Meal planning – on a budget

I have a problem, We go food shopping every Thursday but my biggest problem is going shopping on empty stomach so the usual drill is that our trolley ends up being full of junk that we don’t usually end up eating so for the past week I have been attempting to shop on a budget, which usually goes well until we reach the isle with the Krispy Kremes and then we are in danger zone so I wanted to get it into my head how important it is to work on a budget and meal plan for a family of five (plus cat)

Deals deals deals! one of the best things to stick to a budget is sometimes buy bulk and look for the best deals that you can find in the shops, shopping around and doing some research is also a must when it comes to saving the pennies at the checkout, be of course aware of sneaky supermarket tactics for getting you to part with your money, items at the checkout themselves and even putting ‘deals’ at the end of the rows are a way of tricking you into buying more than you need, always look in the right sections for the best deals.

We do this a lot, now that I have organised the cupboards a bit more, its helped make sure we don’t over buy in the baked beans, the day before food shop look around the house to see what items you need and what things you don’t, check dates on things and note down anything that will be going empty soon.

Same as above, writing down what you need, keeping and sticking to a list is a great way of preventing over spending, going off the top of your head will only end up causing silly purchases, make sure that you take note of what you have eaten during the previous week and do not deviate.

Better said than done, the other week when we went to Home Bargains I found the handiest item in my kitchen, a meal planner, I update it weekly of whats going to be cooked that week, lazy food for days when we are going out (food shop night is pizza night got an example) mark what has been the favorite of that week so you know what can be repeated and reordered and the children love running into the kitchen to see whats on the menu for the week coming.

A big must! Husband and I went shopping one Sunday afternoon, we had planned to get something fun for dinner, rarely happens but we also went when hungry.. which means our trolley was full of junk food and gross things that we wouldn’t normally buy, it was fun but we overspent and didn’t plan at all and it only ended up being a bit wasted because we let our stomachs do the shopping, make sure you have something light before you go so you wont be tempted by the nice smells from the hot food counter or the bakery!

I asked some other lovely bloggers what they’re top tips are for working with a budget while food planning and here is what they said.

Make lists of meals each day! And before you go shopping, check what you already have, so you don’t buy what you don’t need! – Becca from My Girls and Me

Plan out exactly what you are going to have to eat for the week, make a shopping list of those items and then order online so you are not tempted by non essentials instore – Mandi from Big Family Organised Chaos

 Find out when the supermarkets reduce their ‘nearing sell by date’ items. Try and buy items that you can freeze for future meals while they are reduced. – Nikki from Family Travel with Ellie

Bulk batch cook meals into portions and label well, a “ready meal” ready to go and fit in with the meal plan – Emma from Ready Freddie Go

Don’t restrict yourself to shopping in the supermarkets. Poundshops and bargain shops such as b&m/home bargains sell food/toiletries often at a fraction of the price the supermarkets charge, meaning you can save so much money and stick to your budget. – Beth from Twinderelmo

We make a list of meals for the week and often bulk meal prep on Sundays. It saves us time and money, that way when we are having a lazy/ or busy day we have meals prepared in the freezer. – Karina from Mums The Nerd

I plan ahead so leftovers can be used the next day for lunch/dinner; as pie, soup, with baked potato or with salad.  – Amy from Eps and Amy

What are your tip tips on meal planning with a budget?

Until next time..

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12 Comments

  1. June 20, 2018 / 7:48 am

    I always have to write a shopping list else I NEVER remember what to buy and end up getting sooooo much junk!!

  2. June 22, 2018 / 8:55 am

    Great tips, I always have check before we leave, i don’t want to over buy!

  3. June 22, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    I can’t tell you how many times I bought the same stuff I already had plenty of because I just forgot to check before hand! great tips!!

  4. June 26, 2018 / 7:50 pm

    I really should get down with meal planning. It would save me so much time and money.

  5. June 27, 2018 / 8:48 am

    I never thought to do a comparison on shop prices! x

  6. June 27, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    I learnt quite early on at uni to never go food shopping while hungry. I’m trying slimming world right now and have heard it can get expensive so your tips are gonna be so helpful

  7. June 28, 2018 / 10:33 am

    I always have to have a list when I do my weekly shop, helps me keep on top of everything and my memory is terrible!

  8. June 29, 2018 / 2:00 pm

    One thing I like to do is go to the cheapest place around (Aldi’s) and get everything I possibly can. They have a small selection, so then I go to the local grocery shop and get the rest of what I need.

  9. July 11, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    We try to do all of these things too but it can be tough! I find the meal planning can either go really well or completely awful! Sometimes I’m just not up for what we’ve planned to make!

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