I am a huge meal planner. I have been for years. This really started out of a need to survive the evening hours – with kids in after school activities and too many sports to count, working all day, and facing a hungry family – I needed to come up with a plan that did not have us resorting to fast food. Hence, I became a meal planner. I created a number of monthly calendars that included breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with a complete shopping list.
My kids actually loved the calendar. I posted them on the inside of a cabinet and they always referred to it when wondering what was for dinner. If I varied from the calendar they would get upset! Especially when they were looking forward to a favorite meal.
The upside of the meal planning, in addition to adding a sense of calmness to our evenings – was we started saving money. Some of this was because we were eating out less, and part of it was because I wasn’t running to the grocery store multiple times throughout the week curtailing the impulse buying.
I definitely prefer to have my meals figured out for the week and the shopping list written before I head to the store. It saves me time, money, and my sanity!
Meal planning isn’t for everyone – but if you want to save money, I highly suggest giving it a try!