*This is a sponsored post on behalf of GIANT Food Stores and the Build Your Influence Summit. All opinions are 100% my own.*
It’s the start of a New Year and that means that lots of us are looking at our budgets from last year and are looking for ways to trim expenses and save money in 2016. With five growing and very active kids, one of my largest monthly expenses is our food–both groceries and eating out–and I’m always looking for easy ways to save money on food.
Here are some easy ways that I am planning on saving money on food costs in the coming year.
Save Money on Food
Weekly Meal Plan— I know I have talked about doing a weekly meal plan before and it really does help and cut down on our food expenses BUT I tend to fall off the wagon after a couple of months. This year I am determined to keep up with my weekly meal plan because it really does make life easier. I love knowing first thing in the morning what I need to defrost, it is nice having a plan for dinner so I know what I need to have on hand and with our busy nights spent at swimming, it is nice knowing exactly what we are eating and how much time it will take to prepare so I can make sure that dinner is ready when we are ready to eat. Click here to print out my weekly meal planning worksheet to help you get started with a meal plan as well.
Grocery Shopping List–am I the only one that does this? I do a shopping list and then forget to bring it with me? Or I don’t bother writing one down because I tell myself I won’t forget to get what I need and then I go to the store and…forget? Well, not any more! I am going to print out this Grocery Shopping List every week, hang it on my refrigerator and add to it as we run out of stuff. I will also use it to remember items that I need to round out my weekly meal plan. Click here to print out my Grocery Shopping list.
Buy in Bulk, especially meats–This is something that I do all the time. I love to buy in bulk, especially when it comes to buying meats. I’m lucky in that I have a big chest freezer so when I see that meats like chicken and ground beef are on sale at my grocery store I stock up. Yes, I might be spending more on that grocery trip that I would normally but by stocking up that means that I don’t have to buy meats every time I go to the store. This makes other visits cheaper, so it all evens out in the course of a month. I love having chicken breasts or ground beef on hand at all times because that means I always have something in the fridge to whip up for dinner.
Utilize freezer cooking more–do you do freezer cooking? I love to do it as it is an easy way to always make sure that you have something you can pull out of the freezer and cook for dinner–even when you are a meal plan failure. You know those days where everything goes wrong and its 4 pm and you have no idea what you are going to do for dinner? Well if you have freezer meals all ready to go you don’t have to resort to takeout. I plan on making sure that I always have a few meals ready to go in the freezer so I am never caught off guard. Click here to learn how I do freezer cooking and to check out some awesome recipes.
Add more variety to our meal plans–I don’t know about you but I find that I end up doing more takeout foods when I feel like our eating has gotten into a rut with the same meals over and over again. This year I am going to try and add some more variety to our meal plans with recipes from some favorite cookbooks and from GIANT Food Stores new magazine Savory. Have you seen this magazine yet? You can view it online or pick it up at your local GIANT Food Store. It is full of money saving cooking tips, coupons and recipes perfect for busy families.
How do YOU plan on saving money on your grocery costs in the New Year? Leave a comment and let me know!