How much money can meal planning save you?

Aside from convenience (shopping when you know exactly what you need is soooo much easier), the single best thing about meal planning is how much money it saves.

12 Money saving tips

I’ve got a lot to say on this topic, but before I go on, why don’t you use this calculator to get an idea of how much meal planning is saving you (or could save you if you don’t already meal plan). Then read on below the calculator to make sure you know how to take advantage of our tools.

Use our calculator to see how much you could save:

Calculate how much money you could save by meal planning:

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How will you use our meal plans? (step 3 of 3)


You could be £ better-off a year!

This is how much we calculate you could save by using our meal plans to avoid waste and control costs.

Notes: Food waste savings based on table 17 of 'The Food we Waste', WRAP 2008. Budget savings are based on maximum achievable savings per person per week of £8, reduced by half where user's already make some effort to budget. Savings are an estimated maximum and reflect the savings that a motivated user taking full advantage of all the system features would make after 50 weeks.

So back to those Meal Plan savings... Some of the savings come from being clever about sharing ingredients across recipes so that you avoid waste, can buy in bulk and get the benefit of the most flavoursome costly ingredients in more than one meal.

Smart choices can result in big savings for the average family.A lot of those savings come from understanding exactly how much you’re going to be spending when you pick a meal to cook – you may well enjoy two meals just as much as each other, but not realise that one costs that bit less than the other to cook. Save just 50p per person twice a week by making smart choices about what you cook, and by the end of the year little changes will have resulted in a saving of more than £100 for an average family.

The rest of the savings are a result of having a plan and sticking to it: you’ve got seven nights of great food in the house – no need to spend money in takeaways, restaurants or pricey convenience stores.

Food Price Inflation is lowering people’s standard of living – but not ours!

Money doesn’t go very far these days and British families’ standard of living is threatened by all the nasty fallout from the credit crunch. Food price inflation is affecting everyone; it’s become a global issue. Increasing food prices mean that you need to spend £1.15 to buy what you only cost a pound this time three years ago.

Price increases have affected lots of staples including bread, pasta, eggs and cheese. There’s been a lot of talk about the causes of food price inflation (if you’re economically inclined you’ll know that people in the developing world are eating more meat as they grow wealthier, that climate changes are affecting food production and that high transport costs thanks to oil prices are among the main issues) and there’s very little we in the UK can do about them. But we can eat smarter by meal planning.

How meal planning saves you money

If you are wondering exactly how meal planning delivers all the savings that our calculator has calculated for you read on, but if you prefer you might want to read my 12 Savvy Money-saving tips for Grocery Shoppers instead.

Our meal plans can save you money in three different ways: they can help you completely eliminate waste; they can help you save money by sticking to a budget and they can help you save money by sticking to varied, interesting home cook meals instead of spending more money on takeaways, restaurants or in pricey convenience stores.

You can read our blog post about how our meal plans eliminate waste, but basically, we make sure that an ingredient we ask you to buy that has a shelf life gets used up entirely across a number of ingredients. So for instance in the meal plan for one below, a shopper needs to buy packs of bacon, beef and chicken, but then gets to use them up across a really varied and interesting meal plan that completely avoids waste and lets you share the benefit of a tasty ingredient like bacon across 3 very different meals (the risotto, carbonarra and sage chicken recipes).

Another great way to save money is to find lower cost, alternative meal plans that meet your needs just as well as pricier ones. Here’s an example: you want to feed your family warming, substantial, family friendly meals through the winter. We’ve got lots of winter warmer meal plans that would do the job, but they vary in price. In truth, you’ll probably find that you like several, but you’ll be just as happy with in inexpensive one as one of the pricier ones. I like ‘Winter Warmers 2’ meal plan just as much as our ‘Winter Warmers 1’ meal plan, and by using it instead I save nearly £20. Bingo!

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