If you want to start saving more and adding more money to your investment funds, meal planning can help. It is just another tool to take your investment funds to “Full Capacity”. Take a look at how to manage your money better with meal planning.
What Is Meal Planning?
If you want to keep it simple, it is “planning your meals”. That sounds like I am being sarcastic, but that is really all that it is. You plan all of your meals out for the week ahead of time, including snacks. This not only saves you time during the week, but also a lot of money.
But how does planning save you money?
Easy, it allows you to make an accurate list of the groceries that you need for the week. When most people go grocery shopping, they basically wing it. They buy a bit of this and a bit of that. The problem with this is that a bunch of this food will end up being wasted. It will either sit in the pantry unused or wind up in the trash bin.
Meal planning helps you eliminate this waste.
Making Your Meal Plan
It might seem intimidating to write out a whole weeks worth of meals, but you will get the hang of it in short order. Just take it one meal at a time. Write out 7 breakfast options, 7 lunches and 7 dinners. Also, be sure to write down the snacks that you will consume during the week.
Once you have your meal list, you can write down all of the ingredients that you need. Make sure that you are thorough so you can avoid any costly last minute grocery store trips.When the list is complete, cross reference it with what you have in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Scratch off the items that you already have and you are all set.
Your last step is to shop for your food. Do it on a Sunday and you are all set for the week to come. Either go to the store in person or, better yet, use free curbside pick up. Curb side pickup is free at most grocery stores and allows you to save more money by not being exposed to those tempting end caps.
Going “Full Capacity”
Simple meal planning can easily save you 10 to 20 percent on your food budget. That is how much food most families waste. But, if you want to go “full capacity”, there is still a little meat on the bone.
Take your savings up another notch by basing these meals around inexpensive foods. Foods like rice, potatoes and even past can be served for pennies a portion. These are also some of the most versatile ingredients that you can buy. With any one of them, you can make dozens of dishes so that you never get bored.
Another way to take it up a notch is to cut back on meat. If you are like the average American, you eat too much meat. This is bad for your health, the environment and your pocketbook. Start by cutting out one meat meal a week and see how you feel. It is very likely that you will feel thinner int he waste and fatter in the wallet.
There you have it, a simple way to save money with meal planning. Not only will it save you money, but time as well.