Plan Ahead, Save Money

To go along with the food theme this week, Day 22 of 31 Days to a Better Bank Balance will use meal planning as an example. However, keep in mind that planning ahead on anything usually saves money. So the challenge for today is to plan out at least one week’s worth of meals.

There are basically 4 steps to meal planning:

  1. Make a list of where you’ll be for each meal (home, work, or elsewhere)
  2. Make a list of your typical meals. (What do you usually eat each week right now?)
  3. Add any additional types of meals you could make to the list.
  4. Organize your meals in a logical way, making sure that they’re easy enough to do even if you get tired and don’t feel like it.

To maximize savings, you can plan out your meals so that you use similar ingredients or leftovers to make related meals. For example, one day you might eat a rotisserie chicken, and then next day you could use leftovers to make sandwiches or use the bones to make soup.

If it seems like too much work to plan out what you’ll eat on specific days (for example, spaghetti on Tuesday, chicken on Wednesday) you can always just plan things out in general for the week. Here’s how you can use magnets to meal plan. It also helps to have a few very quick dinners that you can heat up if you just don’t feel like cooking.