Meal planning on a single mom budget
How do you meal plan when you can’t afford to feed your family? When your budget doesn’t quite cover the food you need each month?
After you create a budget, make sure that you stick to your food budget by following the meal planning tips below.
Are you grocery shopping like a rich person?
Stop shopping at more expensive, fancy, stores and buying the most expensive products. Whether you are actually filthy rich or dirt poor, you don’t don’t need to waste money on groceries.
Everybody needs groceries, but none of us need to spend a fortune at the grocery store. Check out these tips for saving money while you shop:
Of course, there are times when you might want to splurge a little for the more expensive option. Whenever you can, buy generic groceries. Most are similar or the same as name brand.
Make a list and stick to it
If you write out a list at home based on what you actually need, and stick to the list, you’re more likely to spend less. If you get to the store and buy everything that looks good in the moment, you’ll have a lot of groceries in your cart that you don’t really need.
Meal plan based on deals
Look at the weekly ad from the grocery store where you usually shop. Buy food that is on sale and create your meal plan around those foods.
Most stores usually have a few deals that are below wholesale to get you into the store.Buy as many deals as you can and plan meals around those items.
Plan meals around the food you have
Look through your cupboards and figure out what food you already have. When you plan your meals, try to make meals using that food so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Plan meals with similar ingredients during the week
Try to plan your meals during the week with similar ingredients. For example, if you buy food for enchiladas, you may want to plan to make burritos another day that week if you know you’ll have leftover tomatoes, cilantro, etc. You could also easily prep enough meat for both at the same time, which will save time too.
Buy meat when it’s on sale and freeze
Meat can be expensive. Buy in bulk when it’s on sale and freeze it for when you need it. Just make sure that you remember what you have and use it before it expires.
You can also buy a rotisserie chicken that can potentially be used for a few meals for you and your kids.
Buy produce when it’s in season and freeze
Buy produce when it’s in season (and inexpensive). Wash everything, cut it up, place in freezer bags, label, and freeze.
Look for deals on frozen fruit/vegetables. Sometimes frozen produce can be cheaper than fresh. Check prices and find the best deals.
Go shopping alone
If your family members are known to add things to the cart, maybe you can figure out a way to go shopping alone. Of course, if you’re the one that does the impulse buying, you may want to see if someone else can do the shopping.
Does your local grocery store offer online ordering? This might be a good idea so that you don’t put things in your cart that you don’t need. It also saves time and is so easy to place your order and pick up the groceries at your convenience.
Prepare freezer meals
You can make 1-2 months of meals, which can save you time and money. You will need to purchase a large amount of groceries at once, but by preparing many meals at once, you’ll most likely waste less food.
There are several apps or even coupons that will save you huge amounts on your grocery bill. Some are more time consuming than others. Check into them and figure out which are right for you.
What are your money saving tips?
Please share what you do to save money while grocery shopping in the comments below.