Meal Planning 101 ~ Shopping
We are wrapping up the Meal Planning 101 series over at The Happy Housewife with shopping, sales and stockpiling.
Planning ~ In the first week, we made a list of 40 meals, then we added 5 meals and some sides. Earlier this week I shared my September Menu Plan, if you haven’t seen it, please go take a peek. Most of my meals are pretty normal, but it may give you some different ideas. I started planning my menu for the month quite a few years ago. After you get several months done, and especially if your family doesn’t really like “new” meals, then you can just recycle the menu plan. I found it easiest to print a calendar and my list of meals and just plug in a meal on the calendar. I also write in any games that we may have so that I can plan a crockpot or quick & easy meal for that night.
Shopping ~ I rarely shop without a list, the only time I do is when I’m just picking up a few things. There are several printable list that are helpful, A Feathered Nest has one that has the menu and the shopping list, Organizing Junkie offers hers from the Menu Plan Monday series, and MomAdvice has a plan for all three meals.
Now, you have your plan and your list. You are off to the store. But which stores have the best deals?
I do 90% of my grocery shopping at Aldi’s. I am currently preparing a new page that will have an Aldi’s Meal plan, grocery list, prices to compare and recipes. I can’t tell you enough, if you have an Aldi’s anywhere near you, you need to be checking it out.
I coupon clip also, but have found that even with a coupon, I can still get it at Aldi’s cheaper.
I usually save my coupons to get the “real” deals when the items go on sale. I have learned about this great strategy over the last 6 months or so. You simply match the coupon with what is on sale to maximize your savings. Often I get free and next to nothing items.
I also have a Price Book page in the Household Organizer, that way I can do a quick price comparison to the sale ads.
Stockpiling ~ I have only just begun to stockpile, probably in the last 4-6 months. I mostly stockpile our personal care products, shampoo, shaving lotion, etc. When you shop at CVS or Walgreens, you can often get these items for free or next to nothing also.
I do stockpile food when it’s on sale. Like recently Kroger had their Mega Event and I got 6 boxes of Hamburger Helper. I’m not a huge fan of it, but for some reason, my boys love it. Like last night, I came home from helping to feed 100 football players (I made 8 loaves of garlic bread as my share) at 6:30p.m., my oldest was at his girlfriends, my middle son had just eaten with the other football players and my husband was at a meeting. So, that only left my youngest and myself to eat. I made him some Hamburger Helper and had leftover Mostacolli myself. So, it does come in handy in a pinch.
For more great ideas on frugal living, saving and stockpiling , please visit:
~Meal Planning 101 hosted by The Happy Housewife
I do so much better with temptation when I have a plan. Thanks for sharing your tips.
My weeks are so much easier when I mealplan, although I’m not great about doing it all the time.
I’ve been stockpiling for a few years now. I try to keep at least one full jar or can of anything, besides what I already have opened in the fridge. I’d rather reach for the mayo that cost me a dollar (on sale, with a coupon) than have to run out and spend 3.99 on a new jar!
I tell you, I’ve never been happier to have a stockpile than these days. I can’t believe how much prices have gone up. And is it my imagination, or are cereal boxes skinner than they used to be? They look the same from the front, but when you pick them up, they feel smaller!