Is anyone else surprised by how much food their children consume? We haven’t even hit the teenage years yet (pray for me) & I huge portion of our budget goes towards feeding this clan of ours. The most helpful thing we’ve done to make sure we aren’t eaten out of house & home has been meal planning. By making sure we’re organized on a weekly basis & go shopping with a plan, it’s helped me reign in the spending. Since we’ve started using You Need A Budget I’ve been motivated to be even better.
You Need A Budget has been such a handy tool! Talking about finances tends to be an awkward convo, but constantly over drafting is more awkward. We’ve paid off a huge chunk of our debt this year using their software & I am grateful that there are options available to teach me how put my money to better use. I’ve been raving to my family about how much I love the difference You Need A Budget has made on our finances & the peace of mind that comes along with that.
Back to meal planning. Let me help you get started! I’ve got 6 tips that I find most helpful in saving money & eating healthier.
1. Start by planning your meals for 5 days out of the week. I like to use this meal planning printable to organize our week & get our grocery list all in one place. Once you’ve got the hang of doing 5 days, bump up to a full week.
2. Start with ingredients you already have. Look at your fridge, what’s in your pantry. Figure out how to use what you already have & build your list & meals from there.
3. Double recipes. This is one of my favorite tricks. If you make a double dinner, you can use the leftovers for lunch the next day.
4. Prep your components. Instead of prepping entire meals, prepare the components so when it comes time to cook it’s almost effortless. I like to precook the proteins or portion out the sides ahead of time so I can throw it all together when dinner rolls around.
5. Theme nights. Our favorite theme is Homemade Pizza Fridays.
6. SHARE! Getting into recipe sharing on Facebook groups or in family group texts makes it more fun. You’ll get meal inspiration & hopefully stay motivated to stick to your plan & your budget.
What tips & tricks do you use? I’d love to hear what works for you!