Ten Ways Meal Planning Saves You Money
To say that meal planning has become popular at this point is an understatement. Even those that are not on a tight budget are seeing the benefits of having a meal plan in place. For those that are fighting off the rising costs of food while having more month than food budget, meal planning is actually a necessity. The good news is that you can feed your family well, hit your budget and save money along the way. The key is committing to the meal planning process and sticking to it.
Don’t take my word for it, however. Let me prove it to you!
Here are ten ways that meal planning will loosen up your budget in no time flat if you stick with it:
There are few among us that have not experienced the vision of money being sent into the trash or down the compactor after cooking a bit too much. Perhaps you bought up some avocado and ended up not using it after all. Wasting food is common when you don’t have a plan. Meal planning addresses this because you buy what you need and nothing goes to waste. Even leftovers can be planned for when you meal plan properly. How much money do you throw away each year in food? Imagine putting that money back in your pocket.
FORCES YOU TO MAKE GROCERY LISTS
Anyone that spends time in a grocery store on a regular basis knows the temptations that are all around us. If we go in without a list, the odds are pretty good we are coming out with something we really don’t need. Meal planning is built around having lists each time you go through the doors. You focus on the list and you save money by skipping the extras. Score! More money in your pocket.
CUTS BACK ON JUNK FOOD
Remember those “extras” I was just talking about? Junk food is sure to be a good portion of that. Get rid of that overpriced bad stuff and you will save money and stay healthy. Most people do waste a good deal of money on junk food, right? Not only is it a waste of money, but junk food leads to heart disease and obesity that will increase medical bills and insurance!
Cliche or not, time is money. When you start meal planning you become more organized. Being more organized means you will do things more efficiently and that is always going to translate into more money. Meal planning saves you time in several different ways. It saves you in the grocery store, in the kitchen, in traffic and in general each day because everyone knows what to expect.
It brings the family together
Having everyone’s favorite meal once a week or so has a magical way of bringing them together around the kitchen table. Yes, that saves money when you can all eat at the same time. No eating out and wasteful junk food at the convenience store is necessary.
It saves trips to the store
There are people that go the store every single day and shop for groceries. Can you imagine the wasted gas and various other expenses that pile up? Having a plan allows you to shop once a week or even once per month depending on how you shop.
It encourages us to eat at home
Not eating out on a regular basis is a huge savings on the food budget. Nothing torches a food budget like eating out unexpectedly. If you meal plan, you can schedule those nights out and work them into the budget instead. It is always better to plan out these things where the purse strings are concerned.
SAVES MONEY ON MEDICAL BILLS
Medical bills? You bet. If you have a habit of eating out all the time or eating on the run, you can be almost certain that you are not eating healthy. That makes a difference in your medical profile either right away or over time. Yes, you save money on medical bills by eating healthy on a plan.
It helps us diversify and learn to substitute
When we spend time in the kitchen and study new recipes and ideas, we get better and better at knowing what works and what doesn’t. Substitutions alone can save you money in a very direct fashion. Having something to sub out allows you to keep cooking and save time, gas money and plenty of aggravation. This experience comes quickly when you start meal planning and paying attention to what you have in the cabinets.
We immediately become informed consumers
Meal planning from a position of power allows you to save even more cash. Being an informed consumer gives you that power. What is being an informed consumer? That is knowing when, where and how to get the best possible deals for the things you use on a regular basis. Meal planning will naturally teach you these principles if you are committed to learn it.
Meal planning clearly is a great way to save you money and these ten ways are only a handful of the many reasons why. It encourages us to be creative and to think ahead. Both of these things are vital parts of our evolution as a fiscally responsible individual. Give meal planning and try and you will see it for yourself.