How I Save Money With Meal Planning & Prep

How I Save Money With Meal Planning & Prep

I've mentioned before how much I need routine and organisation in my life! There's a lot going on in my head constantly, and a million and one things I'd like to do each day. To Do lists are absolutely essential, and I like to plan everything I need to do (or aim to do) each day - and that includes shopping.

No judgement, but I honestly don't know how people go shopping without planning ahead, and most importantly taking a shopping list with them! I've literally always done it, since the first time I went shopping for myself when I moved out. Planning your meals, and creating a shopping list based on your meal plan is the most important thing to do if you want to cut down your food costs!

So I'm sharing today what I do each week, when it comes to meal planning, food shopping and meal prep!

I like to use Sundays to plan for the week ahead - which includes writing a shopping list for Monday morning! I firmly believe that one of the most tedious things we have to do as an adult, is constantly having to decide what to eat!! Am I right? I like to get it out of the way as quick as I can, because, let's be honest - it's boring!

To make it slightly more exciting I use Pinterest for inspiration, and I have different boards for the different types of meals I like to make. I also take photos on my phone of any recipes I spot in magazines I might like to try. Don't get me wrong, we do have a lot of the same meals throughout each month, but I do try and switch it up, and try a new recipe every week or two.

How I Save Money With Meal Planning & Prep

(You can follow me on Pinterest here >> WhimsicalMumblings << )

Get Inspiration For Meal Ideas ✔

Reducing your food waste is so important, so I always make sure I check my cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what food I already have in, and what needs to be eaten this week  - and incorporate these things into my meals. It's also important to check what food you already have, so you don't buy double! 

Check Cupboards 

Now I sit down to write the shopping list. I'll write out all the different ingredients I'll need for the meal I have planned, and then a separate list with everything I need to buy. Including the things I need every week like milk, fruit, veg, bread - plus the ingredients for the meals too. 

Because I'm a loser I also write my shopping list in the order that I will walk around the shop. It may sound ridiculous, but it saves so much time and will ensure you don't accidentally skip anything on your list.

While I am writing my list, I also pop a rough price estimate for each item, normally a 'maximum I'm willing to pay' price, which means I can estimate roughly how much my total food shop should cost, so there are no nasty surprises at the checkout!

I'll pop my shopping list on the fridge, ready to grab and go on Monday morning!

Write The Shopping List (including prices, organised by aisle) 

Next thing I like to do is fill in my meal plan board, so I know what meals we will be having on what days. It helps because then I know what I need to pop in the freezer/or defrost each day - it also helps to know how long dinner will take to cook, and huge bonus point - it'll stop everyone asking "MUUUUM! WHAT'S FOR DINNER?" 

How I Save Money With Meal Planning & Prep

Fill In Meal Plan Board 

Now once the shopping is all done and packed away, I'll start thinking about meal prep. If we are having a meal that takes a while to prep, I like to try and start preparing any more time consuming meals in the morning if I can, or atleast at some point during the day. Taking 10 minutes to peel potatoes, chop vegetables or make sauces can save so much hassle at dinner time!

Start Preparing Dinner During The Day 

So that's basically how I do it! I never ever go to a shop without a list, it helps so much knowing exactly what you need to buy, ensures you buy enough for meals and helps stop impulse buying!

Do you have any tips you'd like to share about saving money with your food shop?
How I Save Money With Meal Planning & Prep

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