4 Tips to Save Money With Healthy Meals and Budgeting
Fall is an active time; we’re often busy running, communicating on social networks, and attending parties, cookouts, or our kid’s many different activities… all sorts of fun stuff. Do you often find yourself asking your spouse, “What are we going to have for dinner tonight?” I know I do, often the night before. I believe that 8 out of 10 couples have this conversation every day. Food plays a huge role in our lives: we spend 15-25% of our income on food, if not more. Yet, I wonder how many families have meal plans that fit their budgets.
My husband and I are conscious about leading healthy lifestyles, and purchase only organic products and food for us (and our cat) to make sure we don’t consume any toxic chemicals. Yet, often, organic food and products can cost almost double than conventional products. However, what’s more important than our health? Nothing! I would like to share some of my tips for building healthy meal plans AND saving money.
How often do you go grocery shopping? Every day? Once a week? Twice a week? Do you usually know what to purchase ahead of time? Or do you simply shop by intuition? Logically, when you visit the grocery store frequently, you will spend more money. Why? Because the more you shop, the more money you spend. Isn’t that a simple concept?
Here are 4 Tips to help you build a Healthy Meal Plan & Save $$
1. Check the pantry and fridge: When we’re super busy taking care of our kids, career, relationships, and exercise, who can remember exactly what’s in the fridge or panty? Not me. So, the night before you plan to go grocery shopping, make sure to check what you already have, and what you need. Taking this action will not only save you money, but give you more time for shopping.
2. Plan a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu: Create your weekly meal plan before you go grocery shopping. Taking this action can help you and your family be healthier, save money, and spend more time together.
3. Don’t hide the Plan: Pin the weekly plan on the fridge or somewhere in the kitchen. Taking this action will not only help you be clearer about what you need to cook every day, but help your family look forward to their meals.
4. After shopping, store your food properly: Meats and seafood won’t stay fresh after 2-3 days in refrigerator. You should always have your weekly meal plan in front of you when you store your groceries. Taking this action can avoid wasting food and money.
I love cooking and creating my own recipes. My husband and I go grocery shopping twice a month because Whole Foods (our favorite shop) is quite a distance from our home. I always bring my shopping list with me, along with a set shopping budget.
If you use the four shopping tips I’ve listed here, you will better enjoy grocery shopping and cooking for you and your family, knowing that you are saving money, and being healthy, too! Enjoy!