You know you need to meal plan. You know you need to save money but the whole part of getting the coupons, looking for the deals, and then heading to the store while keeping your list all under control; makes you want to curl up in a ball and pray you have enough money to hire someone.
Well that someone is me. Except you aren’t paying me. Lucky you eh?! 🙂 Today you are going to learn how to cut back your grocery expenses when you make the Perfect Money Saving Grocery List in 10 minutes or less.
*(This is part 3 of a Learning How to Coupon for Beginner’s Series. You can check out Step1 and Step2)
When it comes to saving money on our groceries we need to have a plan. We need to prepare.
Before you even grab your pen and paper to write a money savings grocery list you need to tell yourself this and remember it- ALWAYS!
Don’t buy an item UNLESS IT IS ON SALE! ( If you don’t read the rest of this amazing post hehe take that to heart and it can change your grocery budget)
4 STEPS TO HELP YOU CREATE A MONEY SAVING GROCERY LIST
Only buy something that is on sale.
You know every Sunday in your newspaper how there are tons of ads and even some coupons. You need those. Or you can use this free app where you get all the store ads and coupons. It’s pretty convenient.
Know Your Budget
Then think about your budget. You have a budget right? Oh dear if not go here.
So if it is $100 for the week you need to head over to your pantry and take a quick scan. I personally think BJ’s or Aldi has amazing prices on their spices and pantry items. If you don’t have the basic pantry items this first week your list will be long and over budget- but next week you may even come under budget. Think of the positive!
So you know you have a $100. You looked in your freezer and pantry. You have some chicken stock and some pork tenderloin.
First, think of meals you can make just based on what you have. This is good to use up what you have to create more space in your kitchen and not spend money on food you don’t need. Emotional spending is harder with food because we look at all food as a need.
BUT, if you have basic pantry staples and some protein, do you really need all those carb-loaded snacks?
I know good thing you are here 🙂
YOU HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO SHOP FROM YOUR PANTRY FIRST. NOT A TYPO I JUST WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT. 🙂
So let’s say you came up with two meals based on what you already have. We have 7 days in a week. You need to figure out 5 more meals to make. Also when you browsed in your pantry you were looking for any snacks, breakfast and lunch ideas too right?
Remember breakfast can always be simple. Eggs, toast, oatmeal, cereal. All these things are cheap.
So you need to come up with 5 dinner meals. Look through the BJ’s Coupon Matchup lists or any other store of your choice through a blog. ( You can start with Money Saving Mom). Scan the list for a protein. Let’s say chicken.
Guess what comes up? Perdue Oven Roaster Chicken has a coupon!
You are going to fill the rest of your week with that protein. You can probably get two meals out of that roaster. They are bigger. What should you have as a side? Maybe frozen veggies? Whatever you are thinking for a side do a search again for it on the coupon matchup list.
If nothing comes up you can check your local grocery store’s ad. Otherwise, stick with frozen veggies. These are always a great price at BJ’s– we always get the Organic variety too. or Aldi I find has great prices. Target and Walmart you will find deals just wait for a sale or get the store brand.
Now you are left with three meals. Do you need to have a meat all three meals?
FIGURE OUT YOUR MEALS.
Could you do pasta for a couple nights? Pasta is something you can get free or dirt cheap at BJ’s and many other grocery stores. This really depends on your budget again. If things are tighter this week have pasta three nights. If not pick another meat or a meat-free protein.
Then think of the snacks your family likes. Start typing those in the coupon matchups. You can use the pricebook for almost all the items at BJ’s so you will know how much you are spending for the week.
If you are thinking ok that’s all fine and dandy I have NO IDEA what to make my family. Think simple. You do not need three sides. Do one protein and one side. You do not need dessert every night. That’s just too much work. Think simple.
Check out this website where you can type in what you have in your fridge and it will create meals for you.
I know meal planning is a need for so many people and the struggle is real. If you want a healthy real foods meal planner you can get the app here.
You are creating the perfect money saving grocery list when you are buying things you need. Buying items on sale and when you can maximize the sale price with a manufacturer or an app e-coupon.
That my friend completes the 4 steps to creating a perfect grocery list. Remember that this may seem like a lot the first few times you do it but in a week or so it will be easier and you will be motivated to stick with this because you have a little extra money for the week and you didn’t have to pick up an extra shift.
If you are looking for ways to increase your income without getting a second – I wrote an article with 6 Life Changing Tips that you can apply today! It’s how we started our debt free journey.