With the New Year now off to a start, most families are working hard to stick to the resolutions they’ve set to eat better and save money this year.

If you’re in charge of stocking up the refrigerator and pantry in your home, you know how daunting a task this can be. Especially when considering purchasing what food items the kids will actually eat that won’t break the bank and have good nutritional value.

If you’ve made a resolution to sit down together as a family for more dinner meals this year, we’re here to tell that achieving this goal is possible in 2020.  The first step is planning your dinners in advance.

Here are our top tips.

Shop Seasonal & Sales

One of the best ways to drastically cut down on your grocery bill is to shop smarter. Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables as they are usually readily available and reasonably priced plus they will taste their best. Stores also strategically place items on a calendar of strategic sales. Pay attention and stock up when the prices are great. Fill the freezer and buy it before you need it. Don’t be afraid to also check for items on the “reduced for quick sale” racks that have a nearing expiration date and are deeply discounted. All of these tips will cut your bill way down and help you stay within budget.

Get Crafty with Leftovers

Being wasteful is also not an option when there are so many reasons to reduce greenhouse gases. If you find yourself struggling to get the family to warm-up leftovers, it’s time to think smarter about how you handle them. Cook more exact portions so leftovers aren’t created or reinvent meals completely by using previously cooked items and adding them to a new meal you’re creating.

Take Your Own Inventory

Before you head out to the grocery store, take inventory in your own pantry and refrigerator. Don’t spend money on things you already have. You can make a short and concise list of items to pick-up when you know what you already have and what you actually need.

Write it Down

You can take all of this planning a step further by writing down your meals in advance. There’s a multitude of benefits of doing things this way. First, you can save time trying to come up with ideas on the fly when everyone is already hungry, cranking and wanting to eat. It will reduce the times you order out and it can even help you plan caloric intake if you’re trying to lose weight. Finally, if you know what you’ll be cooking for the week, you can shop the items you already own and then make a list for groceries needed to complete the recipe. No overspending or unnecessary buying.

With a greater need than ever for improved health, 2020 is the perfect year to get your family on board with healthy eating habits and forming new traditions around the dinner table that have far-reaching benefits.

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