezer. This way you always know what you have on hand. You simply mark items as you use them and add items as you purchase them. How many times have you been at the store and said to yourself, “I wonder if we have any diced tomatoes at home?” This form keeps you from spending your grocery budget on items you don’t need.

As you continue to Meal Plan and use your Inventories, you will begin to notice you are spending less at the grocery store. This allows you to free up your grocery budget and start stockpiling items.
If you notice a sale on something that you use regularly and you realize that you have never seen the price this low - buy as much as you can without it going bad and that your home allows room for!

As the weeks go by your stockpile should be building. Sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly depending on what is on sale. As you plan your menu each week, go through the ads of your grocery store and see what is on sale that week and if there are any items to stockpile. As always coupons will increase your savings on items and can make a good deal a great deal! Eventually, you will create a great stockpile, freeing up money in your grocery budget each week for more stockpiling items. Hopefully you will never have to pay full price on the items you use the most again!

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