Thursday, June 2, 2011

Does Menu Planning Save $?

I've never really planned menus because I like to have the flexibility to make whatever I'm in the mood for when I get home from work or on the weekends.  I cook meals almost every night or we will have leftovers sometimes.  However, after reading several blogs, most PF bloggers note that they do plan menus and it saves money. 

At the grocery store, I will get ingredients for some basic meals but it usually changes.  For instance, I usually buy ingredients for spaghetti and tacos.  I will sometimes get ingredients for chili, homemade soup, roasts with potatoes and veggies, lasagna, etc.  I do end up buying stuff that I already have at home sometimes like tomatoes or chicken.

I'm willing to give it a menu planning a try to save money on groceries.  It's been pointed out to me that I should be spending much less on groceries than I am but I just can't seem to get it down. 

Does menu planning really help with the grocery budget?


  1. I believe it does, my mom menu planned when I was growing up and she fed 4 kids a month that would equal the amount I feed 3 kids in one week.

    I would love to menu planned if I had the time to cook or if I liked to cook LOL!

    I hope you save a lot more by doing so good luck!

  2. For us there are a few things we always keep in the house, so each week I open the cabinets and mark down the basics we need.

    Then I look at the grocery ads to see what's on sale. I then pick the meals we want to cook that week based on our work schedules, etc... and list the stuff we need to make those meals that we don't already have in the house.

    We have a set limit of money we spend each week and if it means we have to take stuff out of the cart and amend our food list in the store, we do. So far this has worked pretty well for us.

  3. I like menu planning because there were so many nights when I didn't know what to cook and we would go out to eat. I do save quite a bit of money now.

    I am also an avid planner so it really fits in with my personality anyway. I enjoy searching for new recipes and making lists. I don't think menu planning is end all be all of saving money on food. I think if you can keep from dining out all the time that is the biggest money saver.

  4. We loosely plan. There are a few things that DH loves, so I always get them regardless of a sale. But for the most part I look at the ad, and see what's on sale. Then I come up with 4-5 dinners based off of those items.

    Instead of planning specific meals for specific nights, I just make a list of possible dinner options and put it on the white board on the fridge. Then we just pick what we want from the menu :) As the ingredients to make each meal are gone, I erase them from the board.

    If there are a few meals your family always loves, get those items. But also get creative. If ground turkey is on sale this week, buy that instead of ground beef to make spaghetti. Planning meals around the meat that's on sale, and buying in specific quantities to make the meals you need, is one of the best ways to save money. Also, try to throw in at least one meatless meal a week if y

  5. *you are big meat eaters. That will help save, and be more healthy :)

  6. I don't really menu plan, but I do look at the grocery store adds and buy the loss leaders and work around those. I cook huge on Sunday this will feed us through Tuesday. Then I cook Wednesday, crockpot Thursday. eat out Friday, sandwiches and big breakfast Saturday. I feed 4 adults and several other stop bys, (old students going to college broke, hungry) for about $500.00 a month. I realize that I could cut down, but I do most from scratch, in fact almost all from scratch.