One habit that has changed J and I’s life is meal planning. This summer, we were in a season of eating out A LOT and wasting so much money on food. We would either spend a lot on fast food or spend money on groceries that would go to waste. To be honest, there were a few things i did to get out of this rut. I started simple.
How Did I Stop The Cycle?
The first step was an entire inventory of my pantry, fridge, and freezer. This allowed me to see what we had in stock already and what I had to work with. This wasn’t much to be honest. I had let our shelves become bare with all the fast food we were eating. I used this spreadsheet to help me out. The second step was to make a list of meals for the week – and commit to making them! The third step helped me the most with spending unnecessary money – Walmart Grocery Pickup (Check out this link for $10 off your first order). I was able to order my groceries without being tempted with other goodies in the store. I do still make a quick 5 minute trip to get some produce but I don’t allow myself to explore other parts of the store.
Creating a master food inventory for our home was absolutely a key factor in my success with this challenge. It took a few hours the first time I did this, but updating it each week is pretty simple! I used this spreadsheet to go around the kitchen to inventory everything that was edible. Creating this list has helped me easily see what we have available and potential meals we can make with all of the yummy items we keep around.
How I Meal Plan
Meal planning can be super simple. To start my meal plan each week, I look at my food inventory. This gives me an idea of what items I have on hand before I start planning. My main goal is to try to use food out of my pantry first and only get a few items to complete the meals at the grocery. I grab this meal planner and write out the meals I am planning. Then, I write what grocery items I need to complete these meals.
Buying Your Groceries
I use the list above to order my groceries through Walmart Grocery Pickup. It is super simple and saves me money. I am able to get our groceries each week for about $40. I am an impulse buyer for groceries so not going into the store helps me save on items we don’t need. There are a few items I will add to the list for lunches, snacking, or drinks we may want. At this point, we have a few go to’s I will pick up each week so we don’t run out (i.e juice, bread, tortilla chips – anything we use regularly).
- Make a food inventory for your home
- Have a list of staple meals
- Plan weekly meals
- Figure out what you need from your inventory and the grocery store for the planned meals
- Order groceries through Walmart Grocery Pickup OR go to the grocery store and purchase only what is on the list