Save money by planning your meals

meal planning

Lately, I’ve been noticing how much food I’ve been wasting because I haven’t properly planned my week. How often do you buy something just to chuck it away when you notice it’s out of date? Way too often, right?

I buy things with good intentions, but sometimes things get pushed to the back of the fridge or some exciting meal distracts me and food goes to waste. No more. I’m on a mission to meal plan every week!

Meal planning is a great way to make sure you’re not wasting food, and not wasting your money. So how do we go about this meal planning malarkey?

Meal planning

I’ve made a handy printable so you can get started.

Getting started

Get a pen and paper and scribble down any ideas.

Decide whether you just want a vague meal plan for the week, or if you’re going to stick to a schedule all week. You can be as rigid or as flexible as you like.

What’s happening this week?

If you have a crazy week ahead, you’ll probably want your meals to be as convenient as possible and your meal plan can take this in to account. You can plan to cook and freeze meals ahead of time, or plan quick and easy meals to save yourself time. Maybe you have a quiet week ahead and more leeway to try more adventurous and leisurely meals?

Anticipating your week ahead can make life easier and less stressful, if you have a chance to accommodate it before hand.

What’s your budget?

Think about how much you want to spend this week. Watching the pennies, or splashing the cash?

Watching the pennies can be a good time to have a look in the cupboards and see if you can get creative with what you already have.

How are you feeling?

Sometimes when it’s dark and cold, there’s nothing better than hearty, filling food. Likewise, in the summer, sometimes all you want is something light and refreshing. You can feel out what kind of mood you might be in the week ahead and plan what kind of meals that be ideal.

Do you have something you’ve been meaning to make or try? Can it fit in to your week?

How I plan my week

  1. I check the offers on Clicksnap and Shopitize.
  2. Check if there’s any coupons or freebies floating around with a quick internet search.
  3. Take in to account what my plans are that week.
  4. Plan any meals that I’ve been craving.
  5. Give myself a ‘cheat day’ on a Saturday.



meal planning printable

Click here for your free meal planning printable.

Do you plan your meals ahead of time? How does it work for you? Let me know!


  1. May 3, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    That’s a really useful resource, Sarah! Thanks for sharing – only suggestion is that you could make it a bit more colourful and brand it up with a pennies in the jar watermark logo so anybody that downloads it knows where it’s from.

    Happy blogging,


    • Pennies in the Jar
      May 5, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      Thanks Luke, I appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *