Planning your meals, save money, save supermarkets

When we started working from home, my wife and I looked at how we were planning our meals and food.

With two young children, we were already having our shopping delivered on a weekly basis; a lifesaver, as any parent with children under five who have tried to take them round a supermarket will attest to. We were concerned about panic buying in the supermarkets, but also keen that we were not part of the problem. We did book a number of weeks out in advance, anticipating shopping deliveries would get booked up. How would we approach our food shop now that we were both working from home, the kids were both home and with staples like pasta being unavailable in the shops?

It’s rather boring and perhaps unadventerous, and maybe obvious, but planning our meals several weeks in advance has really helped. Using a good old fashioned spreadsheet we now have each evening meal planned. Doing this is helping us in many ways:

  • We can create our shopping list quickly and easily. We only really get the opportunity to do our shop online in the evenings when the kids are in bed and there are things I’d rather do.
  • We don’t have to think too much about preparing the evening meal, the thinking has been done already. Sure, if we fancy swapping Tuesday nights lasagne for Wednesdays chicken curry then that’s fairly easy, so we still have some flexibility in this but it’s much easier than trying to figure things out short term.
  • We can plan to have leftovers which is really useful for next day lunch and over a couple of days we’ve found we get some variety for our lunches. This also definitely saves us money.
  • Because of this our weekly shop can now be much cheaper and we don’t need so much.

Its working well for us to plan a few weeks out in advance, allows us to buy in supplies in advance and change things around when some items are not available or subsitutions are applied. This has also allowed us to cancel one of our online deliveries, hopefully allowing those who need it most to get their deliveries. I hope we can now try to get deliveries every two weeks if we can mixup non-perishables, food from the freezer and proper planning for evening meals and using leftovers wisely. Hopefully this will ease the burden on supermarket delivery services.

I hope everyone keeps well, eats well and is surviving the restlessness of their children!