Everyone knows when you plan ahead, you are more effective and successful. When it comes to planning meals ahead of time, if you take a few minutes before shopping, you can save yourself lots of time in the kitchen and lots of money at the checkout.

Here are some easy steps you can take to plan some meals and save some money:

1. Before you head out to the store, pick up your favorite cookbook or ask yourself or your family what are their favorite meals.

2. Take out a piece of paper. At the bottom of the piece of paper, list at least 10-20 meals that your family likes that you can make in the next few weeks. At the top of the piece of paper, as you write down a meal, list the items that you need for that meal that you don’t have on hand. When you are done, you will have a list of meals at the bottom of the paper and a list of products to buy at the top of the paper. Take this piece of paper with you to the store and purchase the items that are on the list.

3. When you get home from shopping and have put everything away, put the bottom half of your list on the refrigerator. This will be your meal planner. Each morning or each day when you get home from work, just look at the list and decide what you want to fix. If you look at the list in the morning and make your decision what you are going to make, you can take any items out of the freezer so they are thawed when you are ready to cook.

This system just takes a few minutes of writing and yet can reduce so much stress. You know when you look at the list that you have everything you need to make any of those meals. You save money at the grocery store because you purchase just what you need to make lots of meals. Planning meals ahead of time DOES save you money at the supermarket and this system makes it even easier, since it takes such a short amount of time and produces lasting benefits.

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