The average American family spends over $100 a week on food. One of the ways we save money on food is to plan meals. It is not hard and does not take a lot of time.
First, look in your refrigerator and freezer to see what you have on hand. Then you need to check the food ads to find any good specials. With that information, you are ready to plan meals. After making your menu for a week, two weeks or more, you should make a grocery list of only the ingredients you need for those meals, breakfasts, and lunches. You can add any staples you are going to need because your goal is to stay out of the grocery store. It is now time to look at your coupons so you are sure to get the very best buys available.
If your food budget will allow it, try buying meat in larger quantities. Take a minute to do the math and make sure it really is a better buy. If you don’t have a food budget, you should set one. According to Larry Burkett, if you make $25,000-$50,000 gross income a year, your food budget should be about 12% of income. If you make $60,000 gross income a year, it goes down to 10%.
Buying larger quantities helps you plan for more than one week at a time. Buy a little larger roast and cut a little off to make soup. The first week you can have a nice, savory roast. With the leftovers, you can make a meat pie. If you don’t want to eat two beef meals in one week, freeze it for next week. You can add left over vegetables to the meat you saved and make some soup. Roast beef sandwiches are delicious hot or cold for lunch or dinner. So one roast can make three or four meals.
Ground meat is often offered in larger packages at a reduced price. Divide the meat and freeze it in smaller packages. Suggestions for ground meat meals are spaghetti, lasagna, meat loaf, tacos, taco salad, taco soup, shepherds’ pie and casseroles.
Next we come to chicken. Larger packages at lower prices per pound can usually be found, or buy one get one free packages of chicken are often offered. Recipes for chicken are common. Left over chicken is good on a salad or in soup. You can also make pot pies out of left over chicken and chicken casserole recipes are plentiful.
Ham comes to my mind next. You can eat it sliced with potatoes and vegetables, or it is tasty with eggs and potatoes. Ham is also used in soups, on salads and in casseroles, as well as in quiche.
When you get to the grocery store, stick to your list. Don’t pick up non-grocery items that will cost you less somewhere else. Making fewer trips to the grocery store may also save you money on gas.
According to the amount the average American spends a week, my family of three is eating at a savings of $25-$30 a week. That may not seem like a lot but it is $100-$120 a month you don’t have to find. If that savings is now extra money, you can pay it on a charge card, save it for an emergency or make an extra principle payment on your house. Making extra payments on your house saves you thousands in interest and is a great idea. That is a whole, different article. Just try planning ahead, and then stay away from the grocery store. Every little savings helps!