(FinancialHealth.net) – Sticker shock in the checkout line is a common experience. No matter how conservative a shopper might be, the final total can easily add up to more than they want to spend. One solution? Meal planning.
Many people do it and it isn’t just about saving money, though that’s certainly one added perk. Let’s take a look at how meal planning also makes life more convenient and saves time.
Meal Planning for Convenience
Decision fatigue is a phenomenon so many busy adults face. Everyday life is full of decisions, but choosing what’s for dinner can be simplified. Optimize the convenience of meal planning by using either a menu routine or a set menu.
A menu routine is a plan that outlines what type of meal is eaten on each night of the week. For example, on Mondays, it’s always pasta. On Tuesday, the family chows down on tacos. The recipes can change, but the routine creates parameters that make decision making easier.
A set menu is for those who prefer continuity. Instead of changing things up each week, the schedule is a two-week plan of favorite recipes that repeat.
Meal Planning as a Time Saver
Meal planning may require a little extra prep work, but the time spent upfront pays off in the long run. With a meal plan, there are no last-minute trips to the grocery store because there’s nothing in the fridge but pickles, yogurt and shredded cheese.
After grocery shopping, prep ingredients for use later in the week, to help save time. Chop veggies, cook meat and pack lunches for the work week ahead.
Meal Planning to Save Money
Staying on budget is nearly impossible without a plan for making it happen. Preparing ahead of time makes it easier, since you know exactly what you need to shop for and can void impulse buys. And, when everything needed for the week ahead is bought in a single trip, costly mid-week trips can be avoided altogether.
To make meal planning even more budget-friendly, prepare the menu around store sales. Sale circulars land in mailboxes weekly and often get tossed right in the recycling bin. Hang on to these ads and pull them out on menu planning day to create a meal plan that is cost-effective.
Take the worry out of grocery shopping with a well thought out plan. The time and money you’ll save to spend on fun are so worth it!
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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