Menu Planning/Shopping the Sales

This is how my grocery week begins the day the ads come out for my local supermarkets!

I also clip coupons (and my sweet daughter Olivia gives them to me!) Some great online sites are couponsuzy.com and lozo.com.

I keep my coupons organized by food type, so that when the store has a BOGO (buy one get one free sale) and I have a coupon, it’s easier to put together.  It feels like winning the ‘shop the sales’ lottery.  My only caution with coupons though, is don’t buy something just because you have a coupon.  If it’s not something you would pay full price for, you probably shouldn’t bother buying it even if there’s a coupon.

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My other favorite money saving tip is to speak with your store’s butcher to ask if they mark down meats as they are about to expire. One local store puts out meats nearly daily that are huge savings. When you hit a BOGO and meat about to expire clearance, the savings are amazing!

Needless to say, the best way to spend less is to plan your menu after seeing what’s on sale and what you have coupons for.

My menu and shopping list are both works in progress and change often.  I put prices in next to the items on my shopping list so I don’t go over budget and don’t have to keep track (as long as I don’t impulse buy!)  I also list what ingredients I’m missing on the menu so if I didn’t make it to the store, I know I have to change things around.

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Even if you aren’t going to use an item right away, sometimes BOGO’s just make sense. Whenever those great savings happen, I stock up my freezer for weeks when the money is really tight.

Convenience foods are almost always too expensive in the overall scheme of saving money. Sometimes, though, having a convenience food on hand for the night when you just can’t face the stove is a blessing.

Frozen chicken strips (the new gluten free from Perdue is delicious) and frozen pizzas are nice to have in the freezer for one of those days!

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Last, but not least, I keep the list and menu posted on the fridge, and the kids can let me know if we already have something that’s on the list  or if I’ve forgotten anything.  I was sooooo happy that this week’s list brought me in at $19.00 under on my grocery budget, but it was because I forgot to include coffee and deodorant.  (And another item or two I’m sure will pop up).  So much for extra money!!

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