Buying groceries can get expensive. Quick. Especially when you walk in hungry and without any particular meal in mind. NEVER GROCERY SHOP HUNGRY. You will die.
So how do you make it in and out without breaking your budget? I'm sure you've heard it a million and three hundred and seventy-two times, but make a list. And not just any list, a list of planned meals for the week. Know what you're going to cook and on what days. If you plan on eating out one night, make a note of it. This helps you stay focused on what you need and can help give you an idea of how much you can/need to spend.
Buy fresh. Not only is it healthier for you, but having fresh foods makes you feel obligated to fix before it goes bad. You'll often find that you can make more meals with fresh/non-processed food which in the long run saves you money. I say this because it seems like Lunchables and Healthy Choice meals are less expensive, and they're great every once in a while, but let's get those good habits and recipes started.
When I say write it down, write it down! Preparing to cook a meal makes actually cooking it 1849% more appealing and likely to actually happen. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up eating a lunchable because by the time I thought of something to cook, I was too tired or over it to actually cook it.
Make your list fun, not just for you, but anyone you might be feeding! My mom always said, "What do you think this is, a restaurant?" Well I don't run a restaurant either, but I am going to let you know the menu for the week! *subject to change at management's discretion.
There are tons of ways you could do this, but a lovely friend from back home in Kentucky gifted me this as a going away gift and not only does it fit perfectly in with the style of the house and serve this awesome purpose, I'd been looking for the perfect chalkboard forever. Perfect.
What are some strategies you use to stay on budget or help you stay on the weekly meals track?