Happy first Friday in February! 🤩
We’re coming at ya again with our final BIG 3 installment.
While we love shelter and transportation (the other 2 biggies), we love food even more! 😋
We make food decisions every day, multiple times a day.
Because of this, the more intentional we are with our food choices the better we’ll get at values-based spending in all other areas.
SOO what’s 1 of the secrets to saving money on food? 🤔
Meal Planning! 🍲
If you already know you’re going to need more help in this category than what this email can provide, check out CookSmarts. They are meal plan gurus and give you recipes and shopping lists each week based on your dietary preferences. Get a free 2-week trial just for being our friend. 🙂 **
But if January left you loving challenges, then here are our methods for reducing food costs on your own.
The way we see it, there are two types of meal planners: Jens and Jills. 😉
Jen’s Method: Prioritizes realism over perfectionism 👍
Look at your week and be honest about the days you have time and energy, and the days you don’t. And know that it’s totally ok if seven out of seven are “no time, no energy” days.
Prioritize short ingredient lists, little to no prep time, and as few dishes as possible. Every week Jen does some version of a one-pot chicken and rice, a freezer meal (sometimes prepared in advance, sometimes store-bought), and a salad.
💡 Find your recipes that are easier to say yes to before saying yes to takeout.
Jill’s Method: Prioritizes flexibility 🙌🏻
Each week take inventory of what you already have on hand and meal options that can be made with those ingredients. ChatGPT can be a great resource with this one!
Create an ‘options’ list with 4-7 dinner’s that can be made with the ingredients you have (and of course grocery shop the rest!).
When meal times roll around, use this list like a menu and decide what sounds good in that moment. (NOTE: these options should include shelf staples or freezer items, so it’s no biggie if a meal doesn’t get made, it can just be made another day that week.)
💡 The goal of your meal plan isn’t to take away spontaneity, it’s to prevent those extra trips to the store to pick up something you need plus 3 more things you didn’t. 🙃
Try it out and let us know what method works for you!
✅ Listen: Psychology of Money. Jen’s encouraging me to rent this on audiobook through Libby. So now I’m encouraging you to do it too. I think it’s a good cap to put on the end of this no-spend January!
✅ Watch: The final wrap-up of Jen’s no-spend January on instagram (@frugalfriendspodcast)
✅ Do: Help us out in creating the best content for YOU by taking our MEGA survey – we would SO appreciate it 💕
✅ Meal plan: Spanish Beans & Rice. I’m (Jill) still working through the recipes from our meal plan EP 370 1st Annual Dinner Awards and this one was amazing. I highly recommend the parsley lemon oil (even though the recipe lists it as optional).
Catch ya later,
⭐️⭐️ P.S. Want to share all this goodness with your friends AND earn cool Frugal Friends merch?
**Means this is a sponsored or affiliate section. We may earn a small fee or commission when you choose to try one of our sponsor or affiliate partners. But opinions are still 1000% our own.