I get asked all the time if I use The Dinner Daily for my own family. Without question the answer is yes, but sometimes I get distracted by all the craziness of a busy household and fall off the planning wagon. This was exactly what happened over the past few months in my house. I had a ton going on in my life, we were in the final weeks of hockey with our two boys, my daughter was in a show at her high school, and finding the time to do one big shop for the week never seemed to happen. Sound familiar? I was winging it on a daily basis and hating it. The dinner time doldrums were back! It really is one of the most dreaded tasks of the day when you are unprepared. Worse still, when we looked at our grocery budget over the past few months during this stage of non planning, our grocery spending was out of control AND way over budget. No surprise really. I am the first to admit that lack of planning when it comes to food shopping will always lead to overspending and wasting your money. I was reminded of that famous quote “Failing to plan is planning to fail” .
So I committed to get back to basics: have a plan, shop the plan, plan around the specials, and make use of coupons. I started March 1st and without faltering once, I used the menu, shopping list, and coupons for one of the grocery stores we prepare for our subscribers each week. All I can say is how nice it was to be back to a more organized routine! Grocery shopping was oh so quick. Each week it took me about 30 minutes to get in and out of the store, although I should add I avoided the weekends. Having a plan for dinner come 6:00 was blissful, awesome, energizing, invigorating..need I go on? For those of you that have been on both sides of this daily organizational challenge, you know what I am talking about! Seeing the kids eat the dinners and know I was giving them good food was the icing on the cake. I vowed to never fall off the planning wagon again.
The best part? Our grocery spending for the month of March was $343 below our monthly budget and $524 less than we had spent over the previous two months (!!!!) when we were not following a plan. Success! Those are REAL numbers taken right from our Excel spreadsheet where we track all our spending each month. The other great thing is saving this money was easy and painless! I did not cut back on anything, we still ate high quality food, and our meals were healthy. The savings were simply the result of following a plan and planning around specials. The other major factor was only visiting the grocery store ONCE per week for a major shop and sticking to the list (cannot emphasize that point enough!)
In short, for those of you who feel like your grocery spending is out of control, I challenge you to try shopping with a plan for a few weeks and see the results for yourself. You can always try one of our plans for your store (on our Sign Up page) or do the planning work yourself. Either way, when you realize how much time and money you can save, I think you will be hooked!
Would you like to save money on groceries week after week, and eat healthy easy dinners at the same time? You can try The Dinner Daily for free for 2 weeks to check out our award winning meal planning solution. Just click on the button below: