Shopping from a Weekly Menu

Are you ready to save some money on your food bill? Planning your meals and shopping from that menu will save you time and money. This method works for weekly, bi-weekly and monthly shopping trips. I have been doing it for about 16 years and can't imagine doing it any other way. I will give you some tips and tricks to save.

Make your menu*

Write down each day of the week that you will be shopping for, one on each line of the paper. After each day write down what you are going to make for dinner that night. If you don't cook a lot get out a cookbook to give you some ideas. I do this sometimes just to get some new ideas or inspiration. Some frugal moms say to look through the store ads first and then shop and that is an option it just choose to do this way and it still saves. So your menu should look like this:

Saturday- Tacos

Sunday- BBQ

and so on...

Make your Shopping List*

Now go down the menu and decide what you will need to buy for each meal. So for tacos you will need ground beef, taco seasoning, salsa, sour cream, corn tortillas, cheese.... Shopping like this also helps you keep a mental inventory of what is in your pantry and fridge. For example when I make tacos I fry my own taco shells so I buy a big bag of corn tortillas and freeze them. When I am ready to used them I take them out of the freezer, use a butter knife to separate them, heat the oil and fry and shape them. So I will need to know if I have oil for frying and about how many tortillas I have in my freezer. Continue down the list of your planned dinners and making your grocery list. When you are done it is time to add the items that you will need for breakfasts and lunches for the time period that you are shopping for. Items like lunch meat, cereal, bread, milk, juice, etc.... you get the idea.

Mystery Dinners*

Sometimes I just put a ? mark next to a day on my menu. This can either turn into a night out to eat if that is in the budget, a fend for yourself night/left overnight or you may find something on sale at the store that you can buy for a ? mark night. If I am making something tat I know will have plenty of leftovers I will put a ? mark on the following night to make the food and dollar stretch a bit further.

Coupons and Sales*

I have just started couponing so I am not savvy with it yet. My advice on it would be don't veer from your normal diet to save a few bucks. For example don't buy a bunch of sugar coated crap for your family just because there is a coupon for it when you would usually avoid those items. As for sales I utilize them all the time but I DO NOT GO FROM STORE TO STORE TO SAVE WITH SALES. If there in an exceptional sale I will veer a little but I go to a discount grocery store and utilize Costco so I don't feel the need to do much traveling on shopping day.

So there you have it a little advice on how to save. When you shop from a list you will save because you are getting hat you need for specific meals and not buying randomly.

You can Check out another one of my Articles on Meal Planning and Couponing Click Here

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