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How to save time and money by planning ahead…

Now that you’ve got your budget set you need to get your meal planning game on! This will save you money and time at the grocery store and time cooking. Meal planning helps you take stock of what you already have, what you need to use up before expiry, which can lead to a more time and cost effective grocery list.

See some leftovers that need to be eaten up? Pack them for lunch or have leftover night! Do you have any opened pasta sauce in the back of the fridge getting close to the expiration date? Looks like spaghetti night!

Meal plan (R) and Grocery List (L) made – ready to shop!

Keep it simple to save time & money

Meal plans don’t have to consist of five course dinners and complicated recipes. Keep it simple and save yourself the hassle. My kids love Taco Tuesdays and Pizza Fridays. Both meals are low cost and easy to prepare.

Easy to prepare, cost effective meals include

  • fajitas
  • tuna burgers
  • turkey meatloaf and veggies
  • sheet pan chicken and veggies
  • BLTs with homemade bread (a favorite at our house)
  • breakfast for dinner
  • baked potato bar
  • fish tacos
  • spaghetti with meat sauce (requires less meat than meatballs)
  • deli style pasta salad
  • slow cooker tenderloin or roast (save lots of time with an Instant Pot)
  • chicken, mac & cheese

The possibilities are endless! The majority of items on this list are also quite healthy! Yes, you can eat healthy and inexpensively at the same time. You don’t have to choose. You just have to plan! Here is an example.

Weekly Meal Plan


toddler muffins
  • Cereal
  • fried egg open face sandwiches with cheese
  •  homemade muffins


leftover corn and salad with bird in a blanket
  • pinwheels with sliced meat, hummus or mayonnaise, lettuce and fresh fruit
  • chicken salad with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, etc
  • leftovers
  • pigs or birds (turkey) in a blanket with salad


pizza night
  • BLTs with homemade bread  and fresh fruit
  • Taco night with ground turkey or beef, roasted bell pepper, sour cream, tortillas, lettuce
  • Pork chops with roasted veggies, salad
  • Homemade pizza
  • Sweet n Sour chicken and rice

Desserts and Snacks:

  • Gelatin with fruit
  • Homemade zucchini brownies
  • Fresh fruit
  • Natural peanut butter with pretzels or crackers
  • Homemade cupcakes
special dessert

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