In the first part of our Shop Better, Eat Better in 2020 series, we looked at establishing a grocery budget. Now that you’ve got a better understanding of your food spending, let’s look at what you cook with your cash!
Part Two: Meal Plan: Establish a meal plan for the week, so you know what groceries you will need to shop for. Knowing what the dinner plan is helps cut down on impulse purchases and reduces the likelihood of buying expensive take out or fast food.
You can also plan your meals around what is on sale, further saving you money, and what is in season. This will save you money and ensure the food you eat is more likely to be local or fresh.
You will also want to select meals that will result in leftovers or freezer meals for those last-minute scrambles. Use the local flyers or apps like Flipp to see what food is on sale and plan your meals around the bargains. And break out that slow cooker particularly for those nights when you’ll be coming home later than usual.
You can also maximize your grocery trips rather than making several small and time-consuming trips. The longer you stretch the time between your grocery trips, the less food you will end up wasting as you finish off those stray items in your cupboards and fridge! Try making a stir fry near the end of the week to use up all the vegetables on hand.
CHALLENGE: Sit down with the family and list out your favourite dishes. Use the list to make a meal plan and grocery list for the week. Remember that it’s not important to perfectly adhere the plan–the point is to use the plan to cut down on expensive takeout orders or unhealthy TV dinners!
Continue to Part Three here!