How to Save Money Through Meal Planning and Prep

three meal planning dishes

In today’s world, many people struggle to come home from work and cook themselves a healthy and filling meal. Most of us are so tired that we simply stop by a fast food place on the way home because it saves us time and effort. If you’re tired of eating unhealthy food and want to save money instead of eating out all the time, Cash Factory USA is here to teach you how meal planning can help. Explore the benefits of prepping your food in advance and save money meal planning.

1. Time

Instead of spending 30 minutes cooking at the end of each and every day, you can spend 30 minutes to an hour during one weekend day to plan your meals for the whole week. There’s no longer debate at the end of the day over what you should make and you’ll never be stuck staring at an empty fridge wondering if you even have enough food to make dinner.

You can cook your lunches and dinners during the weekend to save money meal planning instead of eating lunch at a restaurant each day. You can even pack your lunches ahead of time in separate Tupperware so that you can grab and go in the morning with less hassle.

2. Money

aerial view of a grocery store

Since you’re in planning mode, decide what you want to buy before you head out to the grocery store. With a list in hand, you’re less likely to add items to your cart that you don’t actually need. Buy exactly what you need and you’ll use all of it up during your cooking session.

Did you know that the average cost of a home-cooked meal is only $4? You could spend more than that for one meal at McDonald’s. Meal planning saves money because you reduce the amount you spend eating out each month. With all that extra money, you can focus on other things in your budget like retirement savings and your stock portfolio.

3. Sanity

At the end of a long day, the last thing most people want to do is stand in the kitchen and cook. With your intention to meal plan on the weekend and grocery shop on a budget, you’re prepared and positive. Invite other people in your household to join you or throw on some music to keep you company. Healthy meal prep on a budget can be a fun and energizing part of your weekend.

4. Your Guide

meal prepped shredded chicken and broccoli

If you’re concerned about actually saving money meal planning, follow this guide for additional advice.

  • Write your meal planning and grocery shopping day in a calendar.
  • Consult your budget to decide how much you can spend each week.
  • Explore your kitchen to discover what you already have.
  • Choose a recipe that utilizes items already in your kitchen.
  • Plan your meals for the week ahead.
  • Make a grocery list based on your meal plan.
  • Shop for groceries and come home to cook your meals.

Meal planning works best if you cook a big batch of food that you eat throughout the week. If you’re looking for a little variety in your meals, consider cooking just the meat portion of your food and changing your sides throughout the week. Think you’ll get bored of chicken, rice, and broccoli every day? Just make the chicken, but buy a variety of vegetables to roast, stir fry, or grill each day.

5. Coupons & Specials

Generally, grocery stores have specific days of the week where they have specials on items you may want to buy. Choose days where the most expensive item on your grocery list is on sale to ensure healthy meal prep on a budget. You should also make sure to browse any apps or coupon books related to your grocery store for additional discounts to save even more money meal planning.

If you got some good ideas for future meals from this resource page, then Cash Factory USA has accomplished our goal. Look for more financial advice in our Resource Center today.