This post was originally published in 2015. I still use this simple tool for meal planning!
Meal planning is the #1 way I save money on groceries. I can NOT stress that enough and I write about it all of the time. So I’ll repeat it.
“MEAL PLANNING IS THE #1 WAY I SAVE MONEY ON GROCERIES.”
And there is one tool that makes meal planning very easy. I’ve tried countless other options, but I always go back to basics, and this one simple tool has helped me save hundreds over the years.
Are you ready?
It’s mind-blowing…Well, not really, but it is very effective.
A spiral notebook.
Yep, doesn’t that rock your world?
This simple spiral notebook is what I use to plan our meals and my shopping list. When I take it with me to the grocery store, I stay on task. When I leave it at home, I have no plan for my trip and buy things I don’t need, forget the things I do need, buy things that are already in my pantry, and not surprisingly, my budget will be blown.
I use one page per week and on the left side of the page, I list the days of the week and write down my meal ideas. The right side of the page is for my grocery list.
I attach a binder clip to hold any coupons for my grocery trip and take a pen with me to take notes and cross items off my list.
And that’s it, folks! I know there are some pretty printables available on the web, (I even include one on my subscriber freebies page) but I’ve found a simple spiral notebook works so easily.
When I am diligent about using the notebook for meal planning, my grocery bill stays within my budget.
Good News! During back-to-school season, these spiral notebooks are deeply discounted at Staples. Unfortunately, the picture below is from 2015 and the 17 cents is outdated. It’s now 2022 and I found them at Staples on sale for 35 cents…still quite a deal!)
Want to lower your grocery bill? These posts will help:
- How to Save Money on Groceries
- 4 Simple Grocery Apps that Earn You Cash Back
- 11 Simple Meal Planning Tips
- How I Use Pinterest for Meal Planning
- 8 Freezer Meal Recipes
- 10 Paper Products to Avoid
Love it we make a list every week and then our pantry doors are dry erase doors and I add the menu each week. It keeps us on track and everyone loves to see what we are having each night
I love that your pantry doors are dry erase. That’s a great use for the space. Thanks for stopping by, Jean!
We write right on the fridge door with dry erase marker it comes right off with a dry cloth or some rubbing alcohol for certain colors.
That’s a great idea. We have an old fridge and the surface has a texture, so I don’t know if I could do so, but I like the idea of making it public for the family to see.