If you are serious about saving money on your food expenses, the first place you need to look is your menu planning. Without a plan you will end up going out to eat more often and that will more than eat up any savings you will experience using coupons.

Through the years I’ve listened to friends as they (and I) talk about the difficulties of dinner time. What I’ve noticed is not so much that any of them hate to cook, but more that they hate the feeling they get when 5:00 rolls around and the children have that look in their eyes (“You mean I have to feed you again?” you ask) and you’re pretty sure that your husband hasn’t changed his mind about needing some nourishment at some point in the evening.

Desperate to get through the evening with some sanity, and to eat before 8:00, you head out to eat.


If only you had taken just a few minutes to plan meals for the week and to check your list in the morning to see if something needed to get dropped into the crock pot. You could have been sitting down to a wonderful home cooked meal that took you almost no time to prepare, will be easy to clean, is probably much healthier than what you would have settled for eating out, and cost a whole lot less! Probably to the tune of $15 to $50 less depending on where you might have gone.

And that’s just one night. How many nights in the average week does this scenario play out? If you could eliminate this scene one night a week you would save your family $60-200 per month over what you are currently spending. Add to that the fact that now, you likely have enough leftover for your husband to take to work for lunch, saving you about $6-$12.00 if his other choice was to go grab a bite at a drive up.

How much could that save you in a month if you were to go from eating out a lot to eating in, simply because you have a plan?

It doesn’t have to be hard at all, and it can bring great peace of mind knowing that supper is under control.

If you already do a fairly good job planning weekly meals and following your plan, congratulations, you’re ahead of the game.  If not, come back tomorrow and we’ll go through a few simple steps to get a plan that will work for you.

If you would like to be reminded, join me on FaceBook

See you then,

Beth Cranford,

no longer panicking over dinner


other articles in this series; Save Money by Using a Meal Plan-Part Two