FINANCES – PART 2 SAVING ON MEALS
Groceries can eat away at a big chunk of income. Dining out or grabbing take out food because you haven’t planned dinner or don’t have time to cook can be costly and cut into a sizeable portion of your income if you let it. The average family spends $200 per person per month on groceries. This can be a lot higher with the rising cost of goods and depending on how well you plan your meals and shopping excursions.
Even a Starbucks coffee can be costly @ $6 a day! That’s $2,000 a year just on coffee.
Every little bit helps when trying to budget your meal/beverage/take out expenses.
Many of us coupon, price match, and use cash back apps to save where we can on groceries. To do this effectively you need to get out and check for coupons. Plan your shop according to sales, and using coupons where you can and optimize cash back apps and points as well.
Combining your savings with meal planning and meal prep to get more out of your income is one of the best ways to save a lot throughout the year.
This may not work for everyone, and some people have dietary restrictions so please be advised that you will need to adapt this planning to your own personal food agenda.
Planning ahead of time will definitely save you time and money. Look through the flyers, and plan your weekly meals around what’s on sale, buy meat, veggies, and pasta, rice, etc. when it’s on sale and use it for your weekly meal prep.
Planning ahead will save you a LOT!
You can spend $20 a meal by shopping without planning(rough estimate), but by planning you can cut these costs in half by using items on sale, and making only what you need for a meal. Since meat and fresh veggies are the most expensive, spread them out over a few meals and add a rice, pasta or a salad to a meal to save money. Shopping can be costly if you’re not watching your money closely.
$50 a week saved on meals is $2,600.00 a year.
Once you have everything you need for the week, you can start prepping for your weekly and future meals.
While it takes a bit of time and effort to start this process, once you do, it’ll be like everything else and become second nature to doing it. And you may find it saves you time and money over the weeks and months to come.
BIG TIPS TO SAVE BIG MONEY!
Limit take out meals
Try to plan a few meals for the week that will cost under $5 per person.
Plan your shop, use coupons, cash back apps, and rack up points to save the most money possible.
Get out and look for coupons
Use pasta and rice for fillers for meals since meat and vegetables are the most costly
Try not to shop at the last minute or when you’re hungry
Give yourself a weekly or monthly budget for your groceries and meals. It takes some work but it will be worth it
Meal prep and plan meals over the weekend for the coming week
There are several ways to meal prep to save time and money.
Make Ahead Meals: Make a few meals at a time and even freeze some for future night dinners
Cooking in Batches: This is a great idea to do to make batches of pasta sauce, soups, casseroles, cabbage rolls, chili, mac ‘n cheese, rice dishes, shepherd’s pie, meat balls, any kind of meat pies, or anything else that is a family favourite.
Make a batch up and freeze enough for a few meals. To save money on these things, split up the meat, use pasta, grains, rice, and even frozen veggies in the dishes to save money.
Par boil and freeze veggies so you’re not wasting or tossing out anything that didn’t get used up.
Individually portioned meals: These are great for the family that either doesn’t eat together because of schedules, etc. or single people, or even just to have a quick meal and not spend a lot of time making a full dish. By making up a batch, and portioning them out into small containers, there are several meals to accommodate any number of reasons for not making a large meal at one time.
There are lots of ways to save on weekly groceries and meals. Planning ahead is the KEY to managing your money, your budget and will make things so much easier than trying to come up with a meal each day at the last minute.
Also, if you’re rushed for time, by planning and prepping ahead, you’ll already have some meals ready to go in the freezer.
Happy planning & saving!