I shop for groceries on a weekly basis. Before I did meal planning I use to go to the grocery store multiple times a week. I was always forgetting something or running out of the basics. Meal planning has changed the way that my family shops and eats. We always had healthy meals but meal planning has helped us maintain that and it’s less stress for me during the week. When I grocery shop I use a grocery list. And I try to stick to the grocery list. I plan my grocery list a week in advanced and I use apps on my phone to add to a running grocery list. The two apps that I use are Out of Milk and the Wegmans shopping list app. The apps are robust and are updated regularly. I’ve been using both apps for a while now and they work well for my needs.
The Wegmans app is pretty straight forward. I like that they list the prices for each item in the your local store. Once you complete your grocery list you should have a pretty close estimate for what your total grocery bill should be.
For the Out of Milk app I do things a little differently. I manually enter the prices for the foods that I buy at other grocery and convenience stores. Out of Milk will (usually) remember the price of the item after I enter it in once. The point is to make sure the your grocery bill total is equal to or less than what you plan to spend for the week on groceries. To stay on budget, I need to figure out how much I want to spend BEFORE I enter the grocery store.
“Doesn’t this take a lot of time?” Well, of course it takes some time, but not as much time as you may think. Whatever time I take up in meal planning I am positive that I make up in less trips to the grocery store during the week. Meal planning also saves us a lot of money. Because we plan our meals, we are less likely to eat out during the week when we have healthy meals already prepared at home.