Using a meal plan has helped us to start
paying off our debt!
We meal plan and it is helping us to get out of debt! It’s embarrassing to admit that we have debt because my husband and I worked very hard to avoid it for nearly 18 years. We would only buy what we knew we could pay for at the end of each month. This worked quite well for us for almost 18 years.
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Then one day something changed! We got stuck with some medical bills, Our pay decreased, and we started paying more for health insurance. On top of all that, we added a new member to our family!
The cost of living continued to increase and we found ourselves in a place where we just couldn’t pay each bill off every month.
I went back and forth about what I could do to help our family. Then I did some math and I was shocked! I saw that I was spending a lot more then I needed to on groceries. Cutting our grocery budget was something I could control and help our family once achieve debt freedom.
Could I meal plan and really save money on our groceries?
The first week of meal planning I cut my grocery budget from $195- $250 per week to just $110.00! I made sure that everything I bought was part of either breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a planned snack. I did not buy ANYTHING if it was not written down on our meal plan.
How can you save money by meal planning?
- When you have a plan you are less likely to run out to eat in a pinch. Eating at home is healthier and more cost effective!
- I can also prep things for dinner while I prepare lunch or breakfast since I know exactly what we are having. This makes life so much easier for me because my kids are more needy in the evenings!
- When you meal plan you can shop from a grocery list which really helps me save money! I know exactly what I need for meals and snacks and I don’t end of buying more then I need. I avoid last minute trips to the store when I shop with a list. If I go into the store without a list I have to guess what I need and I almost always forget something or I buy items I don’t need.
- Plan your meals according to what is on sale for the week. Referring to the sales adds has saved us a lot of money. One example is that I used to always buy strawberries for our family regardless of the cost. After looking at the sales adds last week I found grapes for just $0.89 lb.. I bought grapes instead of strawberries! In addition, buying what is on sale has forced me to change things up which is a little side benefit!
- Shop from your pantry before you buy something you really don’t need. Make your grocery list based on what you need to reduce unnecessary purchases of duplicate items. You may have to get creative and come up with new meals based on what you have on hand. I had a bunch of beans so I made a rice and beans last week. It didn’t cost me anything from my weekly budget since I had everything I needed to prepare this meal right here in my pantry!
- If something comes up and you have to step out there is still a plan in place. A couple of weeks ago I had to photograph a birth which meant I was not home to cook dinner (this is normally my job). I had everything that we needed for dinner and my husband stepped in and refer to our meal plan. Our older kids helped make dinner with their dad because everything they needed was already set out. I am almost certain they would have gone out to eat if we did not have a meal plan.
Some days I am just exhausted and I know that if I didn’t have a plan for dinner I would be tempted to go out to eat!
However, Meal Planning and goal setting motivates me to try even harder to stick to a budget and it has become a fun challenge to see how much we can save each week at the grocery store!
I hope these tips help you! I would love to hear from you about your success’ and even struggles with meal planning and prep! Please let me know if there is something you would like to know more about in the comments below. How I can help you and your family to be successful when it comes to saving money and meal planning?
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Check out a delicious and simple crock pot meal here.