Money-Saving Meal Planning Tips to Cut Down on Food Waste
Hi there! As someone who has moved to the United States from the Netherlands, I’ve noticed that groceries can be quite expensive compared to my home country. It was tough for me to come to terms with spending over $1,000 a month on groceries and dining out. And now, with prices continuing to rise due to inflation, it can be even more stressful to make ends meet when feeding a family. But don’t worry, I’m here to help! I want to share some tips with you on how to save money on groceries. These tips have worked wonders for me, and I hope they’ll be just as helpful for you too. So, let’s dive right in!
I recommend using the app called Supercook. This app will help you find all kinds of recipes based on the ingredients you already have at home. So for instance, I always have things at home like flour, sugar, eggs, milk, some canned vegetables, etc. You can enter all the ingredients that you have at home, like in your freezer, pantry, and fridge, and this app will show you a combination of recipes that you can create with the ingredients you already have. It also shows recipes for the majority of ingredients you already have, and which ingredients you still need to get from the store to be able to make that recipe. It’s a good tool to help when you create a meal plan. This leads me to the second tip on how to save money on your groceries.
Get Cash Back Apps
If you’re looking for ways to save money on your everyday purchases, I highly recommend checking out some of the amazing cashback apps available. My personal favorites are Fetch and Ibotta. With Ibotta, you can easily link some of your accounts and automatically receive cashback for eligible purchases you’ve made. Plus, they offer great deals at your local stores that you won’t want to miss out on. Fetch is another fantastic app that rewards you for scanning your receipts and making purchases at participating retailers. Trust me, these apps are a game-changer when it comes to saving money. So, why not give them a try and sign up today? You won’t regret it!
Fetch Rewards (preselect deals in the store and scan your grocery receipt and receive money back)
Ibotta (With this one you can even connect your grocery accounts AND EVEN AMAZON AND UBER)
When it comes to meal planning, I have a tried and true method that works wonders for me and my family. First, I like to create a monthly meal list, so I know exactly what we’ll be eating for the entire month ahead.
On Sundays, I like to keep it simple by enjoying leftovers from the previous week’s meals. As for the remaining six days of the week, I choose six recipes that I’ll be cooking each week.
To keep everything organized, I use an app called GoodNotes on my iPad. I write down each day of the month on a separate line and start filling in our favorite recipes that I know everyone will love.
Then, I’ll add in some new recipes that I’ve been wanting to try out. I also like to include some easy recipes for those busy or stressful days. Once I have everything written down, I mix and match the recipes to create a good variety of delicious meals each week, that also suit my schedule. I like to make sure that each week has a good variety of meals, like chicken, beef, fish, and more. Trust me, this method has made meal planning so much easier and more enjoyable for our family.
Then I move over to an awesome meal planning app – it’s called Whisk! This app is a real game-changer when it comes to creating my weekly meal plan. You can easily drag and drop recipes that you’ve found online, and they also have a recipe community, making meal planning so simple and fun! What’s really cool is that Whisk formats the recipes in a way that only shows you the ingredients list and instructions, so you don’t have to sift through a whole blog post to get what you need. This helps me to not get distracted.
Plus, you can easily add all the ingredients of a meal in your meal plan to their integrated shopping list. It’s a great way to avoid any duplicates of ingredients and stay on track. Give this app a try and see how it works for you!
I usually shop for groceries just once a week, so I find it helpful to divide my meal plan into weekly segments. And before heading to the store, I always check out the weekly grocery ads to see if there are any great deals on items we might need. We’re big fans of fruits, so whenever there’s a sale on produce, I make sure to stock up. If there are other household items on sale too, I’ll definitely consider getting some to keep us well-stocked.
Freeze your meals
Another tip I have for you is to save meals in the freezer. Whenever I cook a meal, I make sure to freeze any leftovers. To make things easy, I’ve bought these handy plastic food storage containers that have separate sections. That way, I can freeze meals in normal portion sizes that are easy to reheat later.
At the end of the week, it’s always a treat to pull out all the freezer meals I’ve saved and let everyone pick their favorite. It’s a fun way to enjoy dinner together without worrying about food waste or spending extra money. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure that we always have a delicious meal on hand when I don’t feel like cooking. This also helps when I run late from work, and my husband needs to warm up some food for the kiddos.
Repurpose ingredients from previous meals
Another tip is to repurpose ingredients from a different or previous meal. For instance, sometimes I like to buy a pork shoulder and prepare it in a slow cooker and use it for different meals. Like tacos one day, quesadillas another day, and loaded chips the last day. There are many different variations that you can do with all kinds of food. We eat a lot of rice and I like to save leftover cooked rice in a Ziploc in the freezer. And then when I’ve saved enough I use that to make a simple fried rice meal. Just try and think of different ways of how you can use a whole chicken, a pork shoulder, rice, or other things.
One of my favorite ways to save money is through couponing, especially when it comes to toiletries. There are so many great websites out there that teach you how to coupon and highlight the best deals at different stores and at different times. When I see a great deal, I like to stock up on things like shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, and more – all at a great price!
Believe it or not, sometimes there are even deals that will actually make you money! That’s right, the store will pay you if you do it correctly. If you’re not an expert in finding the best deals with couponing, don’t worry! I encourage you to check out the weekly ads of your favorite stores and browse websites like coupon.com to see if they have any coupons for the products you were already planning on buying that week.
Just remember, it’s important to only get items that you already use and need. Don’t go overboard and purchase products just because there’s a coupon available. That could quickly become overwhelming. Stick to what you know and love, and you’ll start to see those savings add up!
Are you interested in learning how to coupon like a pro? Then, you’re in luck! I highly recommend you check out the amazing blog post from Hot Couponing. She’s got all the insider tips and tricks on how to get started and become a pro at saving big bucks with coupons. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this valuable resource!
Are you always looking for new ways to save money and stretch your dollar? Look no further! I highly recommend checking out “10 Easy Money Savings Challenges” from I Am In Harmony With Money. These challenges are not only great for saving money on groceries but can also be applied to other areas of your life.
I hope you found these tips helpful. They have worked well for me, and I am confident they can work for you too! Remember to take your time when grocery shopping, plan ahead by creating a meal plan, buy what you know you will eat and don’t forget to submit the receipts to the apps. These small changes can make a big difference in the amount of money you save each month – not to mention the amount of food that ends up in the trash. Have you tried any of these steps already? Let me know how it went!
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17 thoughts on “Money-Saving Meal Planning Tips to Cut Down on Food Waste”
It’s important not too waste too much food, I like the idea of freezing food when you can’t eat it all, but all the other tips in this article are very useful.
Thanks for commenting!
Wow, I did not know apps like supercook exist. One of my ain problems with cooking is that I dont know what to do with the left ingredients. SO this app is aawesome and such a big help.
It is a great resource! I hope you find good use in it!
Great tips here! We all need these tips to be able to save money at home.
We have been trying to use our local refill shop for food such as rice, grains etc. And we buy our fruit and veg as we need them and plan to eat them. It’s helped us cut down on food waste and plastic use as well as money!
Apps exist for so many things, so I am not surprised they exist for this, too. Yeah, the greatest problem in my household is making too much food, then throwing it it a few days later when it doesn’t get eaten. It’s a habit we need to change.
I was the same way, because that was how I was raised. But now I put it in the freezer and pull it out when I don’t feel like cooking!
Your article was an absolute delight to read! Your tips on how to save money on groceries were really practical and helpful. I appreciate how you shared your personal experiences and insights, which made the post more relatable.
Thank you for your comment and kind words.
I would love to hear any tips that will help me save money from buying food and to avoid food waste in our home. Thank you!
Meal planning is the way to go. Make sure you don’t buy any more than you need or plan on using. And if there are any leftovers, reuse the ingredients, or freeze the meal.
These tips are great. I pride myself on my lack of food waste and it’s down to forward planning, batching meals and freezing meals like you suggest. I haven’t heard of these apps before though so will take a look!
That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing!
We do not want to waste food. That is a no-no, because the cost of food has already caused a big dent in our family’s budget. I do recycle left overs, that is how we reduce food wastage. I will have to check on those cash back apps too.
I am so glad to hear you already got this under control. Thanks for commenting
Saving money and food waste are very essential to our family as well. I hate seeing food waste and I am very into finding ways to save us money. We don’t have a couponing system here in Australia, but we use rewards apps from our big grocers which give us points and cash back, which are very helpful. We also freeze our food to consume later.