Make a meal plan and save money

Making a meal plan hasn’t always been a part of my life, I just didn’t think about it and didn’t need it.
I used to go to the store everyday, decide in the store what I wanted to eat and bought what I needed. It might sounds ridiculous to go to the store everyday, looking back at it, I think it is too. I wasted lots of time and money doing this and regret that I didn’t start making a meal plan earlier in my life.

it all changed when I became a mom, taking a baby to the store isn’t easy and doing it everyday is impossible. I also wanted to save money, babies are expensive and I wanted to save what I could to buy her those cute outfits.
I looked at what I spend and got a big shock realizing how much I spent on groceries, I’m not going to tell you how much it was but believe me when I say that it was a lot.

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I decided at that moment that I needed to start making a meal plan, and after two years of doing that, I love it. I regret spending all that time and money not doing something I love to do now.
Making a meal plan saves me a lot of stress, time and money. If you also want to save yourself stress, time and money. Try to make a meal plan for a few weeks, I’m sure you will love it too.

m going to share with you how I make my meal plan every week, maybe it’ll help some of you to get started.
Follow along and ask anything you want to know in the comment section.  Grab your notebook and a pen and lets get started.

Making a meal plan

1. Look at what you have

Before I even start thinking about the meals I want to make next week, I look at what I still have at home. Grab your notebook and a pen and look in your freezer, fridge and pantry. Write down everything you still have and what needs to be used, this way you’re not buying anything you already have.

2. Go online

Now you have your list of what you have at home, it’s time to go online. I visit the site of the supermarkets I do my groceries at and look at what’s on sale this week. I write everything down that sounds interesting for our family, I also write down the price and the supermarket.

3. Time to plan

It’s time to write down the meals you want to make this week, make sure that you have some easy and fast meals too for the days that are busy. When thinking of meals, first look at what you still have and how you could use those ingredients to make a meal. If there are still days open, look at what’s on sale and how you can make meals of that.
Don’t forget to plan a day for take-off if you know that you’re not going to cook everyday.

4. Make your grocery list

Next is you grocery list, write down all the ingredients you need to buy to make your meals. Then write down what you need for breakfast, lunch and snacks. The things I usually buy for breakfast and lunch are cereals, milk, bread, cheese and eggs.  I also know that we love to snack, so I buy fruits, crackers, and other snacks too.

5. Don't forget anything

Besides food and drinks, you’ll also need cleaning supplies, shampoo’s, and other things you use daily or weekly. Really think about what you need to buy, I also look at my receipts of the last week to see what I bought then.  Something I forget to write down often is cat food (sorry Brownie), but those receipts remind me of that.

You can write down the prices of everything you need to buy so you know what you’ll spend in the store.  I do this and know what I’m going to spend before even going to the store. I make sure that I have enough money with me, but not too much, that way I’m not spending a lot of extra money on things I don’t need.
Usually I only take €20,- more with me than I need, this is for those great yellow stickers and sales that are not online. You don’t have to write down the prices, but I love to know what I’m going to spend.

Even though I’m making a meal plan for two years now, I still sometimes forget things, which isn’t a bad thing. It does mean that I have to go to the store during the week as well, but only to get one or two things. My toddler doesn’t mind that as the playground is around the corner of the supermarket.

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