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Old 12-13-2009, 06:55 PM
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Shopping List Combine Couponing and Menu Planning for Increased Savings

You've been working hard for the past few months - collecting coupons, buying papers, filing and organizing - but your monthly budget has seen only modest savings. Perhaps you've been couponing for quite some time but you always seem to run out of things midweek and need to make a grocery store run in order to prepare dinner - and inevitably buy something full price which just irks you to no end. Maybe, like me, you work full time outside of the house and your evenings are so full to the brim you just don't have time to think.

The answer to all three of these scenarios is menu planning combined with your couponing efforts.

I keep a running list through the week of items I need at the grocery store. As the circulars come in , I make lists for each store of the loss leaders and items I'll be buying for each store. Then, I go through my running grocery list and decide where I'll buy each item. If I need Sweet N Low, and it is on sale at a specific store, I make sure Sweet N Low gets added to that store's list.

Once I've gone through the circulars and quickly matched up what couponing item I'll buy where, I then look at the front pages with an eye towards dinner. For my family of 3, I try to make the meat or main protein of my dinner $5 or less. Often, I do a lot better than that. ( It should be taken into account that I only have 3 people in my family. If your household has 5-8 people in it - or more - $5 is unrealistic for you. You need to judge that number for yourself. )

For example: Grocery store A has chicken breasts for $1.69 / lb - a great price - but not great beef or pork prices. I make sure to write chicken down on store A's list. Store B has a good sale on ground beef; ground beef goes on store B's list. Store B also has spinich on sale half price. Hmmmm. I could combine the chicken from store A with the spinach from B to make a Florentine. Hmmm.

Using store matchups from the forums, and my own lists, I'm armed to shop at each store confident I'm buying the right items in the right quantities to feed my family for the week and ( hopefully ) feed my stockpile as well. I don't go and willy-nilly buying what catches my eye. That is how good couponers get into trouble. Lack of planning!

Typically, I will write out a ( brief ) outline of what I'm making for dinner and post it on the fridge. Here's my list for next week:


Monday: Meatloaf, baked potatoes, and peas.
Tuesday: Baked chicken, noodles with sauce, broccoli
Wednesday: Spaghetti with meatballs, salad, garlic bread
Thursday: Chicken and tomatoes in the crockpot, rice, green beans
Friday: No dinner; my son's belt ceremony potluck dinner - I am bringing Sweet&Sour meatballs.

In the above example, I estimate each night's meal cost around $4.50. I had to make about 150 meatballs today for my son's belt ceremony potluck on Friday, which I've not factored in as it is an extraordinary occurance. I'll snitch some meatballs for Wednesday night's spaghetti. Chicken was a very good buy this week, so I bought 2 trays - one I'll use on Tuesday, one on Thursday. Broccoli crowns were on sale as well, and I had a great deal last week on canned tomatoes for Thursday's crockpot.

Menu planning goes hand in hand with couponing to whittle down your family's grocery budget. Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:58 PM
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Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:15 PM
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great post!
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:39 PM
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Excellent advice for those who have larger families to feed.

Although it is just DH and I, I still have to think ahead about what is going to be for dinner. I like to plan ahead. We purchase most of our meats at the meat market in bulk and just break them all down into food saver bags. The price per lb. is pretty good for us.

When there is a really good deal on meat at the grocery store, I would purchase about $20 worth to add to our deep freezer. DH is a stockpiler by his own right He loves to eat, loves my cooking and loves to see the pantry and deep freezer full. Right now we concentrating on stocking up on meats for the winter.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:41 PM
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Great post. Sometimes, its great to have a reminder to help cut down every way you can. super advice. Thanks again

Dee
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:40 PM
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I found this free meal planner download through another site. You can download in Excel, Open Office or PDF. The 1st page is your meal plan, 2nd & 3rd page is your list for the meal planner - you can add to these.

There is a weekly, 2 week, & monthly one. You can download your choice.

http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplat...l-planner.html

Sorry I forgot to put the link in.



Last edited by mom1093; 12-14-2009 at 06:05 PM..
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom1093 View Post
I found this free meal planner download through another site. You can download in Excel, Open Office or PDF. The 1st page is your meal plan, 2nd & 3rd page is your list for the meal planner - you can add to these.

There is a weekly, 2 week, & monthly one. You can download your choice.
can you send me a link? i have one i print off and write on but being able to up date a spreadsheet would be awesome!! i am an excel freak. I use that for my checking account versus a register
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:45 AM
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Mav! I do that myself. It really does help!

Zaycon foods sells boxes of chicken, fish, kielbasa, hot dogs, bacon, fruit and more (sales at certain time of year for your area. - Sign up is free to see when the sales are!). Signature and posts may contain affiliate links.

Last edited by Foggy; 12-14-2009 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:42 AM
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One of the things I struggle with the most lol
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:02 AM
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excellent!! I have gotten away from my meal planning but really need to get back to it!

Lukas and Ella are my


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