How many days a week do you stand in front of the fridge at 6pm wondering what you are going to make for dinner? And when this happens, how many of you decide to order in? Most people are nodding their head right about now. With a small change in your routine you will have more time to spend with your family in the evening, and your budget will benefit.

1.   Plan your weekly meals before you go shopping. 

a.  This will prevent food waste, as you are only buying what is required for that week. Without a plan we often purchase perishable items that we think we will use during the week but end up throwing away. 
b.  This will prevent overstocking. When you try to put a plan in place while shopping, it is easy to forget what is already in the cupboard.

2.   Look through flyers and coupons.

a.  Saving money on groceries can be as easy as planning a few meals based on what is on sale that week.
b.  Most stores will price match, so you can benefit from coupons without having to spend extra time driving to multiple stores.

3.   Family participation.

a.  Kids love to cook, so spending time in the kitchen together gives you the opportunity to spend valuable time with your children. Cooking won’t seem like such a chore.
b.  If you have older children make them responsible for planning one meal a week. This is a good habit for them to develop, so when they live on their own they don’t resort to eating out every night.
c.  If you are a single person you can meal plan with a friend. Spend the day together shopping and cooking. You then have a week’s worth of prepared meals to enjoy at home.

4.   Make extra for leftovers.

a.  It is nice to have a night out of the kitchen. When cooking your meals make enough so that you can have leftovers one night of the week. The gives you a break from the kitchen without having to break the budget by eating out.

~ Charlie Peet ~