How I Saved $371.04 In One Month With Meal Planning

Do you tend to overspend on groceries?  Have the best intentions with meal planning but not sure where to start?  Read on for tips plus FREE A5 and personal size menu planning inserts!

Get FREE meal planner inserts for A5 & personal size planners. Plus, get great tips on how you can drastically reduce your grocery bill with effective meal planning.

Today, I want to tell you about how I saved $371.04 in one month with meal planning. Last month, I had a huge shock. For the first time in a long time, I decided to go through our bank statements to see what we were spending our money on.

I knew we spent way too much money on groceries (and takeaways) but I didn’t know just how much. Let me tell you how much – £700!! This is the equivalent to USD$1050 (at the current conversion rate). Now, I have no idea how expensive groceries are in the US, only that planner and craft supplies are cheaper which is a different story but $1050 per month in Europe is EXPENSIVE for a family of 4 – 2 adults, a 3.5 year old and 8 month old.

Check out these lovely meal planner inserts. Free planner printables to help you rock your meal planning.

Time to get meal planning

So, I decided it was time to start meal planning. We used to meal plan in the past but not in a bid to save money but more to support a healthy lifestyle. There was no budgeting involved. I decided it was time to put my expenses inserts and meal planning and shopping list inserts to use in a bid to try and save some money. I asked in my Facebook group for tried and tested ideas on meal planning and I got some great input.

We have just finished our last weekly shop for the month before pay day comes around and check this out for savings – our total food bill for the month including a few impulse buys was £452.64 ($678.96). I am sure we could have done a little better but what an incredible saving for our first month at budget food shopping.

Now it’s your turn

You will love these free printable meal planner inserts. So cute & functional!

 

If you would like to have a go at meal planning I have put together some meal planing inserts (A5 and personal size) for todays freebie. (Scroll down to get your free download!)  Below I am also sharing some tips on how I managed to save $371.04 on this months food shop.

5 Tips For Successful Meal Planning

1.  Keeping an inventory – Every week before we go shopping I go through all the cupboards in the kitchen, the fridge, the freezer and bathroom and I make an inventory of everything we have.

2.  Making the most of ingredients – I use the inventories to see what meals I can make with what we already have or what meals I can make where I only need to buy a few things that I don’t have. I also try to cook from scratch where time allows and since we eat cooked food for lunch (Mediterranean tradition) we try to double up for lunch the following day.

3.  Meal Planning – Using my meal planning inserts I plan what we are going to eat for dinner for each day of the week and I stick to it as much as I can. Sometimes plans get changed or things don’t go according to plan and so there are occasions where the meal plan isn’t followed.

4.  Writing a shopping list – I write a shopping list and take it shopping with me. That way I buy only what I need. We used to do our weekly shop without a shopping list and we would walk each isle and just put stuff in the trolley without really paying attention. It was a bad habit that needed to be broken and now it has been.

5.  Doing a weekly shop every week – Somewhere between having our babies and my husband becoming a policeman we stopped doing a weekly shop. Sometimes we would go twice a week and on occasions it would be as long as 10 days with 3-4 visits for the necessities as week. Now we are ensuring that we do a proper food shop once a week.

You will love these free printable meal planner inserts. So cute & functional!

Planner Squad Subscribers get access to all FREE planner pirntables-inserts, stickers, & more!  To get your A5 & personal size meal planning inserts, click on image below!

Get free planner printables at Planner Squad. Subscribers get awesome planner inserts, stickers, & more-like these meal planning pages.

We’d love to hear your tips for successful meal planning and grocery shopping. Share your tips in the comments below.

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FREE Planner Inserts for A5 & Personal Sizes + Tips On How To Print

Get these functional & adorable FREE inserts for A5 & personal planners.  Plus, get tips on how to print free planner inserts.h

In my last post, I shared some free planner inserts set around daily planning. I designed some FREE month on two-page inserts to keep your organized.

These free planner inserts are available in both A5 and personal size plus match the daily/weekly planner from my last post.

For today’s post, I thought I would also offer you some tips on how to print your free planner inserts. I know that some of you will be familiar with printing your own inserts. For those of you who are not so confident with printing inserts at home (or if you would like to learn some new tricks), I thought this would be a great tutorial to share the tricks I have learned along the way.

I love printables for so many reasons!  Even prior to setting up my Etsy store, my preference was always to buy printables. I am just too impatient to be waiting for the postman.  When you live on a small island in the Mediterranean like I do, post can take just about forever. Plus, I really like control over the quality of what I am printing.

Hopefully, some of these tips and tricks will help make your own printing process easier.

 

Get these awesome free planner inserts for A5 & personal planners. Plus, get tips on how to print planner inserts!

5 Tips to help you print your Free Planner Inserts

TIP 1: For A5 inserts, ALWAYS cut your paper down to size and set the ratio 100% prior to printing your planner inserts. This will give you the best printing output. Printing booklet style or two a5 pages to an A4 sheet will not give you optimum results.

TIP 2: When printing personal size planner inserts, do NOT print booklet style or two inserts to an A4 sheet. When you instruct your computer to print booklet style, it will automatically apply shrinkage to your inserts by adjusting the borders to allow for booklet binding.

IF you have to print booklet style, you will find the need to increase the print ratio to approximately 152% in order to get the correct sizing. This leads me onto TIP 3.

TIP 3: Print personal size planner inserts onto A5 paper and set the ratio to 100%. You will still get two inserts per A4 sheet but by printing on A5 paper the printing output will be perfect without the need for trial and error.

TIP 4: Most home printers do not have the ability to print duplex on a paper size smaller than A4 but all printers have the capacity to print duplex manually. Every printer is different but most printers will have the option to allow you to print all odd pages first followed by placing the inserts back into the printer and printing all even pages.

TIP 5: When printing the even pages of your planner inserts, pay attention to the orientation that your printer prints before placing the inserts back into the printing tray. If your printer has the option of printing the even pages in reverse, choosing this option will mean that you simply place the inserts back into the printer in the order the inserts printed.

If your printer only allows you to print the even pages in sequence, you will need to re-stack your inserts so that the last page is at the bottom of the pile and the first page is at the top of the pile with all blank sides facing upwards.

 

Check out these free planner inserts for A5 & personal sizes. Plus, get tips on how to print inserts.

And there you have it, five tips to help you print your free planner inserts at home!

Click here to subscribe to Planner Squad & have access to these FREE PLANNER INSERTS
plus all exclusive subscriber freebies!

 

Get your free planner inserts for A5 & personal sizes with monthly layout! Plus, get tips on how to print planner inserts!

 

I hope these tips help you with any printing issues that you may experience when printing inserts. Feel free to tag me over at the Planner Squad Facebook group if you need any help with printing and I will be happy to help you.

Let us know how you will be incorporating these month on two-page inserts into your planner set up!

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Recollections Planner Giveaway

You Guys! There’s a new planner in town! Yep, that’s right. Michael’s has come out with their own Recollections Planner and I can’t wait to show it off to you!

Recollections Planner Giveaway

Introducing the Recollections Planner

These planners are so cute! They are personal sized 6-ring leather binders with different insert options, including themed booklets. Some of the themed booklets help you plan everything from your budget and meal plan, to your to-do lists and other important information.

The Recollections planner is so versatile that you can literally plan anything and everything in it! Here’s a picture of what it looks like on the inside:

Recollections Planner Giveaway

The leather binder has pockets on the left hand side (one big one, and 4 little ones) and on the right hand side there is a big pocket and a pocket to insert a list pad. There is also a leather pen holder as well.

Each planner comes with three decorative tab dividers, to-do inserts, and both graph and lined paper inserts. You can also choose from a variety of different 12 month calendar packs that are super cute too!

Recollections Planner Giveaway

If you want to give your planner a little flair, there are plenty of super cute tassels to choose from as well! Check out this super cute pink tassel with a gold pineapple charm! (I’m seriously obsessed with pineapples these days!)

Recollections Planner Giveaway

The best part though is the cost of these planners. They are so inexpensive! Everything is priced at $20 or less, and that’s before coupon! Talk about a great deal! You can buy the binder, inserts, and a charm and still pay less than  you would for the Carpe Diem, or the Color Crush Binders. Crazy affordable option when you want the look and feel of a leather binder without breaking the bank!

Enter to WIN!

As soon as I saw this in store the last time I went on a Michael’s run, I immediately thought of our Squadettes and knew we had to get one for a giveaway! Yep – you got that right – it’s time for another Planner Squad giveaway!

One lucky Squadette will win one Recollections planner, 12 Month Calendar Pack (with both monthly and weekly views) and matching planner charm with tassel! Basically, the giveaway includes everything in the picture below:

Recollections Planner Giveaway

Awesome right?! Go ahead, I know you’re dying to enter! Fill out the form below to enter to win this amazing giveaway! We will choose a winner on June 30, 2016 and announce the winner in the newsletter! Good luck to everyone who enters!

Jenn Roberts, Planner Squad, Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

 

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