A meal plan can work wonders in so many ways. By creating a menu for the week in advance, you avoid scrambling around at the last minute, trying to get food on the table. You also hopefully avoid resorting to take out or buying ingredients that you won’t use.

Jessica from Food Your Way has brought up a great way to save even more money when meal planning. If you try to make your menus build on one another and utilize a lot of the same ingredients throughout the week, you can reduce waste and save time and money.

One thing that I’ve found to be helpful in meal planning is to have the meals build on each other throughout the week. […] leftover meal components from one night enhanced dinner on a second night. Sharing ingredients from night to night not only prevents waste, but it also helps save time. Prep work can be done in advance for a number of meals.

By mostly using pantry staples, coming up with two main ingredients (chicken and bacon in this case) and being mindful of having her meals build on each other throughout out the week, Jessica came up with a pantry meal plan featuring Bacon and Cheddar Quiche, Baked Chicken, Chicken & Rice Soup, Mac & Cheese, and Sandwich Night.

Be sure to head over to 5 Easy Meals That Share Ingredients for a printable pantry shopping list and all of Jessica’s recipes for her pantry meal plan.

Have you had any success with this technique of meal planning? If so, what does one of your weekly menus look like?