Frugal Family – Meal Planning

What is Meal Planning and How Can it Help Save Money

Meal planning is one of the easiest ways to help you and your family save time and money by planning out each meal of the week and sticking to this list when shopping for groceries. Saving money isn’t the only benefit of meal planning. Meal planning helps eliminate the frustration and wasted time figuring out what to eat for dinner.

More eating in with less stress around the meal itself can lead to something priceless: more time with your family enjoying a healthy meal and each others’ company. Not to mention spending money on restaurants is exceedingly difficult and stressful if you’re living with debt problems. If you’re currently behind on your credit card payments, CreditGUARD’s certified credit counselors are just a call away at 800-500-6489. In the meantime, read on for some good money saving tips.

Discover Your Meal Planning Goals

One of the best outcomes of meal planning is that it is an easy way to cut out excess expenses and put a stop to thoughtless spending. Consider what your objectives are when meal planning and if there are any large goals you want to accomplish with your meal plan. Perhaps you want to be more social and would like to be able to eat out more with your friends. Meal planning is a great way to know exactly how much you have to spend when going out so that you can enjoy your time with friends guilt free. Maybe you want to cut out your food waste for environmental reasons. Now the extra money you spend on fresh herbs can be used throughout the week because you’ve already planned for their use. Meal planning certainly helps save time since you already know what you will be making for each meal throughout the week. Whatever your ultimate goal, one thing is for sure, meal planning will help you and your family save money by knowing and being clear on your spending habits.

Follow These Easy Steps for Meal Planning Success

The best way to begin a meal plan is to see what you are already spending each week on your meals. It is easy to keep track of how and where you are spending your money through a budgeting app or a manual budget. Keeping track lets you know where you are overspending and what you spend the most on regularly. The next step to take is to make an inventory of what you both like to eat and buy the most. If you know what your family eats the most of, you can look for sales and stock up (if it is a non-perishable item).

Keep your grocery receipts: if you don’t finish a product or throw it away, highlight it on the receipt. This helps you track the real cost of your food waste, and can help to reduce unnecessary spending. Perhaps the most important step is the next step. Make a shopping list. Gather your past receipts and write down the price of each item to get an idea of what your shopping budget might be. A list, plus a general idea of what your shopping trip total should be, will help reduce impulse buys and needless overspending.

Speaking of overspending, it’s how many people get into hot water with credit card debt. Don’t take out a new loan, a new card or anything else that will add to your debt. Call CreditGUARD to learn how we can consolidate your existing credit debt into one easy monthly payment that doesn’t require a new loan or adding to your debt. Call today at 800-500-6489.