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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Saving money on groceries {and a menu plan}

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Recently, I’ve decided to try couponing again.  Most of what we buy with coupons are beauty and home items.  Occasionally we will buy food items like yogurt, cheese, or condiments with our coupons.  We rarely buy convenience type foods because we just don’t have the budget for these items. 

Couponing has allowed us to save money on items that can be expensive and to then apply that savings to other areas – particularly for us, one area would be the feeding of five children (two of whom are older boys who eat a lot! {smile}).

Since feeding a family can get expensive, here are a few things we do to save money on groceries:

  • Use grocery store sales papers and shop loss leaders.

The front page of the grocery store sales papers are the loss leaders.  Basically, the store is taking a loss on these items to pull customers in with the hopes that you will buy other items too.  When the prices are good, we will stock up on loss leaders.  We focus mainly on buying staple items, meats, and fruit

  • Use coupons to reduce costs.

A recent trip to the store resulted in a catalina (sort of like a coupon that is money that the store gave us for meeting particular buying guidelines…and I also reduced the cost with coupons by about $10).  That catalina plus more coupons reduced a separate grocery total from $50 dollars to $35!  Not too bad!  (Visit here for some great links to blogs that will teach you how to save money with coupons.)

  • Make many of your own foods from scratch.

We try to make as much from scratch as possible.  Tonight we had chicken strips, buttery herbed noodles, broccoli, and bread.  It was all homemade!  (Well, except for the pasta…I’m not there yet!)  It does take a little more time to bake bread and make food from scratch but the taste is so much better and we won’t mention the health returns from consuming less chemicals & preservatives.  Our children actually prefer homemade chicken nuggets and chicken strips…they are that good…and really not hard at all!

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  • Grow food in a garden.

Some people are limited by the amount of space that they have to grow food.  However, I encourage you to grow something in a few pots if you can.  A homegrown tomato is so much tastier than a store bought one.  (And cheaper) Right now our garden is giving us tomatoes, okra, and peppers so those veggies will show up in the menu more.

  • Have a menu plan.

If I fail to plan, we tend to spend more.  For us, no menu plan = eating out.  Can you say “Cha-ching!”?  With a menu plan, we eat at home more therefore saving money.  {smile}

And since we are on the subject of menu plans…

Here’s our plan for the rest of the week:

(Random tip of the day:  I love all of the cool free fonts so I like to use them in random places {smile}.  Visit here to see what I’m talking about and to download some for your use.)

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Dinners:

  • Roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, fried okra
  • Oven fried chicken strips, buttery herbed noodles, broccoli
  • Breakfast for dinner:  pancakes, cheesy eggs, bacon
  • Chicken and gravy over noodles, green beans
  • Eat out - pizza

(Can you tell that we were well stocked with chicken?  Guess what has been on sale?)

Lunches: (serve with mac n cheese, chips/salsa, or popcorn and fruit/applesauce)

  • Grilled or regular sandwiches
  • Hot dogs
  • Corn dog muffins
  • Chicken quesadillas or stuffed pitas

Breakfasts: (serve with fruit)

  • Granola/yogurt or oatmeal
  • Eggs – fried, scrambled, cheesy, omelets
  • Cheese or Peanut butter toast

 

This blog post is linked to Menu plan Monday!

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