We are all always looking to save money where we can, right? Meal planning is great for that – it helps us keep to a budget and put away any excess money that we don’t use into savings. It can also massively reduce stress and save us from ourselves on the take away front!
Here are five tips that will help save you money.
Cook in bulk
You may think that buying more meat than you would for a normal meal would be more expensive but it actually works out as a saving in the long run. Rather than buying a small joint of meat for one meal, buy a larger joint for just a little bit more and cook a few different dishes with it, freezing the meals for later on in the week or month. That extra £2 you spent on a larger joint of meat will save you money as you won’t be buying another joint just a few days later, you’ll be able to pull one of your pre-prepared meals out of the freezer or fridge, I have loved batch cooking for exactly this reason!
Love your leftovers
Even if you don’t cook in bulk, you will often find that you have enough food left over for the next day or two. Rather than forgetting about it, leaving it on the side and throwing it away, use it for lunch the next day to save buying a sandwich or a meal whilst out and about.
Make sure you’re stocked up with staples
Your meal plan doesn’t need to be fancy – you can try your hand at being a culinary whizz a couple of nights a week but it is perfectly okay to whip up a tasty pasta dish every now and again. Make sure to have food cupboard staples such as rice, pasta, pulses, tinned tomatoes, passata, milk, eggs etc all readily available for your meals.
Themed nights work too
To keep your meal plan simple and keep on track with your budget, consider having themed nights such as Fun Friday where you have a treat meal that you all enjoy such as pizza. Perhaps consider a night of the week where you don’t eat meat either – meat is an expensive food item so this will also help to drive your food budget right down.
Consider buying online
When meal planning, buying your groceries online may be perfect for you. Walking around the shops enables us to pick up things and put them in the trolley that we haven’t budgeted for. Sometimes the temptation can be there online as they try to entice us with certain deals but you will often find your budget is more adhered to with an online grocery shop rather than a physical one.
Do you have any good meal planning tips? I’d love to hear about them – I am always looking for more!