ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution to Save Money and Pay Down Debt With Meal Planning and Freezer Meals

Updated on January 1, 2018

Start the year off right

Everyone is making New Year’s Resolutions today and a lot of people want to save money or get out of debt this year. It is doable, but to change a situation, we have to change. One way that a lot of people are wasting money is on discretionary spending. One of the biggest expenses is food. We all have to eat every day and this should be the first bill that we try to lower. When you have a plan or premade meals to heat up and serve, it will also make it harder to rationalize going out to eat, which is good for our wallet and our waistline, another very common resolution we all make.

Meal Planning: How to save

I meal plan every month, though to start out, you may want to try every week. It starts with going to my pantry and taking stock of what I have BEFORE I go to the grocery store. You may have many meals that you need only one thing for or food from the week before that can be incorporated into the meal plan to save you buying more food.

I only plan my dinners, letting breakfast go to a few choices a month and lunch is usually sandwiches, salad or leftovers.

Once you figure out what you are having for your weekly or monthly meals and what is on hand, you do to the store with a list of needed ingredients. That’s it. Stick to the list, post your menu on the fridge and every night you know what you are making for dinner. Just that easy. If you go the monthly route, expect to go weekly for fresh produce and get all the shelf stable pantry items all at once in a monthly food haul. As the next week comes, go to your menu and see what fresh ingredients you need and then but them for the week.

Having a meal plan stops you from having to think about dinner. You take an hour a month and are done with it. When I have a plan and know I have everything I need, it’s less stress when I get home, no wondering what’s for dinner and less stress all around. Also helps me to stay out of fast food lines and last minute run to the stores because I already have everything on hand.

Take it step further with freezer meals

So when you get used to a having a plan and having a menu, I would suggest taking it a step further and making freezer meals. This can be done in many ways.

Marinate meat in individual meal packs and freezing.

You take the meat out and stick in fridge in morning. Or make up that meatloaf or three and freeze them to pull out and simple cook when you get home. No more mess or dealing with raw meat and all that comes with it. When you chicken is already ready to go as one meal, it takes the guesswork out of what it shall become. And remember, you have a plan.

Large batch casseroles and other family favorites.

Instead of making one beef pot pie or tater tot casserole, make 2-4, freezing the extra meals for a later date. I do this almost every time I cook. It saves me time in meal planning when I have 10 meals for next month already ready to go. It also helps when I don’t want to eat what’s on the menu. It happens.

I use the throwaway pans with lids, so label and freeze. Take it out and bake without breaking a sweat. Dinner is ready while your kids do their homework and you take a shower or clean up.

Batch cook for the month, make a day of it.

I do this when I can get good sales on meat. When chicken, steak and ground beef can be got at a good price, I plan many meals and spend the day cooking them all up. I get all of the ingredients I need, batch cook 5-10 meals and freeze it all. Make a menu plan to go with it and I am done for the month. In an hour of planning and a few hours of cooking, I am done for the month. It also helps with costs because I only buy the meat when it’s on a good sale. So I get the meals done at rock bottom prices and cook it while it’s fresh, so no worries to defrost the meat and use it later.

This is a bit overwhelming for some, but to me it helps save me overall time. I’m forty weeks pregnant at the moment and I just did 2 months’ worth so when the baby is born, I will have enough meals to last me through the rough patch.

I also have a chronic brain disease that can leave me bed-ridden some days. So the menu and freezer meals made up make it so I can have my husband make a dinner that doesn’t involved calling a pizza place and making an order.

Theme Nights

I just started this and many families already have theme nights in place. It helps with my menu planning when I already have three or four nights a week with a theme because then I can just go from there. Currently I have Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesday, Breakfast for Dinner Thursday and Saturday night Pizza for Movie Night.

This helps me to streamline my menu planning even more, as well as give the family nights to look forward to. It adds a little routine and I am less likely to take forever figuring out what we are having.

So this is just a few ideas of how you can streamline dinner in your house and save yourself time, money and stress. For a family of four, I spend about 200 a month on groceries and household items. I buy when things are on sale and cook it off in large batches. You would be surprised how much time and energy, as well as money you can save with these methods. Not to mention, we never eat out because we can’t answer the question of, “What’s for dinner?”

Hope this was helpful and it helps you to take back some sanity and get your grocery bill under control.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)