Thursday, August 1, 2013

Menu Planning and Cooking

I started out this post thinking about how cooking in bulk and in advance could save you money, but in reality that's a better time saver than anything.  So, this is *mostly* about menu planning with some cooking advice thrown in.

Have you ever gone to the grocery store hungry?  Have you ever purchased items only to throw them out because you didn't use them?  I think everyone is guilty of doing this. 

To eliminate food waste, here are some things you should do:

1. Don't shop while you're hungry.  I know, this is a cliche, but it's true.  When I shop while hungry, I spend more money on food that I don't eat, and it's a waste of money, and a waste of food.  You can save yourself even just a little bit of money by NOT shopping while you are hungry.

2. Make a list, and stick to it.  Sit down before you go grocery shopping and write down everything you need.  When you go to the store, by the items on your list.  If you start veering from the list, the money can really add up. 

3. Plan your weekly menu before you go shopping.  By doing this, you will also be able to stick to your list, because you will know exactly what you are eating for the week.  Make sure you add a variety of items to your menu.  It is important to get variety even while saving money.

These items can help you save money on food in the long run.  Something else you can do to save yourself some TIME is to cook in advance.  For example, take a look at your menu and check what you'll be eating Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Cook the meals for those three days in advance.  You can freeze the items and pull them out the morning of.  You'll have time to do other things on these days instead.

Now, what are you waiting for: get out and plan those menus ;)

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