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  • Writer's pictureSusan Tucker

How Meal Planning can Help you Save Money

I would be hard pressed to find a client who wouldn’t benefit from some form of meal planning. Creating a meal plan can mean thinking of 3 suppers you will make in the coming 7 days. It could also mean planning what to make for breakfast and lunch daily. Others might find it helpful to make a supper plan for all 7 days- even if that means one night is eating in a restaurant and one evening is a “simple” supper simple like eggs, toast and fruit. The point of meal planning is to have a PLAN that will suit each day’s activities and that helps ensure you have the necessary ingredients on hand.

I could go on about meal planning how-to’s and its benefits but given I’ve been highlighting grocery prices, the cost of healthy eating and inflation lately, here are some ways meal planning can help you save money:

  • Less food waste

You can plan for recipes that make the right amount for the people that live with you. Or, you might know a recipe makes a large amount and can last you two days’ worth of suppers. A meal plan can ensure you aren’t throwing out leftovers or unused ingredients, which languish in your crisper after you bought them until you set them free (just as a nonspecific example that I’ve never had experience with).

  • Less impulse buying

I will list this as a potential benefit. With meal planning, you show up at the grocery store with a list of food items you need. In theory this means that you have a list and you won’t buy unnecessary items that aren’t needed for your meal plan. Without a plan, you are more likely to purchase food items on a whim, not knowing how you might use them.

  • Less money spent on takeout

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we end up ordering pizza, and that’s just fine. However, if you have a meal plan in place and have planned suitable meals around the day’s activities (for example pita or naan pizzas on a night you have volunteer work) and you have ingredients on hand to make said supper it’s easier to stick to the plan and less tempting to get delivery.

  • You use up the food you already have

Meal planning ideally considers what is stocked in your fridge, pantry and freezer. Which vegetables look like they’re on their last legs? Did you, like me, accidentally buy a huge bag of red lentils and now need to find creative ways to use them up? Meal planning allows you to use the ingredients you already have, that you may have forgotten about, and save money in the process.

Do you currently meal plan? What’s the best way to save money while meal planning? Comment below!

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