Meal planning is a great place to start when trying to reduce your supermarket bill.
In 2018, our relationship with cooking was non existent. This lead to regular lunch purchases and the belief that Friday and Saturday nights were ‘buy food’ days. Due to our family size, this habit easily cost us at least $60BDS per meal. We knew this was an area that needed an overhaul.
The supermarket budget for May 2018 was set, we wrote a list and shopped. Just after 2 weeks the pantry and fridge were poor lol. Don’t get me wrong, we still had groceries but putting them together didn’t actually make a meal…so back to buying lunch it was *sigh*.
June 2018 came around and we got the same results. Thinking about it, why would we expect a different result without making any changes? My wife did some research and came across meal planning and we immediately put steps in place.
Instead of shopping monthly we go every (2) two weeks. This gives us the chance to buy things that we actually feel like eating.
Our Meal Planning Steps:
1. Make a list or mental note of what we already have at home. This prevents duplication and reduces wastage.
2. Write down how many meals we need to prepare e.g. we cook every Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday. Going to the supermarket every 2 weeks would require 6 meal options for lunch. Tip – Choose meals using the ingredients you already have on hand and then come up with other menu options.
3. Try to make the meals as budget friendly as possible. If we have a splurge item like steak, other meal options can be cheaper to control cost.
4. Write a supermarket list with the ingredients needed to prepare the meals planned. Sticking to the list is important.
5. Purchase multiple lunch containers. This removes excuses like “I didn’t have enough time to take out my lunch”. You simply grab-n-go.
These steps can be used for all meals including breakfast and dinner. Our breakfast and dinner menus are always the same – oats, creme of wheat, eggs and corn flakes. Take note that chicken nuggets, bacon, burger etc didn’t make the list. They’re expensive and are considered delicacies in our household 🤣.