I work with a lot of women that control the purse strings in the home but find themselves struggling to meet their families’ savings goals.
When we sit down and do a deep dive and analysis of their budget, one of the biggest money wasters is food— whether it is overspending on groceries, letting food spoil, or going out to eat more often than budgeted.
When helping working moms and wives pull the reigns in on their food spending, I teach them about meal planning. Meal planning can also increase happiness in the households for husbands that equate a home-cooked meal with being a good wife.
Here are six tips to help your meals, money, and marriage have some staying power.
Pick a day and time that you will meal plan and shop for food. This is one of my struggles. With running here and running there, picking a day to meal plan can get lost in the sauce. But it is sooo important. So, buckle down and choose the day that you will meal plan and shop for the food, assuming that you have to do both. So, will it be Saturday at 10am for meal planning and Saturday 2pm for food shopping? If you don’t have to meal plan and shop, then plan for the passing of the baton.
Pick 2-3 pictures of food that you want to cook for the week. Whether it be in cookbooks or Pinterest, select no more than three pictures of meals that you want to prepare for the week. Make sure that the prep time is not overwhelming. Don’t forget to take the dietary needs of your family members into consideration. If you don’t need pictures for inspiration, just list the meals that will be on the family menu.
Quickly get input from the family about what they want to eat. With this meal planning hack, it takes the guesswork out of cooking. On top of that, they can’t complain about what’s for dinner if they had a say in the planning process. Eventually, you may want family members to send you pictures of what they like so it minimizes the “research” phase of your weekly food planning session.
Take inventory before you go shopping. One of the major culprits that mothers and wives find is that they waste money because they “double buy.” What I mean by double-buying is that the buy duplicates of items because they are unaware of what they already have in the refrigerator and pantry.
Go to the grocery store with a list and check the circular. Once you have streamlined your grocery list, get to the supermarket. On top of the savings that you are already doing by creating a list, check the circular to spot any additional savings on the items on the list.
Cook in bulk. Since gone are the days where most women can be full-time homemakers, it makes sense that cooking be time efficient. So when preparing your meals, think about ways to stretch the meals so it can last longer.
Pick a meat. A lot of money gets spent because wives and mommies are buying several types of meat to cook… and not using all of them. One of the best pieces of advice that I consistently give is that use Tip #1 (pick 2 or 3 pictures ) in conjunction with this tip. So, the dishes of the week may all include fish, beef, pork, goat, duck, or chicken depending on the focus of the food choices.
Be vegan once a week. By definition, a vegan does not eat meat or dairy products. By reducing the amount of meat you purchase, you can save a lot of money while improving your families’ health.
Frugal Feministas- What do you think? Can these tips save you money for your family?