Meal Planning

Do you want to reduce your spending on food?

Try meal planning. The best way to meal plan successfully is to choose a few meals for you and your family that will use the same ingredients.

I suggest first knowing what you like to eat. My post on Food Families and maintaining a food diary give you precise guidelines to follow in order to figure out what you should concentrate on.

I suggest that if you are new to planning to not start with foods that are too "new." Culinary exploration is loads of fun, but you need to have a habit of cooking first.

Then, pick a time to cook, once or twice a week. When you cook for 2-3 hours on your "free days" you are investing your time so that you can do something else with the time during the rest of the week. This is advantageous if you also want to limit the time cooking nightly or guarantee that you are sending your kid to school with a healthy lunch.

If you are meal planning for 1: remember, you need to cook a lot less. Stick to 3 meals for the week, and vary your leftovers. Intersperse your meals with healthy snacks, so that you keep yourself on your health-schedule without growing despondent over eating alone.

As you begin to cook on schedule, begin to research storage methods like freezing, pickling and canning. There are points in the year that you can buy perishables in bulk from farmers and markets. If you do so and preserve what you buy, you will save money in the long run, and maintain the fruits, veggies, and berries long past their season.