It's six o'clock and somewhere some mom is pulling out her hair trying to decide what to cook for dinner. Unless she has a weekly meal plan. That, says Jonni McCoy, author of Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy (miserlymoms.com) and a mom of two in Colorado Springs, can prevent all that anxiety-induced hair loss—and be a super-savings secret weapon. "You don't have to spend a lot to eat well," says McCoy, who makes her weekly meal plan based on what's on sale at her favorite grocers.
Sherri Hefley also plans her family's meals, but by the month. "I don't ever have to figure out what to fix," says the mom of two boys in Oronogo, Missouri. The plan keeps her from impulse- shopping at the supermarket or ending up eating take-out, she says. "Eating out's a big budget-buster."
You Save: If planning meals prevents just one last-minute call for delivery pizza, you'll save at least $20.