I touched on this topic in my shopping list post, but meal planning is a very big part of budgeting for grocery shopping!
I was always resistant to meal planning, even after my sister told me how beneficial it was and how much easier it made her week. Once my fiancé and I set a $100/week grocery budget, I knew I would have to get down to business.
I of course got onto Pinterest to look for a simple and easy to use meal planning template and chose this one:Instead of printing out multiple copies, you can either laminate a sheet or use a plastic sleeve and write on the page with a dry erase marker, which is what I do.
Every Sunday we discuss what we’d like to eat that week, and I put together a shopping list based on the weekly menu. When we go out or if plans change, I re-plan the rest of the week.
Having a defined shopping list helps me. Without one, I tend to buy perishable items that we forget about until it’s too late. We’ve gotten better about sticking to the menu even if we don’t feel like it, and it feels good meeting our budget goals and working together to plan delicious meals.
If we do feel like getting out of the house in the evenings, we’ll have dinner then go to a coffee shop or a bar with friends. There are always ways to have fun on a budget!