With some basic organization, you can take full advantage of discounts and coupons to plan healthy meals around items on sale. It will also spare you from having to make hurried and short runs to the grocery store after work when you may already be tired and hungry.
Meal planning does not have to be complicated or elaborate — and you do not have to be a skilled chef either. Planning ahead can be as simple as selecting a main dish for each evening meal, and then having enough vegetables and other side dishes on hand. Without a meal plan, you may be more likely to eat out, grab fast food, or eat less balanced meals.
Here are several tips to cut your grocery bill with meal planning:
- Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. See our refrigerated food coupons for ideas of side and main dishes you can keep on hand.
- Keep it simple. Do not make your plan so strict that you are unable to follow it. The most important thing is to have ingredients on hand to make five or six different meals so that you have choices depending on your mood and how much time you have to cook on a given day.
- Create a shopping list each time you buy groceries and stick to it. Without a list, you are more likely to purchase impulse items or go over budget when you shop.
- Make a dedicated grocery run every week or two rather than more frequent ones.
- Create a place to store your coupons for easy reference when you need them. After you print them out from RedPlum or other sources, put them in a basket or file them somewhere convenient. Then, when it is time to shop, only grab your stack of current coupons and go. Saving coupons in one location also help you to remember to use coupons before they expire. Learn more tips to organize coupons.
When you plan and prepare meals in advance, you will save more money and time.