I Hate Couponing: Another Way to Lower your Grocery Bill
Step 1: Use your Eyes
Take a good look through your pantry and fridge. As you think of meals you could make with the ingredients you have lying around, jot them down. Think of ways you can best use them up with recipes you're familiar with. Write down the few extra ingredients you'll need to make those recipes come together.
Step 2: Utilize Pinterest/the Internet
Come up with some creative stuff that you can do with the ingredients that are sitting around your home. Choose recipes where you only need a few new ingredients, if possible. Write them down on your grocery list.
Step 3: Leave Stuff Out
If you don't think a particular ingredient is necessary for you and your family, it's OK to leave it out. The food will still be good. For example, I don't love the texture of onions, so every time a recipe suggests chopped onions, I say "Nope, I'm going to use the onion powder I have instead of buying an onion."
Step 4: Brainstorm Again
Now you've got the groceries you already have in your house PLUS (you will have) all of the ingredients on your grocery list. Let them come together in your mind. What other meals can you prepare with all that stuff? Use Pinterest some more. Type your ingredients into Google and see what comes up. A useful website for this step is supercook.com. I love the site. You select ingredients you have (or will have, in this case), and Supercook will come out with recipes for you that use only those ingredients.
Step 5: Repeat and Plan
All that's left to do is repeat the process and plan meal-by-meal. Plan some simple meals and some more creative ones so you have plenty to choose from. Repeat until you're sure you have enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week or two. I like to plan to shop weekly and then try to make it last two weeks if I can.
It does take some time and brainpower, but if you can get a few hours every week to meal plan, it's worth it. You'll see your grocery bill decrease significantly. It's all about matching up ingredients and thinking ahead.
More Sites about Meal Planning and Grocery Budgeting
Here are some more helpful sites to aid you in your quest to cut down that grocery bill: