How to Plan Meals from Your Stockpile
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How to Plan Meals from Your Stockpile

Posted on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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Before you go grocery shopping, you should shop from your stockpile. Plan your means from what you already have at home.A stockpile can be a money saver. That is the main reason why people put together a stockpile. However, you won’t save any money unless you actually remember to use the foods that are in your stockpile. A good way to do that is to plan meals that use the foods that you already have..

How to Meal Plan with Food You Have On Hand

Get organized.
Take the time to plan at least a week’s worth of meals for your family. Figure out what to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start by seeing what you have in your stockpile. What meal can you make from those foods?

Many people will use a white board for this task. That makes it easy to write down your plan and erase it when the week is over. This extra effort at the beginning of the week will save you time later (on school or work days).

Shop your stockpile first.
After you figure out what meals you will be making this week, it is time to shop for the ingredients. Start with the ones sitting in your very own stockpile. This prevents you from spending money on something that you already have.

Make a grocery list of the ingredients that you are lacking. While you are at it, take a close look at your stockpile. Are you about to run out of something? Add those products to your grocery shopping list (even if you aren’t planning on using those foods this week).

Gather your coupons.
By now, you have likely become an expert at finding and using coupons. This time, get a bit more focused and target the coupons for the things you are going to buy on your next shopping trip. See what special coupons and savings are offered through the loyalty card of your favorite grocery store.

Do your homework.
Before you head to the store, make sure you check their weekly ad. You may find sales that you weren’t aware of. Or, you could discover that a sale you thought was happening has ended. That is disappointing, but it is better to find it out now than when you are at the register.

It is possible that a different store may have a better deal on the things you need. One good way to save money is to keep an open mind and avoid brand (or store) loyalty. Your shopping bill should be smaller as a result of the effort you put into figuring out what you absolutely need to get this week.

Repeat the process.
At the end of the week, erase the white board. Time to start all over again! This process will make it much easier for you to plan meals from your stockpile. Having an extra busy week? Leave the white board alone, and save yourself a step.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.