Hello all! For this post, I decided to share my simple steps towards meal planning. Keep reading if you are interested.
This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Since I was in college, I would sit down and meal plan every week. This helped me to avoid overspending and also saved me time with errands. I follow a simple three step process.
1). Gather the circularS AND SET A BUDGET.
The first step I do is “gather” circulars. I use the term gather loosely, because in reality I simply go to flipp.com or use the app. Flipp is a wonderful resource that I have been using since college. This particular week I checked out the Lidl and Aldi ads to see what offers they had. I also make sure I have a budget.
2). FLIP THROUGH ADS AND coupon/REBATE APPS
This step is simple! Look through and see what is on sale at the stores around you! Sometimes stores may put certain theme items on sale (e.g. Taco night, Stir-fry, Pasta night). If there is a theme going on and I have no taste for a food in particular, I will make something that fits within that theme. For example, if there is a sale for two packs of English muffins for $1.50, I will buy English muffins and use a pack for breakfast sandwiches and the other to make turkey burgers.
I also make sure to scroll through my rebate apps to see if I may be purchasing something I may receive a small rebate from. The rebate apps I am currently using are Ibotta and ShopKicks. Both are good, but ShopKicks is great when strolling through the store (all you have to do is scan items to get points). I will also check out coupons.com if there happens to be a coupon I may need to use for toiletries or food.
3. MAKE A LIST
After flipping through circulars and rebate apps. I usually have an idea of what I want to prep. I usually make a list in my planner and bring that with me to the store! For meal planning, I like to plan a mini-breakfast, breakfast, lunch, small meal and snacks. For snacks, I always select whatever fruit is on sale which saves me about $2-$4. Another useful trick is to check out the store’s app. A lot of stores have apps that allow you to look up items and see how much they cost. If so, you can add the price to your list and round up a rough total at home to help you stay within budget.
That is my simple, three step approach to meal planning! I hope this was helpful. Thanks for reading!