The things I cover in this Article are probably a bigger bite than just small, but all helpful when shopping for seven days or more:
I cringe at the thought of meal planning, even the words sound like to much work. Every time I see a plan it’s for a full month. I think who does that and how do u know what you will be hungry for? Not to mention, what if you aren’t the one cooking? So I’m using our family and starting small. One week at a time. We feed three adults and two male children everyday. Quite typical but two adults work evenings (weekend cooks). While one works days and is the cook most of the weekdays.
Note:GOALS- Since more than one adult cooks, we need to control our spending habits, while being nutritious and conquering our cravings.
My first suggestion make a list of 7 meals your family commonly eats… I chose seven to get from one paycheck to another…stocking will be talked about later on. (You could even do 14 and buy the seven now and a few things for the next seven.) My idea is to have seven dinners, a couple are choose-ables for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast: eggs coffee toast oatmeal maybe pancakes (which may even become a dinner) Lunches/snacks: soups, Ramons, sandwiches, tuna ( again could be a switch up maybe for dinner) for now we won’t give them a day of the week or any label. My kids drink kool-aid and milk besides water, and my hubby likes both occasionally.
Just Seven dinner combos, Why?
Because I need to know what to shop for. If u want spaghetti and don’t have noodles than you can’t have spaghetti.
Because a solid plan keeps you from spending money on foods you either don’t need or can’t afford. we keep to the rules.
*Spaghetti -sausage, sauce, onions, noodles
*Chicken stir fry – chick, stir-fry vegtables, butter, sauce
*SOS- sausage, cream of mushroom, mash potato, butter, milk
*Tuna Helper- tuna, milk, butter
*Pork chops/meat – mash potatoes, butter, milk, veggie
*Pancakes – mix, syrup, choc chips, butter
NOW MAKE YOUR LIST
Here’s a quick sample of mine.
2 cans Tuna
2 lbs Sausage
Frozen Stir-fry Veggies
Stir-fry sauce 2 packs
- Only buy what is on your list. MOST IMPORTANT RULE!
The easiest way to be sidetracked and over spend is by marketing. Marketing is designed for those who start looking and find their stomachs or needs may be found on an end-cap (shelves at the end of an isle, especially towards checkouts) or on those pallets that sit in the middle of the isle. Example: By checkout you may find a small pack of electronic wipes it contains 10 prepacked wipes for $2.00. If you went back to electronics and looked around you can find the exact same wipes 50 prepacked for $5.00, doing the math: $.20 versus a trip to electronics for $.10 a piece. That’s a 50% difference, and some exercise.
- Prepare your list ahead of time.
Now we are going to look for the sales. Yes sales, because in our area the rules of grocery stores are different then in a larger community. Simple, Get out the ads the local ones and the ones online from bigger communities. Little known fact Walmart price matches even if the price is advertised 200+miles away. This is wonderful for those of us in rural areas, because more stores have heightened security when it comes to coupons (some no longer take coupons at all, and many will not double). Only downsides I have found is price match are generally name brand/matching only and many prices are much better using store brand.
|Note:Depending on gas prices it is usually cheaper to shop within 25 miles then to travel to a larger area 100 miles. With price matching at Walmart I can get many of the same deals on less gas money. Also I don’t recommend printing coupons unless you get really good coupons for printer ink. It just isn’t cost effective in my opinion, you don’t make enough money back to pay for the ink.|
- Be detailed. Scour your local ads and coupons. Know who takes what and who matches. Keep ads with you.
I compare each individual item with each store. If you want to do it this way I made a practice sheet for you or you could use it all the time.
- Do Not take children or hubby; especially if they like to buy with their stomach, it also will make your trip shorter.
- Eat before you shop.
Really number 4 and 5 go together. When your hungry it’s hard not to want to buy what your hungry for, self-control is not human. I mean it’s true; been there done that and if you have the control, all the more power to you, but I prefer not to have to fight my hunger feeling.
- Be kind to your clerk if your price matching talk to them, pick a slow time or lane.
Believe it or not, your clerk has great advice and can be a friend when saving money. We want them to look forward to you coming through their line, not think ‘oh no, not again’. Be sure you shop at an opportune time of day, when things are slow both in lines and the isle-ways. If your courteous, polite, organized, quick, and communicate well; they will be extremely grateful, and when they need to go the extra mile, they are more apt too.
So this post is longer than it should’ve been but I had so many ideas, wanting to help as much as I could as quick as possible. My goals were to make an affordable meal plan (check),shopping list(check), price match (check), shopping rules (check), and stock pile (oops,almost forgot). I know kinda feels like this will never end.
Here’s my suggestion spend 5-10 extra every time you go to the store. If you spend 45 on current groceries, buy 5 of the $1 bags of spaghetti or 5 cans of soup, anyway you get the idea. By the time it comes up when you need it you will have a whole cupboard of extras. Combining some really great coupons with price matching can also help save you more, even if you don’t need the item right away you can save it up in your stock pile cupboard. You will be surprised at how much you can save by just dollar items or freezing little bits at a time.
Well that would be all the topics I have on my list. I hope you have some great information to help and maybe learn a few new things that you didn’t expect. If you have anything to add, or more suggestions on how you save when your grocery shopping, let me know below in comments.
Hope this helps
I hope your day is beautiful.