Secrets of Success

Meal Planning




Making weekly menus can help you stick to your eating goals -and- save you money. If you plan your menus around certain ingredients, you can cut down on what you need to buy. Example - I'll make chicken enchiladas and use the shredded chicken in soup or sandwhiches later that week.

More Information:

It also helps you to use your weekly sales and coupons better, you can plan meals around what's on sale, and what's in season for a better price. And having a list -always- helps you save money if you stick to it (and helps avoid temptation to buy things that aren't healthy for you).

This Sparked Me! Leave a Comment
Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click Report Inappropriate Secret and our staff will review it.

Member Comments

  • Better yet, I have my family look at the grocery store ads and tell me what they want for dinner from what I can make from what is on sale. They eat better if it is something that they want and then I know what to stock up on in my pantry and freezer. - by SAL1512
  • I do 2 weeks at a time calendar menus. It really saves time/money etc... and I don't have everyone asking "what's for dinner"?! emoticon - by LESLIE_2B_LESS
    And if you plan your menu according to sales going on at the store (mainly for items you don't already have), you can save even more! - by OHIOBRIE
  • I have a chart on my computer with a list of about 50 meals, and a space for each member of the family to give that meal a score from 1 (nah) to 5 (make this!). I compare the favorites on the list to the store ads and what I've got in my pantry, and plan my meals for the week. - by FREECELLPENGUIN
  • I started doing this as soon as I got married (only 4 months ago) and it has helped my husband know what we are eating for dinner so he never asks (yay) and he knows what we need at the store in case I can't go. I make the store list at the same time that I make the meal plan and then find all the coupons that I could possibly use at the store that way I don't have to spend the time in the croweded aisles trying to find a coupon. - by BELLE04
  • ROSEBUD8379
    I was watching a show the other day and this mom printed her recipes on different colored paper based on the approximate cost of the meal. Based on their budget for that week she could give her family a choice of whichever meals kept them within this budget. I thought it was a great idea. - by ROSEBUD8379
  • I've learned to "purge the pantry" by making weekly menus. It cuts down on throwing food away because you have to come up with meals/recipes with what you already have on hand, and also keeps me from making impulse trips to the grocery where I am sure to spend more money I don't need to be spending. - by MISSYD90
  • I have learned to buy store brands versus name brands. Things are so tight right now so every penny counts! All of these ideas are wonderful. I do need to plan ahead more often! emoticon - by WILWOMAN
  • we have a store out here that sells 5 packs of meat for $20
    that is daily .. if you can find a local store that does that helps ..

    they are small packs of meat but you can get 4 - 6 peaces of meat per pack ..
    also places like "sav a lot" where they dont give you bags (bring ur own or buy) usually are cheaper than well known stores as well .. just my $0.02 emoticon - by LOVINGLISA175
  • It definitely works for me. I work daily and have to bring my own food to work, so I cook every other weekend, planning ahead, and combine ingredients so that I may save time and money.
    - by BRADIA
  • I'm not working at present, so every penny counts,i go to the reduced section of the store,they do have some good products at half price which one can freeze and use at another time or the same day,this also is a good way of trying different foods which one would not normally buy. - by ATHENA-A-392
  • I have tried so many times to do this but unfortunately, my husband will opt to have something that's not on the menu. One of these days, I'm going to say...No, we are sticking with the menu and we will put (item he desires) on next weeks menu. So far, haven't done that yet, though. - by TEEDAGG
  • Thanks for all the advice! i am starting my planner NOW! lol emoticon - by MARGEUOF2
  • Great Ideas - by JORDAN1019
  • I do this and it really helps. And I find that the food I buy ends up being enough for an extra couple days. - by SASKWINTERMAMA
  • emoticon - by BARBBF
  • Thanks for the great advice. Awesome ideas and solutions. - by ROOTIHAUSMAN

  • I do watch what foods I pick up at the store and make sure there is a complete meal for everything. I don't make a meal plan but I think I do pretty good.

    It is just myself and my kid.

    Meals are easy for us. He will eat most of everything I make. I want to make sure he always has enough too.

    emoticon - by SWEETSUGAR7

Leave a Comment

Leave encouragement, a question, or anything else relevant to this. All comments must abide by SparkPeople's Community Guidelines.

Log in to post a comment.