Do you plan your meals each day? Week? Month?
Are there tips that have saved your sanity when it comes to grocery shopping, meal planning, and prepping?
If so, I want to know your secrets!
After doing Weight Watchers for over 6 years, I became pretty good at planning meals for the week and putting a grocery list together. But there is always room for improvement, and I know I’m always looking for new tips and tricks to save time and money.
The tricks that have stuck with me over the years?
- Make a grocery list and stick to it. Sure, impulse buys happen sometimes, but for the most part, I stick to my list. I also write notes beside items when I have coupons to use (so I won’t forget at the store) and have my meal plan for the week on the back of my grocery list so I can refer to it while I’m shopping.
- Buy in season. Whether you’re shopping at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, buying produce in season will save you a ton of money. Fruits and veggies are always cheaper during their typical growing season – plus, they’re better and more flavorful, too. I don’t buy fresh peaches in January or asparagus in October. It’s just not their time and I’ve learned my lesson.
- Check out the weekly sale sheets. Grocery specials rotate on a 4-6 week basis, so when frozen veggies or canned tomatoes are on super sale, I buy a few extra bags or cans. Same with everything else, when I can. If you buy a few more when they’re on sale, you won’t have to buy them on the weeks that they’re full price – plus, if you can buy them on sale AND when you have a coupon? That’s just fun.
- Plan a few recipes that use the same ingredients. If I’ve found a new recipe to try and it calls for a more exotic ingredient or one I don’t already have at home, I try to find another recipe that uses the same ingredient. That means fewer things to buy (overall) because I’m utilizing the new ingredient for more than one meal that week.
- Prep on weekends. I go through phases with this one. I’ll do great with this one for months and then get off track because of travel or plans or whatever, but it’s a great place to start. Doing easy things like chopping veggies over the weekend or cutting up fruit to have throughout the week can save so much time. When I have time, I also like to make a dish to have for lunch throughout the week or cook up a batch of whole grains.
If you have tips or tricks you use to save money / time for grocery shopping or meal planning and prep, let’s hear ‘em!
I want to see how many new tips we can get in the comments!