How to Meal Plan | Meal Planning for Beginners | Surviving Supermarket Tricks | Urban Taprobanian
Hello !!! I know it’e been long since published a video .
We are on our way for our monthly grocery shopping and
I feel this is the perfect time to talk about meal planning
& how to save money on groceries.
The views and experiences expressed in this video are simply general guidelines.
Please feel free to modify them according to your own needs and wants.
I know, meal planning can be a little time consuming at the beginning,
but it’s worth all the effort.
It helps us save both money & time.
If you haven’t done meal planning before and are interested in doing so,
then the first thing you should do is to get an inventory
on what you already have in your fridge, freezer, and of course the pantry.
At your first glance you may feel that you have nothing left to cook
other than a couple of leftover veggies, an opened pack of noodles etc .
But I am sure you can easily put
can easily put at least 2-3 complete meals out of those left overs
before you even think about heading out to the supermarket or for a take-out meal.
Set a reasonable amount for your monthly food budget,
not too less or not too much.
Please feel free to mention your average monthly grocery bill
including the number of members in your household in the comment section below.
This could be helpful for newly weds to gain insight
on how much they should allocate for their monthly grocery budget.
It would also be helpful if you can mention the strategies
you use to minimize spending.
Deals , coupons and sales in supermarkets are quite common in the west.
You can use a mobile or computer to look for monthly , weekly deals, coupons and sales.
However, Just because something is on sale doesn’t make it a better deal
than a regular price product of a similar items.
Make sure you compare product quality and unit price before you set for a deal.
I meal plan every Saturday and this is how I do.
First I look for deals and sales in places where we normally shop .
Based on the deals and sales, I then design at least 4-5 complete meals
& then rest of the menu with meals that we normally have.
When meal planning make sure you take into account the needs of other family members.
For example, you may have parents living with you or a sick person ,
or may be a member of your family is on a special diet,
or may be you have planned for a dinner out or a trip during the week.
Another tip I would like to include here is growing your own vegetables and greens.
This way you can get free organically grown food.
Another tip would be to purchase locally grown fruits and veggies from your local farmer’s market.
This not only helps you save money ,
but you are also be supporting the local farmers to grow healthy produce for the community.
Buy dry good items such as dals, rice, atta in bulk and ask for a special discount
Because organic products are expensive than conventional products
I buy these items in bulk (that would remain for 3 months )
from our local Asian grocery store
and negotiate with the manager for a special discount.
You have the meal plan and the list of inventories.
Now it’s time to create a shopping list.
Having a shopping list helps us not to walk out with things that we really don’t need
or forgetting to get the things that we really need.
Hence having a shopping list helps us to save both money and time.
Divide your shopping list into two parts.
your weekly grocery shopping which includes veggies, fruits, dairy etc
and monthly shopping list which includes dry good items, spices, condiments, toiletries etc.
Account for anything you have to purchase in case you are planning for an event at your home.
I then write how much I need to purchase in front of each item.
It makes it easier for me to shop this way.
I have also further categorized each section by the name of the store I have to purchase the items.
So now we have the shopping list and it’s time to go grocery shopping.
Remember one simple rule,
if you want to save money on groceries ,
no matter what, go shopping only one time per week and buy only things that’s on the list.
Make sure you shop for everything you need for that week in one go.
When buying produce
look for the unbagged ones first .
Often time they are a lot more cheaper then the bagged ones.
When it comes to buying fresh produce
reach to the back of the shelves for fresh items.
Employees rotate items and bring the ones that are about to perish to the front of the shelves.
Have you noticed that when you go to shop for groceries,
products positioned at eye level are the leading brands and mostly the best sellers.
They are often a bit more pricy, as these brands pay a premium for shelf space.
The top shelves are mostly for smaller brands and
the bottom shelves are dedicated to store brands and other generic brands.
They are much cheaper than leading brands.
How ever if in doubt about quality between brands ,
look for the list of ingredients and the quality of the ingredients used in a leading brand
and compare it with the store brand or a generic brand before you decide which brand you want to go for.
Compare unit prices when purchasing staples like oil, tea, coffee, paper towels and detergents.
Just because a certain product has larger packaging doesn’t mean that it has more inside.
I would suggest you to spend a little time when you go for your next grocery shopping
to do a little bit of research on how actually supermarkets trick us
so that we don’t fall into their trap and be happy consumers.
I stick my weekly meal plan behind the pantry door.
This way when I go to the kitchen to cook food I don’t have to keep thinking what I should prepare.
It also helps me to think ahead and do the necessary preparations like
soaking dals over night or making the dosa batter the day before.
I hope you found this video helpful.
It would be great if you can share your strategies
in meal planning and grocery shopping in the comment section below.
I love learning new things from you guys.
See you soon in another video.