Friday, March 9, 2012

All About Menu Planning

A big part of saving money at grocery stores actually has nothing to do with coupons at all!
It has a lot to do with meal planning!
I hear a lot of times, "but I don't need what's on sale this week, so even if I have coupons for it I can't use them and save money like you do" FALSE.
A lot of couponing is about making what's on sale, what you need. This is where meal planning comes in.

Menu planning doesn't have be complicated! Planning meals ahead requires a bit of time to prepare but will end up saving time and money!
A menu plan saves money by reducing trips to the grocery store and cuts out impulse spending. Using leftovers efficiently cuts food waste, while planned buying in bulk makes it easy to stockpile freezer meals at reduced prices.

And its easy to do!
Check the sale ads each week, then plan your meals from what's on sale and what you already have in your pantry! It's really that simple. And with all the recipe websites available you can always find delicious recipes to try if you have never cooked with the ingredients that are on sale before!

Now I know what you are thinking, "but that still doesn't help me COUPON" since the bulk of most meals shouldn't come from processed foods (what the majority of food coupons are for). But if you buy the produce and meat that is on sale, then use the items that are on sale and you have coupons for as meal accents you can still save money!
Example: about a month ago I was able to get Ragu pasta sauce for $.50 each at Albertsons after coupons and sales, so I got 10 of them since they are regularly around $2 each.
Albertsons also had their ground beef on sale for $2/lb and i bought 3lbs.
I then used a pound of beef and a jar of pasta and pasta that I already had for baked ziti then froze the other 2 lbs of meat for other meals.
I was able to take advantage of fresh meat when it was on sale as well as use my Qs on pasta sauce when it was on sale to make a meal.

There are many websites Out there that help with meal planning but I just have a notebook I use to plan my meals.

I really hope this post made sense. If there are any questions please ask! :)

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