One of the first lessons I learnt after getting married was that food is expensive. Grocery shopping and cooking takes up a lot of time, and don’t even get me started on doing dishes. In my first year of being married, I’ve learnt a couple of things that have helped us save money (I have also gone off book and spent waaay more on food than we budgeted for) and have delicious meals every day.
So, today I’d like to invite you into my planning brain and show you how I put together our meal plan and shopping list for the week.
Step 1: Only shop once a week
Glen and I go shopping on Tuesdays, because it is generally a good day for us to spend time shopping. Choose a day that works for you and do your best to buy everything for the week ahead so that you don’t have to go to the shop again during the week.
Step 2: Plan your week
If you’re anything like me, you like to plan ahead. In planning what groceries we need, I’ll write out the days of the week and scratch out those that don’t require any cooking. If we are planning on going out on a Saturday night, there’s no point in buying food to cook on that day, is there? Next to each day that requires a meal, we’ll write out what we’d like to cook. Sometimes we feel like a particular dish (Asian chicken stir fry) and other times we’ll write out a type of meat and see what we find at the shop. Our supper plan looks a little something like this:
Step 3: Make a list
Based on our plan for the week, we’ll make a list. If we have a particular meal in mind for any of the days, we’ll write out all the ingredients we need that we don’t have in our kitchen already. Usually our list will include all the meats we want, a selection of vegetables and any other things we need to buy for the week. We’ve been eating yoghurt and granola for breakfast and chicken salads for lunch (last week we bought way too much so we aren’t buying anything for this week’s lunches). Today’s shopping list isn’t very long, but it looks like this:
Step 4: Look out for good deals
Sometimes we’re in the mood for beef, so we’ll look out for specials. If there’s a steak special, we’ll get those. There are some cuts of beef that are better suited to slow cooking, which is a great way to save money, because those cuts are almost always going to be cheaper. If you are flexible with your shopping list and meal plan, you can really save money and buy good quality ingredients that suit your budget and cooking style.
Step 5: Keep your meal plan on the fridge
What’s the best way to stick to your plan and avoid going to the shop again? Keeping your meal plan right in front of you! Our fridge looks like this:
I’ve upgraded my fridge meal planner and I’ve made one for you too! Get yours right here.
Coming up later this week:
Cake tasting with the girls!