Today's difficult economic time has pinched everyone's pockets, causing a lot of strain on the monthly meal budgets. Read on to know few tips about cheap meal planning.
Meal planning on a budget is a great way to save money. The prices of groceries are sky-rocketing and burning a hole in your pockets. Coupons and 'free' products help in saving that dollar. Take-home meals and home-delivered foods are not only expensive, but also unhealthy. Your family needs more than just ready-to-eat food.
You can save a lot by properly planning a shopping trip to the supermarket or grocery store, and buying only those products that you really need in your kitchen. The following tips for cheap meal planning will not only help you cut cost, but also help in easing the pain in your monthly budget.
In the SuperMarket
Before leaving for the supermarket, note down all the supplies that may run out soon or have already been used up. This will help you take stock of your kitchen, also allow you to buy things that are essential, thereby, saving the precious dollar.
Plan Your Budget
Plan a menu for each day. List out all the favorite meals of your family, and accordingly, plan the week.
Check your list of needed supplies to see if all the ingredients required are present in your kitchen. If there is any specific ingredient required, add it to your list. This will help you plan the entire weeks recipes without missing any ingredient.
Once a complete plan is ready, make a shopping list and check for coupons that you can use while shopping. Keep an eye for grocery-coupons in the Sunday newspaper, magazines, and flyers. Use only those coupons, which offer discounts on products you actually use and not those that may be nice to try. This may cause a little flutter in planning.
Once you prepare a budget, stick to it. Check your shopping list, and if it exceeds your budget, then, adjust it accordingly. Do not be tempted to overspend and if you have done so, make up for it in the following week.
Before You Start Shopping
Always follow your shopping lists while buying items. Do not buy things that you don't need. If you come across great deals, buy more of it if the item is not perishable and can be stored. Note down the prices of the items. It will help you plan your next budget.
It will be cost-effective if you bake a cake or pie instead of buying an ice cream. Buy items on sale, and compare the cost with the actual cost at the end of the month. It will give you a fair idea if you could save a little extra in your monthly budget. Follow your plan and do not waiver on it.
You could cut down on eating outside to save money, which is beneficial for your health as well.
Bulk buying can help in cutting down the grocery cost.
Buy fruits by the bag, instead of per piece.
While cooking, save leftover vegetables, which can be added to soups, rice, omelets, and salads. Leftovers can be re-heated and eaten the next day.
Cheap meal planning ideas can help you get more from your monthly budgets. They release the pressure from your pockets. They always help in saving your hard-earned money and prevent wastage. They help you to be prepared for the week and cut the corners of your increasing budget. Always remember the old saying, "A penny saved, is a penny earned"!