7 Best Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill with Meal Planning

Apart from the inevitable water and electricity bills, grocery expenses could also turn out to exorbitant to the extent of burning a hole in your pocket. Often, we end up accepting these grocery expenses too and think they are unavoidable. However, there are several workarounds to curb the expenditure and help save considerably.

If you are quite clueless about how to go about lessening your grocery spends, then you can cut down with meal planning. It’s time you implemented this approach to ensure high-efficiency in spending. A month after sticking to this plan you’ll be surprised to see how smart you were in terms of saving money.

Some of the tips shared here not only prevent exorbitant expenditures, but also help in regulating health, be more watchful about one’s diet, and prevent accumulation of calories caused by unplanned eating.

Here are few tips to help you through the process:

Check What You Already Have

Yes, this is a simple activity many of us haven’t been following over the years. The wisest thing to do before charting out a budget plan is to inspect each container in the house, almost every spot where your inventory is stored. Make a list of what’s remaining to prevent buying the items that are available aplenty. Accordingly, the meal plan can be tailored. Often, we end up assuming the grocery stock is over and buy almost every item required for a month in bulk, without caring much about what exists already.

person holding ballpoint pen writing on notebook

Making a Menu

Just like how you go about charting budget plans to plan your expenditure and avoid unnecessary expenses, drafting a food (or even drinks) menu for the month is a smart move to save money. Depending on your preferences, you could include suitable options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This broad overview of the various food choices can be further broken down into their constituents, or rather, the groceries required for their preparation.

From a mom’s perspective  isn’t such an approach really useful? Leave aside the budget, merely imagining that every night you wouldn’t be plagued by ambiguity, or wonder what to cook the next morning for the kids’ lunchboxes. A menu roadmap can make our routines a lot more relaxed and prove to be advantageous in more than a single way. No more bills with figures that give you a panic attack, no more confusions, and a routine that may make you feel life’s become a lot more organized.

Over the years, most of us have indulged in unplanned grocery purchases, and often end up indulge in splurges which are undisciplined. It’s high time we plan the road ahead and think how much we are about to spend on our forthcoming meals to ensure a healthy bank balance.

Not just the money in our respective accounts, planned menus also help us watch our diet in a way, even if you are the kind that has refrained from diet restrictions over the years. If you are now looking to cut flab and be watchful of what you eat, here’s another reason why you should choose a menu.

In fact, a lot of apps have mushroomed over the past few years that have been helping mommies create customized meal plans to save up on grocery expenses. If you lack the patience to pick a pen and jot down ideas on a scribble pad, these smart applications should do the job for you in a jiffy.

bowl of vegetable salads

One Meatless Meal a Week

Yes, you heard that right. You may be a person who can’t imagine a greens-only meal, but this move could help you save a lot more on your monthly expenses incurred over meals.  Let’s be honest, meat is quite expensive as compared to greens, but most of us can’t shun non-vegan food completely either. Often, we overlook the amount spent in buying meat considering our cravings, and quite obviously, the expenditure consumes a good amount of our monthly earnings. Suggesting someone who isn’t vegan to completely shun meat to save on grocery expenses would be inhuman, or even criminal.  The smarter thing to do is give up on meat for one of the days of the week, which implies four a month. Four greens-only days is a good discipline to follow, since it not only curbs your grocery expenses a lot, but also prevents you from those extra calories that you always fret over. 

Those of you who are toying the idea of turning vegan, this could be a baby step towards achieving the goal and reducing monthly grocery expenses. Same goes, with those who want to cut the flab, here’s another reason why you shouldn’t get tempted by Bacon, at least for a day.

Mommies, even if grocery bills aren’t really a concern, and you are a person dealing with post-pregnancy weight and fear more accumulation of fat, consider this suggestion of ours.

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Utilizing the Leftovers

Might sound a bit preachy, but wasting food isn’t really a thought many people across the world would appreciate. A lot of people world over manage a few dishes for a day or two more from the day it’s prepared. Well, it’s normal for many, especially kids to heat up food from the previous day and try it again, but here’s the best way to manage leftovers.

Try preparing dishes your kids and other family members relish. The excess can be stored in the refrigerator, and if the dish is lip-smacking enough, everybody at home won’t mind eating it again for breakfast or have it packed in their lunchboxes. If you are a mommy who faces a routine challenge of figuring what meal to prepare every morning for the kids to have at school, this is a smart way of saving yourself from the drudgery.

Not only are a few meals for the next day sorted, this approach also helps immensely in spending your grocery optimally. Imagine repeating this cycle for most days a month, and you will be amazed how the approach has reduced your expenses drastically.

burger sandwich and potato fries on brown wooden surface

Trying ’15 Minute Meals’

Not a bad idea at all, if you are a working mommy, and don’t have enough time to cook meals for your kids. 15-minute meals are cheap, you can prepare them really quickly, and are good workarounds to end your ambiguity regarding what to prepare on a particular day. Well, quite obviously, it isn’t the best practice for all 3 meals each day, but a smart option to end your grocery woes. You can save tremendously on not just those monthly essentials, but also money, and time.

Including 15-Minute meal suggestions in your monthly grocery plans also make it interesting and could turn out to be really good money savers. The days where cooking seems like a next-to-impossible task, those 15-minute meal cartons turn out to be rescue rangers.

  1. The Occasional Dinners

Of course, meal plans are disciplines meant to be followed strictly to reduce grocery bills, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for recreation. You can pamper yourself and the family once in a while by visiting that new restaurant in town for dinner. Not only would such outings help you and the family get a respite from the routine meals, they also better family bonding over some mouth-watering delicacies at a warm-ambience. Apart from recreation, such meals also help save your grocery and the hassle of cooking another meal.

So, all you moms, it’s not at all a bad idea to include those dinner ideas in your meal plans. You and the family deserve a bit of pampering and the occasional breathers too, won’t you agree? However, do try not to indulge in splurges quite often to the extent that you have very little money and land in a financial crisis that lasts till the next pay check arrives.

Making the Best of Cash-Back Apps

 You could also utilize the benefits of cash-back apps to bag discounts on your meals from outside, or even while ordering those pizzas, to save more than you imagined. The advantage of such applications that offer food coupons  is that you can order from your favorite restaurants, or maybe joints such as Dunkin Donuts, pamper yourself once, in maybe a fortnight, and also save considerably. Even retail giants such as Walmart offer such coupons, that help in There’s a reason why food coupons are a rage world over. Keep them handy if you want to prevent the wrath caused by unnecessary expenditures and still take the kids out for meals once in a while.

We hope this compilation of points to cut your grocery bill with meal planning immensely helps each one of you. We also suggest you to indulge in an independent research to know what many others are doing right to prevent expensive grocery bills, and yet planning their meals right. You could also introspect, or probably recall meal planning practices that were probably useful but you aren’t following anymore. Maybe it’s time to get the basics right.