Growing Green: Meal Planning to Save Money & Avoid Waste

This week we’re all about simple ways to SAVE green.  That means we’re saving money while also working toward a greener lifestyle.

I’m here with a few meal planning tips to help you save money and avoid waste.  In the past, I was notorious for walking into the grocery store without a list and filling my cart with all the multi-colored goodness I wanted to share with my family.  I had tunnel vision.   I was so focused on simply getting the healthy food into our home, learning to prepare it, and trying to convince my family to eat it that I never took the time to plan.  I shopped based on what I wanted to eat that week without any regard for what we already had or how much food we realistically needed.  The result was a kitchen full of food that we couldn’t finish before it went bad and a lot of waste.

After awhile, I began to feel really convicted about all of that waste – food and money – and I started to meal plan.

If you aren’t meal planning already, here are 3 reasons you should be and a few of my favorite resources to help you get started.

  • Meal planning helps avoid food waste.  (The average family of four wastes 122 lbs of edible food a month. Yikes!)
  • Meal planning saves you money.  (It’s easier to shop sales, purchase in season and avoid unnecessary purchases when you plan.)
  • Meal planning saves you time & frustration.  (How many times have you stood in the middle of the kitchen at 6 pm with no answer to the question “what’s for dinner?”  How many times have you started dinner and realized you didn’t have everything you needed?  Just me?)

If you think meal planning can help you save time, money and avoid food waste you’ll want to try these resources to help you get started.  I use them both depending on my mood and time.

Food on the Table

Everything is in one place with this easy to use meal planning program.  It boils down to this.  Pick your favorite grocery store and select the meals/recipes you’d like to prepare that week.  The program gives you a complete grocery list and matches your meal plan to the weekly sales at your local store.  It’s quick, it’s inspiring, it saves time and money and does pretty much everything for you short of preparing dinner. Check out the website or download the app to your phone.  You can plan up to 3 meals a week for free or purchase their monthly subscription for unlimited use. 

Faithful Provisions Downloads

Kelly has a fabulously helpful and well thought out series of free printable downloads on her site.  I keep copies of these on hand all the time now to help save time and money.  As much as  love my phone and apps, sometimes I prefer a good old fashioned handwritten list to hang on the fridge or stuff in my purse.  If you feel the same way, check out Kelly’s site and download one or all of the following worksheets to help you plan and organize your kitchen. 

  • Meal Plan Calendar
  • Freezer Inventory List
  • Pantry Inventory List

Do you meal plan?  Do you think it would help you save money and avoid waste?

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you’ll take a minute to visit the other green bloggers in the Growing Green series for their tips to SAVE green.

Laurel of Leaves - tips to save on your utility bill

I Dream of Clean - tips to save energy with your appliances

The Frugal Seed - tips on where to find healthy living coupons to help your budget

 *This post contains affiliate links.

 

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