View Full Version : Grocery shopping........do you plan menus before you shop?

01-22-2008, 02:52 AM
or do you check the flyers first, see whats on sale, check your coupons then plan your menus?
i have to get better at using coupons when things go on sale, and planing meals. I go to the store without a plan. I do shop at BJ's a lot to save, but I think I can do better by using the sale flyers and coupons.

01-22-2008, 02:53 AM
I haven't been organized to do all that before but I'm planning on trying both that and the "freezer cooking" plans too (just checked out a book from the library on this stuff).

01-22-2008, 03:17 AM
Yes I do plan meals around the weekly sale paper. Usually the coupons in the paper that week coincide with the sales. I use the template on Microsoft for meal planning, and also I took the time to make a spreadsheet that I print our with our grocery list, so I just check off what I need. When I am consistant using these measures I save on average $20/week.

Plus not shopping with my DS 11 helps. LOL


01-22-2008, 05:59 AM
I don't plan menus at all. I just buy quantites of meal items for the freezer on sale, then when we want a specific item, we just go to the garage and thaw it out.

01-22-2008, 06:33 AM
Big planner here.

I make my menu- then look at the flyers- I have 2 choices really of where to shop and actually get a good deal. Shaw's and Price Chopper. 99% of the time I dont have to change my menu because what I want is on sale at one of the 2.

When I just fly by the seat of my pants- I spend WAY tomuch money...also I do buy stuff that is a really good deal, chicken breast when it's on sale, that sort of thing


01-22-2008, 06:38 AM
I wait until I get to the store and shop whats on sale. Many times what is the cheapest isn't whats in the ad, so thats why I wait until I get to the store to see what we are having.

01-22-2008, 08:10 AM
I do plan our meals, but I don't typically plan around the sale ads. i have found that I can actually, in most cases, find things that are cheaper than the sale prices by buying store brand and/or in bulk from someplace like Sam's Club.

I also like to plan meals that get me 2 nights out of them. Stews, soups, barbecue, etc, all those meals will feed our family of 4 for two nights typically.

01-22-2008, 08:32 AM
BIG planner here also.
We have 3 major stores that send out ads on Monday. Plus 2 smaller stores. Then there is Sams.
By now I pretty much have a set list at Sams and Aldis. Then I look at all the other ads. Most of the items I buy are from the fresh fruit and veggies, Meats, Dairy and Frozen. We really don't like processed food and although I do go through my coupons for frozen veggies, canned goods and cheese. For the most part we haven't really used most of the coupons out there.
One of the stores offers 10 off 50 on Thursday about twice a month.
I buy the loss leader meats and look through my cook books or magazines for new ideas and work from there.
I have to have a list and usually plan at least 2 weeks at a time. I used to do once a month cooking but that just got to be to much for me since I started babysitting in the evening for parents that work the 3rd shift.

01-22-2008, 08:33 AM
I have cut our grocery budget down to $25.00 a week and we are eating healthy foods (2 Adults and 1 Toddler)

I basically have a list of weekly items that I buy in the grocery store:

5 bananas
1 cantaloupe
5 apples
1 other fruit (usually strawberries or watermelon)
large stoneyfield yogurt

This comes to about $12.00

I then use the other $13.00 as "FLEX" money and stockpile what's on sale.

So basically my gorcery cart doesn't look like a typical shopper with the ingredients for a week of meals. Instead I may have 10 jars of sauce, 20 cans of tuna, 15 boxes of cereal...all depends what's on sale.

The only time I go over budget is when chicken is on sale. I buy as much as I can, trim the fat off and freeze it.

I personally LOVE shopping on a Sunday night (our sales start on Friday) when most sale items are out of stock. There is no limit on the quanitity you can get on a raincheck and they let you use the raincheck until it's full.

For example: Fiber One Bars are on sale for $2.00 this week, but they were out of them. I asked for a raincheck for 15 boxes. I then went online and bought coupons to save $1.00 off a box.

The other way I've been able to shop this way is that I am obsessed with CVS extracare bucks and use them to buy my milk, eggs, coffee cream, coffee, bread, etc.

01-22-2008, 10:30 AM
Like Camdemsmom, I have some set staples I buy every week and then I have a menu built which are the odds and ends.

For example, I get my staples of bread, milk, eggs, cereal and fruit then I add spaghetti sauce (we usually make our own, but haven't had time lately), 1lb of hamburger, 1lb of pork if needed for the meals planned. This usually covers 45-50% of my budget.
Then I'll stock up on whatever is on sale that I can use, like vegetables, BBQ sauce, noodles, rice etc. Especially when Jewel or Meijer has a 11 for $10 sale. Using what is in our pantry already, we have a meal planned out for every night. We do once a month cooking for time consuming recipes like Lasagne & meatloaf, but most of our meals are 20 minute or less meals so we make them every night.

Funny, but our weekly grocery trips seem to get smaller and smaller - I think we ended up spending $37 a couple of weeks ago and that was just on the staples and some meat - everything else I had on hand. DH and I were trying to figure out if we forgot anything, because we were only taking up about 2 feet of room on the conveyor belt and it was our entire week's worth of groceries!

Now, I have learned to draw the line at designating something for each night - that just doesn't work in my crazy house - I tried that before "Wed is meatloaf night" and it never failed that I would forget that someone had something that we didn't get home until late and we would end up making something quicker throwing my whole plan off .... So I gave up on that part.