Ashley’s Mom Monday: Meal Planning

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you are looking to save some cash on your weekly budget and spend more time doing what you love, here is a simple activity that could add money and time back to your life.

Ever heard of meal planning? Maybe you’re a weekly planner but need to dust up, or maybe the most you’ve thought about your meals is what you’re going to eat next.

Heather Brown with shares ways to save and simplify.

“It takes away that panicked feeling,” Brown said. “So when you do that, you’re planning your budget and when you do all those things you’re family is more at ease.”

The first thing you need to do to get started is to grab a notebook. It may sound simple, but it works.

“When I get out that notebook, I think, ‘what are we going to have for the week?’ and I literally write out Monday, Tuesday Wednesday,” Brown explained.

It’s so important to look in your fridge and pantry to see what you have first before planning elaborate meals with a ton of ingredients. Once you know what you have, it’s easier to only write down what you need.

She also suggests separating the parts of the meals.

“So I’m going to make one column of major parts of meals and the other column will be sides we can choose from,” Brown said.

Meal planning can be a huge cost saver, and you don’t have to spend time clipping coupons. Check out your favorite grocery store’s ads and pay attention to their weekly deals.

“I’ll save $30-$40 dollars a week buying just what’s on sale,” Brown said.

It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but you will definitely improve every week. Just keep at it and make it a part of your weekly routine.

Spending time just one day a week to plan your meals will not only free up some extra change in your purse, but it will free up more of your time as well. You can have more time during the week to do more of the things you love, like spending time with your family.

“Think about that,” Brown said. “If you spend one hour, you’re probably going to end up saving at least 30 minutes each day. It’s one thing to take off your plate and free up more time with your family and also just feel more organized.”

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