Last week we talked about meal planning. I got a lot of great responses and am happy to see a lot of you sprucing up your meal planning routine. I thought I'd revisit the topic and narrow in on a few more tips that I didn't touch base on last week.
Tutorial Tuesday: Meal Planning Part II
First, this is something that helps me a lot. I always have this word document on my window, left blank so it is readily available for when I want to start making my grocery list.
On it, I already have filled in the items that we usually buy every week. Things such as; bananas, apples, eggs, milk, bread, butter, cereal, spinach, and meats. If we end up not needing those things, I just delete them when I make the list.
Another thing that really helps us out is the bigger trips to Sam's Club. If you have a membership to a store like Sam's, it helps to buy some items in bulk. Buying certain things there will end up costing you more, but we've found that if we make a few big trips each year, we end up saving bug bucks. The things we like to buy in bulk are: dried pastas, sour cream, cottage cheese, some meats, tuna, crackers, and cheese.
Make sure to look in your Sunday Paper's penny saver to get coupons too! If you don't use them for "this week" you can always save them for the future. I go through my coupon book at least once a week to weed out the expire coupons or the ones that I see and think, "What in the world was I thinking??" I mean, what do you have to lose? You might end up really needing some weird item that you remember seeing a coupon for. Make sure that coupon ends up in your book rather than the garbage!
Last tip: Search stores for weekly deals. Sometimes you can really score big when you find something that a store does every week. You can plan at least one meal around that big deal. The big deal that I like to take advantage of is Lund's has 5 dollar rotisserie chickens on Fridays. I really like to make a big batch of chicken and rice soup and freeze the left overs for Matt's lunches, or puree left overs for Evie's baby food. Plus, Lund's is awesome, fresh, and there is an obvious difference in the quality of the chicken in comparison to other stores.
Do you guys have any tips that you'd like to share?
Do you grow a garden in the summer?
Do you can or freeze any of your foods so that you can save money?