I am a huge meal planner. I have been for years. This really started out of a need to survive the evening hours – with kids in after-school activities and too many sports to count, working all day, and facing a hungry family – I needed to come up with a plan that did not have us resorting to fast food. Hence, I became a meal planner. I created a number of monthly calendars that included breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with a complete shopping list.
My kids actually loved the calendar. I posted them on the inside of a cabinet and they always referred to it when wondering what was for dinner. If I varied from the calendar they would get upset! Especially when they were looking forward to a favorite meal.
The upside of the meal planning, in addition to adding a sense of calmness to our evenings – was we started saving money. Some of this was because we were eating out less, and part of it was because I wasn’t running to the grocery store multiple times throughout the week curtailing the impulse buying.
I definitely prefer to have my meals figured out for the week and the shopping list written before I head to the store. It saves me time, money, and my sanity! Over the years I have developed many monthly dinner menus. You can find a few of them here: 7 Day Budget-Friendly Menu Plan and Shopping List
Meal planning isn’t for everyone – but if you want to save money, I highly suggest giving it a try!
Other post you might be interested in regarding meal planning and saving money on groceries are:
Hunger in America ~ Feeding my Family on a Budget: Week One
Hunger in America – Feeding my Family on a Budget: Week Two
Hunger in America – Feeding My Family on a Budget: Week Three
Hunger in America – Feeding My Family on a Budget: Week Four