How to Create a Family Meal Plan and Save Money

 

Groceries are one of the most expensive items in your family’s budget. To save money on the family budget, you should consider making a family meal plan. It will reduce your grocery bill, and it will also reduce the amount of food that goes to waste.

There are a number of important factors you need to consider when creating a family meal plan:

  • There are different types of meals. Some meals are meant to be created on the fly, and others are meant to be prepared. For most family, having a few boxes of cereal, some bagels and cream cheese, or some English muffins on hand should just about do the trick for those quick meals. Family dinners usually require more food, and therefore should include more planning. Lunches fall in between, and your lunch plan has a lot to do with who’s home during the day, who’s packing a lunch for school or work, and those sorts of factors.
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  • Meals that require large numbers of ingredients or expensive foods should be well planned. It’s important, for example, to buy the right amount of chicken breasts if you’re serving chicken alfredo for dinner. Too little and someone will go hungry, too much and you’ll wind up with leftovers that may or may not ever be eaten. Flip through your cookbooks or recipe boxes while you make your grocery list, and include not only the type of item that you need to buy but the exact amounts you’ll need for the recipe, as well.
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  • Sometimes, people don’t eat at home. This is another important factor to consider. If your family traditionally goes out for pizza on Thursday nights, you won’t plan a meal for that evening. On the other hand, just because you have a busy day planned doesn’t mean you can’t still prepare a meal. Crockpot recipes and self-serve meals (such as sandwiches and chips) are great for those days when you have family members running to and fro, and when you’re not all likely to eat at the same time.

Follow these basics, and you’ll be well on your way to saving some money on groceries, reducing waste, and creating your own weekly meal plan.


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