Budgeting: Meal Planning, Shopping, and Prepping

Life can be hectic, and food expenses can quickly add up. However, managing your busy schedule and providing nutritious meals for your family is possible with the right strategies. In this blog post, we’ll explore ways to meal plan, shop, and prep for success in the kitchen.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is a great way to prepare for the week ahead and reduce the time and money spent each day deciding what to eat. Here are some tips and tricks for easy planning:

● Choose meals that use a few of the same ingredients to cut down on the grocery list and reduce waste.
● Plan meals based on store ads to save money. The sale items change week to week so you can still have a great variety.
● Before planning for the week, check the back of your fridge and pantry for items you may have forgotten about. You can save a lot of money by using up the food you already have.

Here are a few of our recipes that use several of the same budget-friendly ingredients:

Garden Fiesta Tuna Pockets
Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Tuna Patties

By choosing recipes for the week that share ingredients, you can make a much shorter grocery list. This tends to save time and money. Include the kids and ask them what ingredient they’d like to see this week at lunch or dinner. They might have some creative responses!


Budgeting for the grocery store can be stressful, but with the right strategy, you can save money while still enjoying the foods you take home. Here are some ideas to try when shopping for you and your family:
● Buy in bulk for shelf-stable and frozen foods. Bulk foods have a lower cost per unit, so for items you use in large quantities, this is a great place to save money.
● Frozen and canned produce are just as nutritious and are typically cheaper. Also, shelf-stable cans and frozen foods won’t spoil quickly like fresh produce does. This means less food waste!
● Most grocery stores have a store card or weekly ad with lots of sales. Before meal planning, check what’s on sale and choose meals that use those items. This is also a great time to stock up on dry goods that are on sale.


Preparing meals for yourself and those you care for doesn’t have to be time-consuming and stressful. Here are some ways to reduce stress, save money, and be present while cooking:

● When you buy produce and meat at the grocery store or farmers market, try cutting up and portioning the foods you will need for recipes later in the week. This can save time while cooking. It also cuts down on the number of dishes you might have to wash each day.
● When your fresh foods are about to expire, portion them out and freeze them for later use. This will prevent food waste which saves money.
● If you have one day a week with an abundance of time, try preparing multiple meals on that day to reheat later in the week or month. Meal prepping is a great way to save time when you have a schedule that varies daily.
● When you find a great sale at your local market and want to stock up on that item, make a bunch of meals with it and freeze some for later in the month. This is another great way to save money in the long run.

Preparing your food and groceries ahead of a busy week will help you stay on task with the budget. Don’t worry if you don’t stick to your meal plan exactly. Life happens! By shopping with a plan and prepping your food ahead of time, you can make mealtime simple and fun for you and the family. We hope you give some of these strategies a try!

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