Hello all, Ell here. If this is your first time here, why not check out the About page to find out a little bit about me. Since starting on my money saving mission, I have been trying to cut down on our grocery budget. The best piece of advice I have been given is to meal plan. It has taken a lot of trial and error with our meal plan, but I’m starting to get better with it.
We were forever spending hundreds of pounds on food every week. Then at the end of the week we would throw out food that had past it use by date. It was a ridiculous cycle. Every evening we would look in our fridge and cupboards to decide what to have for dinner, but we would either be missing ingredients, not fancy whatever was in our fridge or were so tired that we didn’t want to cook and ended up ordering takeaway.
I found it difficult at first to come up with a meal plan. I had lists of ideas on my phone. As well as that I would start to think of meals to eat on Monday night, then Tuesday night and so on. But by the time I got to Wednesday I got lazy and would forget what food we had at home, so would end up shopping on my way home for a quick fix.
To stop the cycle I bought myself a weekly planner and came up with a little routine.
- Wednesday – Create meal plan for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for the following week (starting from Saturday). Write all meals in planner. If I think of other meal ideas, write them down on a meals list for future use.
- Thursday – Place grocery order for delivery Friday.
- Friday – Put away grocery delivery. Split out any bulk buys, e.g split meat into portions and freeze.
- Saturday – This is our ‘cookbook’ night. We have LOADS of cookbooks that we’ve either bought ourselves or received as gifts over the years. We choose a cookbook and then choose a meal for our Saturday night dinner. This is our treat and keep money aside now to do one shop specifically for this meal (if we don’t have the ingredients).
- Sunday – Start preparing for the rest of the week.
Since doing this it has saved us so much money plus saves us multiple trips to the supermarket every week. I try to keep the meal plan as flexible as possible. This way we can swap meals around if we want to.
I’m going to start sharing my meal plan from next week. I would love to help other people come up with some plan ideas and also would love input from anybody who has come up with their own meal plan.