7 Tips to Save Time and Money with a Meal Plan

When I decided that I was going to be a full-time entrepreneur, I knew that my budget would be different. I knew that the budget would have to consist of needs and not wants. I have never been much of a grocery shopping planner.

I always had good intentions to make a list and follow it, but I would gravitate to whatever sounded good at the time. That means I would come home with a lot of stuff that didn’t match. Like, I would remember that we needed ketchup and vegetables but I didn’t take into account full meals. Failure to plan created the “Honey, can you go to the store and pick up some eggs”, saga. it was never ending.

Failure to plan, created the “Honey, can you go to the store and pick up some eggs”, saga, it was never ending.

If I wanted to cook spaghetti, I would have everything except the sauce or I would be out of garlic. Am I the only one who goes to the store to get eggs and ends up spending $20. Well, this was happening frequently. One day it was eggs, the next day it was seasoning or an onion. We were spending an extra $80 per week by making separate runs to the store for an item here and there. Not to mention how time-consuming that was.

When I go to the grocery store it takes 15 minutes round trip in travel time, 15-30 minutes in the store for shopping and checkout time.  When I returned home, I had to get back into the grove of whatever task I was working on which may take up to another 15 minutes. This is an hour of my time down the drain. Multiply that by 5 and that is a 5 hour waste period.

I decided to start using the Brilliant Life Planner, I was able to track my time more effectively. I noticed that I had more time in my schedule, I just wasn’t utilizing my days well. I started looking at things that I could do more efficiently and that would take up less of my time.

I decided to start creating my meal plans weekly. That included breakfast and snacks. I created a list of things that we ate regularly and added some items that we usually do not eat to the mix. I created a breakdown of each meal, including all ingredients down to how many eggs were needed. Next, I took inventory of the items that I already had on hand. Surprisingly many items were already had in stock.

I was empowered. Most of all, my list was noticeable shorter than expected. Armed with a new sense of “saving” I went on my first shopping trip. I purchased everything that I need to make 7 dinner meals, my breakfast foods, and snacks. It was awesome. The shopping trip was not only less stressful, it was also quick and efficient.

In addition, my sister gives me a game-changing tip. CURB SIDE PICKUP!!! This was a “winner-winner-chicken-dinner”. I shop at Kroger, they offer a program called Click List. You have to download the Kroger app onto your mobile device or your computer and create your list of items that you want to purchase, add them to the cart, choose the date and time of the pickup and that is it. They also store past purchased items, so that makes it even easier to replenish supplies.

7 Quick Tips to Save Time and Money with a Meal Plan

  1. Make a list of meals that you cook every day
  2. Do a quick scan of your refrigerator and pantry for ingredients
  3. Make a list of items that you need to go with your meals
  4. Check to see if your local grocery store has Curb Side Pickup (note: Kroger will give you 3 free pickups, after that it costs $4.99 per order)
  5. Create your list, choose your pickup date and time
  6. Relax, you just saved a ton of time and money
  7. Rinse and Repeat Next week

*this post includes affiliate links*

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

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20 Comments

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  1. 11
    Elizabeth O.

    I love meal planning, it’s so convenient and it definitely eliminates having to think about what to cook for each night. It’s something that can really help your budget and fast.

  2. 12
    Elizabeth

    I’ve never been a meal planner. I’m too spontaneous for that. I’d prefer to just look in my fridge/pantry and cook with what’s there, and just top up with essentials when I do a weekly/biweekly shop. I use an app to keep track of what we’ve run out of in that department so it’s quite handy. You save a lot of money cooking what you already have instead of buying new things all the time, I find.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Shredded Turkey & Soba Noodle Soup – To Go!My Profile

  3. 15
    Robin Rue

    Meal planning is definitely something that I want to be doing more of this year. It will definitely save me some money in the long run.

  4. 18
    Samantha

    Meal plans are a must for me. Although sometimes it is hard to think of different meals to eat. I hate eating the same menu week after week.

  5. 20
    Lauree Sayne

    You are so right that it’s less time consuming and a money saver when you plan ahead. I love that they load your car when you use clicklist! One of my time savers is to keep a magnetic pad on the refrigerator. Everyone in the house knows that if they use the last of something or if they have a special request they need to write it on the list.
    Lauree Sayne recently posted…Asian Style Defined – Rich BalanceMy Profile

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