A Meal Plan Review

This year I practiced meal planning on a pretty much regular basis. I even kept a notebook full of my meal plans and how much I spent approximately per meal. The reason I did this is that I wanted to see if it really would save a great deal of money for me to practice meal planning or if it was just an organizational method that people were using and trying to pass off as a money saving opportunity.

For the first three months before I began the actual meal planning, I had been keeping track of how much money we spent on groceries for the month. I know our costs are a bit high, but we have five kids so feeding a family of seven costs a bit more than an average family of four or five. This total also includes all bulk warehouse purchases and food purchases from a discount chain, as well as including the grocery stores. It does not include toiletries and paper or plastic products (trash bags, storage bags, etc.) – only food.

Here is the rough breakdown of the entire project with the average in food costs per day:

Before the Meal Planning

  • Month 1: $543 (average out to about $18/day in food)
  • Month 2: $438 (averaging out to about $14/day in food)
  • Month 3: $471 (averaging out to about $16/day in food)

After the meal planning

  • Month 4: $405 (averaging out to about $13.50/day in food)
  • Month 5: $327 (averaging out to about $11.00/day in food)
  • Month 6: $362 (averaging out to about $12.00/day in food)

I have continued several months past this breakdown and thankfully have kept our costs consistently below $350/month, sometimes considerably less when I have some really awesome coupons.

The next article will be a summarized breakdown of each month and what it included and how I saved.

Nicole Humphrey writes articles for the Scrapbooking Blog and for the Frugal Blog. She also guest blogs on a variety of topics. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

For more great ideas check out:

Save Money By Starting A Meal Making Co-Op

Save Money By Starting a Bulk Warehouse Food Co-Op

Frugal Ways To Share The Cost of Food

Pasta for Pennies

A Very Frugal Meal

Saving Money With Meal Planning