Over the past couple of days I gathered coupons from the past few weeks of newspapers. I clipped the coupons for food we certainly would eat. I made a menu based on the coupons. All of this took me a couple of hours. I got to the store and carefully looked for the coupon brands. Some were there and some were not. After all was said and done, I saved $6.70 on $128.00 bill. Bleh…
I give myself credit for trying something new. (I do try to use coupons when I see they are for a product we use and need, but I don’t usually do it in a systematic way.)
I think what I’ve done before works better for my family and I need to keep these ideas in mind.
- We try to eat whole foods, not prepackaged meals. Buying more prepackaged food isn’t healthier, cheaper, or more environmentally friendly.
- I buy generics unless there is a name-brand product we really love. Unless there is a great deal on name-brand products, generics are almost always cheaper per ounce.
- The weekly store fliers have the best deals. It’s worth it to wait for deals on meat, produce, and dairy and stock up.
- My menu is separated into two categories, entrees and sides. I list both on a white board on the fridge and erase as we eat through the menu. This has worked really well for helping me know what is available and we eat the most perishable items first.
Here are some ideas I’d like to institute with food planning.
- Have a month’s worth of recipes with food everyone enjoys. Make this a list that I refer to when I make my grocery list.
- Create a price book for products we buy on a regular basis.
- Make double dinners and freeze a portion for later use. This would help us when we are busy and don’t feel like cooking.
- I usually only plan dinner. We eat dinner leftovers for lunch. I’m not a good breakfast eater, but that’s no excuse for not having good breakfast food in the house. I’m sure I’ll feel better and we’ll spend less money if breakfast food is easily available.
Any strategies for grocery shopping and menu planning that work well for your family? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Have a wonderful day.