If you are frustrated with trying to menu plan, save money and eat healthy all at one time then check out these tips.
Here’s why I don’t menu plan based on the local grocery store sales.
I know that this totally goes against what lots of people say about how to save money on groceries. And I get that.
But here’s the deal. I don’t have tons of free time to lay out all the sales flyers, plan my meals, and then shop multiple stores for the sales.
The other problem is that we try to eat a healthy(ish) diet. This includes a lot of from scratch items and minimal processed foods. I’ve found that lots of sales and coupons at traditional grocery stores are for products we just never use.
I’ve tried to menu plan based on sales and coupons but it’s just not something that works for our family and our schedule. If you can get it to work – kudos to you! I mean, seriously, congrats!
But if you can’t, know that you are not alone! Let’s get into what I do instead. Maybe it can help you and your family eat the kind of food you want without paying a small fortune.
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So here goes. This is what I do. I plan our menus based on what’s already in the fridge, pantry, and freezer. I know, easy right? But how in the world do I save money?
Well, there are two ways we save money on groceries.
First, we buy items when they are on sale and store or freeze until we use them. And before you freak out and tell me you don’t have a huge freezer let me tell you we don’t either. I didn’t say I overstock things. I just use my standard refrigerator freezer and it works great. My best store for deals is Costco. If you watch Costco sales, you can really, really save money. Since their prices are good deal to begin with, if you try to by non-perishable items on sale you can totally rock the grocery savings!
The second biggest way we save is buying meat/dairy in bulk. We buy in bulk, take it home and divide it up into smaller portions. Then use some fresh but freeze the extra for future meals. Costco (or another warehouse store) is one of the best places to buy in bulk. If you get shredded cheese it works great to freeze it and use some whenever you need it. They even have meat sales sometimes (usually around $3 off per item). When you are already saving by buying in bulk, getting that extra savings is a huge win!
Now, I know this may not sound revolutionary and I guess it’s not. But it works for us. I found that shopping the sales for my regular meals was very time consuming. And in the end, that didn’t really help us out too much.
One more tip, just for fun? You still can utilize awesome sales when they are available. Here’s how; if you happen to be in a store that has an awesome sale…as in grapes for $0.99 lb…scoop it up! It may not work in you menu plan, but it’ll work great for snack time!
Got an awesome menu planning tip that works for your family? Please share!
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