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does it save money to have weekly meal plans.... or just buy groceries and make what sounds good each night??

(my DH will not eat leftovers, but i usually have leftovers for lunch. but a "huge" leftover would get wasted.) :( what would save money?

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:38 PM on Feb. 5, 2010 in Just for Fun

Answers (11)
  • make a meal plan and if there are leftovers then incorpirate them into the next nights diner. That is what i do...

    Answer by MommyBulger at 4:40 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • I save lots of money having a meal plan... otherwise I end up buying food that I don't use that I have to toss when it spoils. Our budget has gone way down since we have a meal plan.

    Answer by Freela at 4:44 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • Neither - shop for what's on sale and use coupons to buy it - buy enough to last 3 months (which is how long it will be before it's on sale w/ coupons available again). Once you have your home stocked, the only thing you have to buy fresh each week is produce and whatever meat may be on sale. Plan your meals around what's on sale and fill in with what you have stockpiled. The problem with either meal plans or shopping on a whim is even if one component is on sale (say chicken breasts on sale) you'll decide how to cook the chicken and buy all the things to make it (bbq sauce, specific veggies to go on the side, certain bread/rolls to go with it) at full price. If you sale shop 3 months at a time, you'll have all those other components on hand already, and either have gotten them for free or dirt cheap when you bought them.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:45 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • I think meal planning saves tons. If I go to the store every day I spend so much more money.

    Answer by Cindy18 at 4:48 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • meal planning def. saves money. You can take advantage of bulk sales, you save gas and time from goping to the store every day. Say you want to make spaghetti on Sunday and parmesean noodles with something else on wednesday. Instead of buy two small bags/boxes of noodles you buy the large one and store unused in a ziploc. Also don't think your leftovers have to be eaten the next day or two. Lots of things freeze well and make great 'qick and easy" meals or lunches for work. I make extra large amount of spaghetti. I freeze servings in the gladware or ziploc containers. My husband loves when those are in the freezer. He grabs one throws it in his thmal sack and off he goes. Meatloaf freezes well..almost any pasta dish freezes welll, soups generally freeze well. I also buy hamburger on sale in the big bulk pkges. I brown it all up and store in ziplocs straight to the freezer. No worries about forgetting to take meat out.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 4:50 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • We eat based on what is on sale. If its a great deal and I have extra money I will stock up and freeze it. Right now our local Safeway has a rack of ribs for $5! You better believe I bought 10- I will freeze 9 and we will have some meals in the freezer for weeks when there are not any great specials. I agree with NP about stocking up on the basics as well.

    Answer by soyousay at 4:53 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • Yes definitely, meal plans save money. You will save on time too. When you plan based on the store sales you will save even more!
    Our meal plan is pretty flexible though. We have staples on hand like pasta and sauce for those nights we just don't want to cook or something. And we aren't strict about what meal we have each night - if I feel like having the Thursday dinner on Monday, well that's fine.
    I don't usually eat leftovers, but DH will eat them for lunch sometimes. Or I will make leftovers into another meal.
    I just think it's easier to plan!

    Answer by Katt709 at 5:09 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • I have been planning meals for a month and a half and we have definitely saved money. I know what I am going for when I go to the store and that really helps. On top of that we have been shopping at BJs and buying the staple items in bulk. I would say we are saving about $50 a week.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:51 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • We definitely save money by planning meals, in fact yesterday I sat down and wrote out all of our meals for the next month so when hubby gets paid next week I will go to the store get everything I need for the month (of course I'll still have to buy milk and bread as I don't like the way it taste if we freeze it and defrost it later) but I won't have to buy anything else for the month, it saves a TON of money and I spend a lot less time worrying about meals.

    Answer by finallyamom40 at 6:10 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • It saves money and time; cuts down on stress and waste. Here are some of my recent dinner plans; send me a message offlist if you would like a copy:
    Week of 2/1
    Sunday – chili and cornbread
    Monday – sweet and sour cabbage rolls
    Tuesday – lentil soup (from freezer) and grilled cheese sandwiches
    Wednesday – lentil tacos
    Thursday – peanut noodles
    Friday – stirfry
    Saturday – dinner out
    Week of 1/25
    Sunday – stuffed peppers
    Monday – peanut noodles
    Tuesday – lentil sloppy joes
    Wednesday – breakfast
    Thursday – stirfry, brown rice
    Friday –Lasagna
    Saturday – zucchini and cheese enchiladas
    Week of 1/18
    Sunday – chili and cornbread
    Monday – mushroom stroganoff
    Tuesday – tofu fish sticks, not crab cakes, sweet potato fries
    Wednesday – stirfry, brown

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:57 PM on Feb. 5, 2010

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