How I Saved Money By Meal Planning

As I mentioned in the previous article, I have spent the greater part of this year utilizing meal planning to help stay more organized and save some extra cash. I was able to show you yesterday, that I did indeed begin saving money after practicing meal planning.

And here is how I did it each month, what it included and my own brief review of each month.

Month 1: $543 (average out to about $18/day in food)

This was when I realized we obviously had a huge problem with food spending. I knew we had a large family, but there had to be a way to reduce costs. This month we purchased far too many bulk purchases at a bulk warehouse and purchased everything brand-name.

Month 2: $438 (averaging out to about $14/day in food)

I was so excited to bring our grocery bill down by $100 by mainly purchasing off-brand items, sale items and using coupons. We spent no money at the bulk warehouse this month, choosing instead to utilize what we had already purchased and incorporate them into meals.

Month 3: $471 (averaging out to about $16/day in food)

We went a little bit overboard on a few bulk purchases this month. If we had not have had the bulk purchases we could probably have knocked another $100 off that total. I continued to use coupons, shop sales and use off-brands this month.

Month 4: $405 (averaging out to about $13.50/day in food)

This was the introduction to meal planning for my family. They received it well and liked knowing what each nights meal would be. This was also the largest amount spent during the meal planning stage because I bought a lot of staples during this month to be sure we had them on hand. We also purchased several large bulk items to be used for awhile, but we used a bit more practicality when purchasing them.

Month 5: $327 (averaging out to about $11.00/day in food)

This month I tried comparing sale fliers from different grocery stores and incorporating those into my meal planning. This seemed to cut our food costs even further.

Month 6: $362 (averaging out to about $12.00/day in food)

This month I did not compare any sale fliers before shopping. I didn’t change anything else, but we did spend more so it was easy to see that comparing sale fliers and using them in the actual meal planning is a good way to save money.

Here is a quick look at the two months following these:

Month 7: $347 (averaging about $11.50/day)

Month 8: $322 (averaging about $10.50/day)

For the record, this included breakfast foods, lunch foods, dinners and snacks. Also all beverages were included in this price.

Here is a brief look at how much I feel I saved.

First three months: $484/month (which comes out to $5808 a year)

Second three months: $364/month (which comes to $4368 a year)

This comes out to a savings of $1440 per year. Wow!

I hope this showed you that you really do save money by meal planning.

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