A really simple way of saving money at the grocery store; PLAN YOUR MEALS. Yes, I mean sit down one night a week and think about the week ahead (I do this on Sunday night or Monday morning, since I do our shopping on Mondays). It really won’t take that long, 10 minutes tops! Look and see what you already have in the freezer/fridge/cupboard/pantry, think about what your family likes to eat, how much time you have to prep the meal, and check to see what is on sale. Even if you have a crazy dinner time with little to no time to cook, if you plan ahead, you wont be scrambling at the last-minute to cook, or worse, hitting the drive through. I do have it a little easier, since I am a stay at home mom; I could, in theory, spend the entire day in the kitchen cooking everything from scratch, but even I have bad days. And on those bad days, come dinner time, all I can muster the strength for is tossing a frozen pizza in the oven and mixing a quick salad. But even right now, knowing that I don’t have to start thinking of meals to make for dinner when it’s 4:30, is a huge weight off my shoulders. I feel like I can take on extra craft projects, clean more, go for more walks with the little guy, all because I know whats for dinner tomorrow!
So grab a pen and piece of paper, and make a list! But more importantly, stick to that list when you hit the store.
So here is what our weeks’ plan looks like, and what I had to buy:
Tonight: Spicy sausages with stir fry peppers and zucchini (everything was purchased in todays’ shop, and everything was on sale!)
Tuesday: Roasted whole chicken with roasted potatoes, carrots, and onion (the chicken and onion were purchased, not on sale)
Wednesday: Mince and Totties (this a Scottish meal my mom would always make, it is basically loose shepherds pie. Ground beef was purchased, not on sale, but I buy medium cut instead of lean or extra lean, and then drain the fat)
Thursday: Steak burritos (steak and rice we all ready have, just the tortillas and salsa were purchased, not on sale)
Friday: Shrimp alfredo (salad shrimp was on sale, pasta was regular price, and I will make the sauce from scratch from ingredients we have)
This menu plan came to me in a few minutes, based on using the steak we have, the shrimp and sausages being on sale, and using up the potatoes and carrots we have too. I also try to make extra, so that there are leftovers for lunch the next day. This helps cut down on the hubby buying his lunch at work (cheaper, and healthier!).
Isn’t this true about anything? A few minutes of planning can almost always save you time AND money! Plus, the hubby was super excited to see the weeks dinners listed on the fridge!
Oh, and if you do have time to make dinner, than stick to the outside of the grocery store. All the fresh food is around the outside, the aisles are were the junk food and the processed food is!