Want to save money? Hold off on the coupons
The most frequently asked question I get is, “Can you teach me to coupon?” Well honestly, yes, I can, but I won’t. Couponing isn’t the first step in getting your budget under control. Saving money takes planning and willpower, not couponing.
In our house before we started menu planning it was always such a chore to decide what to eat for dinner. Once we finally agreed on what we were going to eat it never failed that we were out of something that was needed and we’d run to the store. While at the store we’re always see things we “needed.” By not planning I was spending a large portion of my grocery bill on items we really didn’t need. I suggest holding off on couponing until you can get your menu planning under control. Then you can build from there.
Before you get started, make a master file of family favorite meals that you eat frequently. I like to group mine by proteins.
Take inventory of what you have in your pantry. Go through your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. Write down what meal components you have on hand. You might find you already have several meals on hand.
Check your calendar. On days where you’re busy plan meals that are simple or use your crock pot! It’ll help you to resist the urge to eat out.
Plan the meals. Start planning one week worth of meals (don’t forget lunch and snacks!) Base your meals around what you have in your house. Your goal is to use what you have at home and just shop for fillers. Make a grocery list.
Shopping without a list is planning to fail! Your goal is to use what you have at home and just shop for fillers.
TIP: I like to check the weather forecast also when I plan my meals. If I know a day is going to be rainy or cold I’ll make sure to put a cold weather comfort food on that day.