Simple Ways to Save Money with Budgets & Meal Plans

On March 2nd of 2015 we closed on our house in town.  It was such a big day!  We were so excited but also realized we would be taking on a big (for us) mortgage.  We had been enjoying life without a mortgage for a little while.  We were so looking forward to a bigger house, our checking account, not so much so.  We had gotten use to a little wiggle room and that would be vanishing.  I needed simple ways to save money and it really is a no brainer as to what I would need to do.

groceries in a bag

While we have buckled down on our budget a great deal, our grocery spending is still much higher than I would like.  When I recently sat down and added up our grocery expenses I was shocked!  Seriously shocked!  We are spending close to double what we were last year on groceries.  Groceries have gone up some but this is seriously a result of lack of planning on my part.  There are simple ways to save money and meal planning has been something I had done for the last 12 years since I had gotten married but since moving, is has truly been hit and miss.

There is no better time than the present to start!

I haven’t had much time to read blogs in forever.  While I was in the hospital waiting for my little one to arrive, I had some down time and visited several blogs I use to enjoy reading regularly.  I was inspired to challenge myself to buckle down again.

Budgeting and meal planning are simple ways to save money!

This week I did sit down and create my meal plan.  Score!  Now to follow through with it!

shopping list, grocery list

When I use to be on a very strict budget it was easier to stick to my budget when I planned the entire month and then did my bigger shopping twice weekly.  This allowed me to spend a little more on a trip when I would find awesome deals and then just fresh produce and milk the next.  Purchasing in bulk is something I am also looking forward to doing again.

It is usually cheaper to purchase a 5 or 10 pound bag of rice than to purchase a single pound.  However purchasing a 5 or 10 pound bag takes a bigger chunk out of your budget, that is why it is easier to purchase larger packages when you can combine two weeks budgets together to make those larger purchases at better prices.

It isn’t easy to just decide you are going to double your grocery budget one week so it means planning ahead. My plan is to start saving a bit of my grocery budget for the next three weeks so that I can be prepared for the first shopping trip of February!

This time of year there are usually lots of great deals to be had, so I look forward to adding a little to my pantry and having a little extra to put towards other things by simple being a little more prepared!

Do you create meal plans?  How do you plan your shopping: weekly, bi-monthly or monthly?

meal planning printable images
Here is a printable meal planner that can help you to get organized, buckle down and start planning to save in 2016!

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