Hello there everyone! Welcome back to the Living Big on Less Money Series and link party. Today I will be talking about Menu Planning Made Simple, Part 3. Of course the link party is still going strong! Please link your frugal tips and tricks and frugal recipes too! As a reminder, I leave many of the links up for a month or so. I feel this helps each of us get all the exposure we can! So if you see a few links that have been there for a while, just know they are getting a lot of clicks and people are really loving them! I hope you take a moment to share!

Meal Planning Made Simple - A Series with FeedingBig.com

On to Meal Planning Made Simple, Part 3. Today I want to talk about what happens before you head out to the store and while you are in the store. You know why you should plan your menu, you now have a great and frugal family menu planned, now what? Lets prepare for our trip to the store and see what we need to keep our eye out for.

Before and During Shopping

  • Check your local grocery store sale papers (the front page has the “loss leaders” – they the the lowest prices your store has for the week)
  • Shop at one or two stores (I don’t run all over town to find the lowest price – too much gas) I will shop at a couple stores that are close to my home.
  • Use Coupons (I don’t use coupons for everything. I cook from scratch and many coupons are not avaialable for those types of items. I will use coupons for a few canned goods, yogurt, etc)
  • Shop at stores like Sams, Costco, etc. (I only buy a few items in bulk – things like flour, sugar, rice, eggs)
  • Make sure you have a list and stick to it (Of course if you see a great clearance and have a coupon, get it and stockpile it!)
  • Create a price list – I have a spreadsheet that keeps track of the price of an item at 3 or 4 different stores.  That way, when I shop or look at a sale paper, I don’t have to try to remember what the item costs at another store.  I can check my list and determine what the best price is.
  • Stockpile (I don’t mean those ladies with basements full of things. I do mean if you see something that is on sale and you know your family will use it, get what you can afford to)
  • Snack before you shop!  How many times have you gone shopping hungry and bought more than you needed?
  • Shop alone.   Kids and partners can distract you and if they are like Big, throw things in the basket without you knowing!
  • Buy discounted meat and freeze it.  I rarely pay full price for meat.  We have a store that is super close to us and I know they discount their meat in the afternoon.  If I am out, I will make a trip by the store to see what they have marked down.  

I hope these tips help you and inspire you.    If you are struggling and want to see an example of my Menu Plans that include links to recipes, you can find a few of them under the Frugal Living Category  in the header (or click HERE)   I would love to hear about how you menu plan or how you save money when you shop.  

Menu Planning Made Simple, Part 1 – Why
Menu Planning Made Simple, Part 2 – How

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I am a lover of great food, gardening, quilting and all things that make my house a home.
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22 Responses to Menu Planning Made Simple, Part 3 – Living Big on Less Money

  1. Gracie says:

    Thanks Cynthia for hosting the party!

  2. Debbie says:

    Very good tips on meal planning! I save the most by checking out the sale ads before I plan my meals.

  3. Debbie Denny says:

    Great advice. I like useful tips like this.

  4. Cyndie says:

    I always match coupons and sales to get the most for my money!

  5. I cannot wait to start planning menus to make life easier.

  6. These are great tips. I always shop at 2 stores, they’re next to each other so it’s no big deal.

  7. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    These tips are really helpful. I have always clipped coupons and compared prices. That has helped keep my bills lower.

  8. Love all these budget-friendly ideas!

  9. Karla Campos says:

    When I shop my kids throw all kinds of things in the cart, I have to keep a sharp eye because they always go for unhealthy stuff. It made me laugh when you mentioned that Big, throws things in the cart : )

  10. Jennifer B says:

    Such great ideas for shopping! It is true to make sure you are not hungry before shopping because you’ll always end up buying extra things you don’t need!

  11. Pam says:

    These are great tips. I buy milk, eggs, yogurt, and a few other products in bulk at Costco because my family goes through a lot of them.

  12. Angela says:

    This is great advice. I try to shop sales and use coupons whenever possible.

  13. Ave says:

    Thanks for sharing great tips! I always use to eat something before I go shoppin, it’s much easier that way to resist any temptations. The price list idea sure is worth a try.

  14. Brett says:

    I’ve found I spend more without the kids. They keep me in check. When hubby comes … Omg. It’s horrible how much more!

  15. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I love your meal plans because they give me inspiration for my family! I also agree with these tips because I follow many like not running around to every store that has a sale.

  16. Love these tips! I worked in grocery retail for a long time, part of those years were spent working on those circular ads. Your tips are all very true, and helpful!

  17. great tips, i so need to use my menu planner!

  18. I like your tip about checking in the PM for discounted meat. I’m going to have to watch my stores to see when they do their markdowns.

  19. Danielle says:

    Thank you for these reminders, they definitely come in handy. I’m pretty good at not shopping when hungry, but I’m horrible at sticking to a list.

  20. Thanks for sharing some good ideas. I like the price spreadsheet idea and will work on that this weekend.

  21. Brittnei says:

    These are some really great tips! I learned this tip about buying whole chicken from Food Network instead of always buying the parts and that helps us. We usually eat on that chicken for like 3 days and it’s usually less than $6 to get one. I also make from scratch and in bulk. We haven’t taken advantage of doing a membership at like a Costco or something yet, but I know we need to do that. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  22. Chrishelle says:

    I know you can save lots of money planning meals. I have been trying to do a better job of getting my menus planned. I have noticed we are throwing away a lot less food lately.

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