part 2: how to plan weeks worth of meals to save MONEY

how to plan weeks worth of meals to save money

I posted part 1 of this post almost 2 weeks ago! For so many days, I was getting errors when trying to come into my site, and I just didn’t have the time to sit down + fix it until now. I promise, next time there is a 2-parter, you won’t be in suspense for almost 2 entire weeks!!

But today, part 2, is all about how I meal plan. This is something I’ve struggled with soo many times, until I realized just HOW much money it actually saves us each month!!

Now, when I say meal plan, I’m not talking about meal planning in the sense of making all meals for 1 week at a time. Setting out 14 containers and eating the same thing all week long. I’m talking about writing down what I’m making for the entire week and sticking to it. I get busy and don’t want to cook what I wrote down for that night, or what I wrote down just doesn’t sound good anymore, or I forgot one ingredient and don’t want to go to the store for that one thing. All of these excuses inevitably lead to you guessed it, FAST FOOD.

I failed so many times until I sat down and looked at our bank account one night and saw just how much we were spending at the grocery store + the amount of money we were spending to go out to eat. It almost made me sick to think about it. I knew something needed to change, so I decided to give meal planning another shot, or something there of it, and this time it actually stuck.

In just the 1st week alone, it saved us well over $50!!

I usually do 2 weeks at a time. Most produce will usually go bad if not used by 2 weeks, so the amount of expired food is minimal.

Deciding What to Make

To start off, I go to the meal binder I made back in part 1 of this post. In the first part of my binder, I just wrote down many common meals we eat (that I don’t have recipes in the binder for), such as tacos,  casserole, etc. easy meals like those that I don’t have {or need} a recipe for. This helps me not to make the same meals over + over again. I know I could eat taco meat 14 days in a row, but I don’t think the hubby would be too happy with that.

I list out all of the meals I plan to make in a 2 week span. I will usually only list out about 10 or so, because of leftovers, going out to eat, etc. Some meals I will make a double batch to create leftovers, if it’s going to be a super busy week or if its just a meal we really love and don’t make it too often.

Taking Inventory + Making a List

So next I write down every single ingredient {including spice packets} I will need to make those meals. {Sadly, I haven’t been able to come up with a printables for these items quite yet, soon though.} Next, I’ll go to the fridge, pantry, basement stockpile {yes, yes I do}, and cross off EVERYTHING on my list to make these items. While doing this, if I find a need almost everything for something on my list and it will be super expensive, I will usually just scratch it and replace it with something we have more of.

Of course the remaining items aren’t the only things we then buy at the grocery store. Since I only meal plan for our evening meals {dinner, supper, whatever ya’ll choose to call it}, I have to get breakfast + lunch items as well. Along with snack items, beverages, etc.

COUPONS!!

Once I have my grocery list, I then have to check out all of my coupon sites, and figure out where I’m going to go, to save the most. And yes, it is definitely OK to go SEVERAL different places to save the most money {but only if it makes sense, aka don’t drive 20 miles away to save .03 on green olives}.

I love this  grocery shopping printable from Stacy’s Savings! She has many other AWESOME printables on her blog too!! I found her blog on while looking through meal planning pins on Pinterest and have fallen in love with her blog!

So tell me, how do you meal plan? What works best for you? Share some of your awesome printables {or recipes} with me below!!

If you haven’t, make sure to check out part 1 of this post! Where I show you how to create your very own meal planning binder!

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