Let me just say up front I am not a big coupon user. They take a lot of time, and the newspaper costs me money to get the coupons. I don’t have the extra time to hunt down free copies with 3 kids and 2 of them small children.
Since we are a family of 6 I have to be very grocery conscious. It does take effort, and I look through menu’s online, blogs, and cookbooks. I am usually detoured by a lot of ingredients and that would mean that recipe was not a good idea.
In the winter is an especially tough time because utility bills are already high, and we are worn out with “warm”recipes. This can be challenging and definitely utilizes my creative skills.
Getting ideas from other places helps me to brainstorm, tweak them to work for me, and allows me to try and implement new ideas. One of the resounding hints that most moms offer, online or offline is to make a menu plan.
At first this sounded really scheduled (and I am not) but then I tried it, and now my life is easier. No more guessing at what’s for dinner tonight! I am prepared. Somewhat.
My main priority is to choose menu’s that are affordable and work for our family. Saving money on dinner is important, but dinners also need to be quick. Our family has sports and church 3 nights per week.
The second most popular item in reducing a grocery budget is a price book. I tried to do a price book several different ways. For me, this did not stick so I had to implement my own strategy. It had to be something that I would use, and if it has a lot of detail or math, I won’t use it. My price book is the Dave Ramsey envelope system. If there is not enough cash for it then I do not get it. Having a price book for me was not a quick way to implement food savings. I spent more time writing down deals and searching the prices in different stores.
Another tip that I have for quick meal planning is having a list of specific dinners to choose from. My list contains ten different recipes. When my meal plan prep takes place and I am getting ready for the grocery store I pull out my dinner list, a calendar sheet and write in the meals I need.
With a menu plan and grocery list in hand I am better equipped to save money at the store.
Saving money on dinner requires strategy. That is why I use a quick meal plan idea that works for me everytime! Follow me on facebook for more tips and resources for moms.