So you want to save money? You want to stop spending on takeaways, eating out or buying ready meals? Want to claw back a bit of cash and lead a smoother life? Well you need meal planning. Yes, yes, I know - surely meal planning is only for boring bitches with too much time on their hand or little to no social life. Think again sugar tits we here at A Thrifty Mrs are firm meal plan lovers. Meal planning means I have more time, more money and more sanity plus it means I get to spend more time with my friends than faffing about wondering what to make for dinner only to break down and call for a takeaway when everyone is hungry and grumpy at 9.30pm.
Meal planning is simple and can be done numerous ways but here are the ways which work best for us.
1. Go through your cupboard and make meals based on what you already have.
2. Write out a meal plan and decide your shopping list from there.
We sit down on a Sunday for a mere 15 minutes and write out a physical list, which we pop onto the fridge, of what we'll be eating on which days and for which meals. We work out which days we won't be home for supper or days we'll be late. We'll factor in meals which can do double duty as lunch the next day or frozen for a fast meal much later in the week.
I know some people like spontaneity and that's fine, we're happy to move things about a bit or switch out a spag bol to a chilli or chicken pasta to chicken wraps.
Food doesn't get thrown away. Food doesn't get taken out of the freezer only to never see the inside of a pan. We know where we stand, we're able to make our meals fit into our budget and save money. There is no more fuss about what we're eating and when, no spending half the evening deciding what to eat. Bish, bash, bosh - eat dinner and off out to socialise.
You don't have to be old to meal plan - I was 25 when we started.
You don't have to have children.
You don't have to live with other people.
You don't have to spend your evenings in doing nothing.
You don't have to eat crap.
You don't have to be a boring bitch to save money and get your life organised.
If you want to save money and you still think meal planning is below you or just for boring people then I highly suggest you think again and give it a try. Try it for at least a month, a week is great but it won't show you any real difference.
If you're in real financial dire straits and still think meal planning is below you because you like spontaneity then I suggest you forget about living a spontaneous foodie life for a while and learn to meal plan, budget and make money and food stretch. It wasn't the most fun for us to start with and people still sneer now but we have managed to save a lot of money and we feel a lot more organised.
Any idea where the notion that meal planning is for boring people came from?
P.S. Do you meal plan?