We’ve all heard that we need to plan a frugal menu plan for our family, but other than the general “it will save you money” we aren’t really told why. There are multiple reasons that you want to keep a menu planned for your family and money is only one of them. For starters, having a planned menu will cut stress and keep your family organized. Not having to answer the age old question of “what’s for dinner?” can take a lot off of an already busy mom. Plus for me it keeps me on plan for Weight Watchers as well knowing what is coming up for dinner.
The money issue is another great reason of course. By having a planned menu, you aren’t constantly running to the store and you aren’t buying more than you need when you do shop. Typically people who menu plan shop once a month, twice at most. Shopping more often than you need is a great way to blow your budget very quickly.
So how do you get started planning your menu? Easy! You can break it down to just a few steps!
Gather your recipes – Pick the recipes that you want to make for that month and put them on your calendar in the order you’ll cook them in.
Make a shopping list – Write down the ingredients that you need to cook your menu so that you can head to the store.
Go shopping – Remember that to save the most, you’ll want to stick to buying only what’s on your list.
Cook! – Once you’ve got your groceries put away and your recipes on the calendar, it’s just a matter of cooking your meals!
Easy Back Up Plan – Always have a back up plan or two just in case things come up and you can’t stick to the original meal plan. IE a frozen pizza/ lasagna, quick thaw meat for spaghetti etc.
Make It Visible – Having the meal plan out were the whole family can see it will help you stay accountable to it. Plus keeping it visible can help the kids get involved in dinner prep as well as picking out recipes.
When you’re planning on cooking set meals every day, it helps if you can do some of the prep work ahead of time. Things like chopping veggies and freezing them, browning meat and freezing it and so on. Those things will really save you time when you go to cook your family a hot and delicious meal!
Do you meal plan for your family? How do you stick to it?