Often times, the meal planning session takes place before the grocery shopping does. We look at sales papers, planning our shopping lists and meals around those discounted items. We use coupons for bigger discounts. Plan the menu for the coming week or two, then do the shopping.
Once I have tried my new (to me) way to shop and get it all home and put away, I will then plan my meals. That is right, I vow not to plan meals until the grocery shopping is done.
Shop according to Try This to Save Money on Groceries.
Put all the food away once I get it home, noting what items I already had on hand. I will likely make a list of those items, to go along with my shopping receipt list of items.
Sit down with my lists, a pen, and some paper. Split the paper into four sections: Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks.
Brainstorm ideas for the four sections, utilizing what foods I have on hand at this point. This may mean changing up recipes, which will actually give me more recipes to post here! Make the list.
Prepare any items I can in advance (Ex: Meal Prep for the Coming Week, More Workweek Meal Prep, Even More Workweek Prep, Plus), packing them into meal or snack size portions. These items will make it easy for me to pack my meals for work.
Remember that I don’t have to stick to my plan completely. Whenever I make a meal, I can switch it up using other ingredients I have on hand. Doing so allows for more creativity.
Have you tried planning meals after shopping? How does it work for you? Or, why does it not work? Does this meal planning method help to save money? Let us know in the comments below, or email me at email@example.com.