Meal planning can be a money-saving measure, especially when you plan your weekly meals around what’s on sale at the grocery store. Here are 3 tips for being a savvy shopper and making the most of your grocery budget.
1. Manage your meals
The first step in successful meal planning is having an easy-to-access list of your favourite recipes. Keeping track of your must-have meals can be accomplished in a number of ways.
- You might choose to tab, highlight or circle your favourite recipes in cookbooks.
- You might keep a spreadsheet of recipes that you love and want to try. You can organize the recipes in your spreadsheet by type. For example, you can list chicken dishes in one column, beef in another, as well as meatless meals, slow cooker meals and more.
- Alternatively, you can bookmark your favourite recipes on the web for easy access.
- Having your recipes well organized allows you to quickly access them when meal planning every week.
2. Purchase fresh sale items
Fresh produce and meats likely take a big bite out of your grocery budget. Choosing discounted produce and meats is the next step in money-saving meal planning.
- Find out which fruits, vegetables and meats that appeal to you are on sale. Then, refer to your recipe list to choose meals that call for those ingredients.
- For example, if chicken breasts, peppers and onions are on sale, you can add rice and a teriyaki sauce for an inexpensive stir fry dinner.
- Pairing fresh produce and meats that are on sale with family favourites will translate into budget-friendly grocery shopping.
3. Shop your pantry for staples
Rather than buying a lengthy list of ingredients for every dinner, shop your pantry for staples and pair what you already have with weekly sales.
- For example, perhaps you have pasta and pasta sauce in your pantry. If Italian sausage and peppers are on sale at the grocery store this week, you can combine these ingredients for a delicious, inexpensive and easy-to-make weeknight dinner.
- Keeping your pantry stocked with non-perishable items that you always use – and buying these products when they are on sale – can make your meal planning easier and cheaper.
Meal planning takes the guesswork out of dinner every night and also guides your grocery shopping. Combining weekly meal planning with sale shopping can result in serious savings every week.