Today’s saving tip keeps us in the kitchen. I’ve already shared a couple of dramatic ways you can save on your food budget, but next to couponing, this tip will save you the most. Cook from the weekly grocery sales.
It really is simple. Plan your menu based on the sales. Don’t start by picking your recipes. Look at the sales first. Is chicken on sale? Serve poppy seed chicken. Is hamburger on sale? Make easy enchilada casserole. Why pay full price for ingredients when you don’t necessarily need to do so?
It can be challenging to get into this practice if you are used to planning menus first, but once you do, you will notice dramatic savings in your budget. It is also another important reason to stockpile. If you have a wide variety of ingredients in your pantry and meats in your freezer, you can menu plan easily from what you already have on hand.
Each weekend, I look through the grocery ad to see what is on sale. Then, I look through my pantry and freezer. From those two sources, I plan my meals. For special occasions or if we’re entertaining company, I do plan the menu first but I try to plan ahead with any big purchases if I can. For example, I knew my in-laws anniversary was approaching so I bought a chuck roast months ago when they were on sale for $2.49/lb and stored it in my deep freeze. I saved $10 just on the meat by buying it ahead of time when it was on sale!
It also helps to have a list of several go-to meals that your family enjoys. It’s even better if those meals include various types of meats – chicken, hamburger, pork, meatless, pasta, etc. If you have a go-to list like this, you can look at the sales and easily plan a meal for your family. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to use sale ingredients, flip through cookbooks or browse Pinterest.
So, show of hands time! Who plans from the sales already and who does it differently?
To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.