Hi there!

I think we all know how frustrating it is to feel like you’re spending too much money on groceries. But then you look in your shopping cart and it all feels necessary. Plus, people gotta eat, right?

Believe me, I know exactly how it feels!

I feel like we’ve had a tight budget for the entire seven years we’ve been married. During the times when we had extra money, I still tried to keep our budget as low as possible so that we could pay off debt, save an emergency fund, and pay for Austin to go back to college.

Keeping our food budget low has been the focus of my money-saving efforts for years! The reason is because it’s our 2nd biggest monthly expense (after our mortgage).

It sure seems like there should be a lot of wiggle room in how much we spend on food. Easier said than done, though.

Not long ago, I sent out a reader survey to find out more about what kind of resources you are looking for. I was honestly surprised at how many of you are looking for the same two things:

  1. Ways to save money so that you can pay off debt and achieve other financial goals.
  2. Meal planning help: Making quick, healthy meals and getting dinner on the table seems to be a big source of stress for all of us.

Well in my mind, those two things go together perfectly! Meal planning is the single biggest way that I save money on groceries.

I created my own simple meal planning method years ago (without really realizing that’s what I was doing), and I’ve been using it ever since. So I decided to create a full meal planning guide showing you how to use this method! It’s called Let’s Make Meal Planning Simple.

It is a full, step by step guide showing my meal planning process, with worksheets for you to fill out and use. Plus, as a bonus I made an example 1-week meal plan with the grocery list and recipes ready to go.

It’s not for sale quite yet (there’s going to be a special launch week discount for the first week when it’s ready) so stay tuned for that!

In the meantime I wanted to share a kind of funny money saving tip when it comes to meal planning:

This is going to seem counterintuitive, but I actually plan to buy some kind of convenience food for dinner on the day that I grocery shop. Something like a frozen pizza, rotisserie chicken, or frozen egg rolls and potstickers.

Are convenience foods like this kind of pricey? Yes. However, no one wants to grocery shop, come home and put away all of the food, and then cook a big meal. Since I know myself quite well, I know that when I’m done grocery shopping, I’ll be hungry and very tempted to order pizza or get takeout. This seems ridiculous, because I just bought a ton of food for the week but I have no energy to make any of it!

I’ve realized that quick convenience foods from the grocery store are still a lot cheaper than ordering takeout, so I buy the rotisserie chicken and save money by not ordering out! Part of meal planning is planning for easy meals to keep yourself from going out to eat in a pinch.

Stay tuned for more details about Let’s Make Meal Planning Simple. I’ve got another meal planning tip for you about saving time. You won’t want to miss it!

If you found this tip helpful, hit reply and let me know!

~ Christine

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