Tuesday Tip: Sale-ing Away!

This week’s tip is something supremely simple to add to your weekly routine. We’ve talked about meal planning and it’s importance. But to rehash – weekly meal planning helps you stick to a grocery list and eat better meals each week! It also makes dinnertime not so stressful as you know exactly what to make.

But onward and upward – planning your meals around the sale-coupon matchups (or even just the sales if you haven’t braved the coupons yet). This kind of forward planning is quick and money-saving in a big way! First, you’ll need to locate the weekly ad for your favorite grocery store or check out the online match-ups. Then follow these steps:

If you have the sale ad in front of you (and shy away from the coupons):

  • My first stop is always the meat section. It’s my greatest expense, so I want to pick the best deals. Circle them.
  • My second stop is the produce section. It’s my other “big” expense, so I want to pick the best deals here too. More circling!
  • Now think of meals that incorporate the sale meat and the sale produce. Or enter the ingredients into a search engine or my favorite, All Recipes.
  • Try to incorporate as many sale items into your search as possible. The more ingredients you get on sale, the cheaper your meal. (Go figure!)
  • Pick your favorite meals for the week.
  • Transfer your circled items onto a grocery list. Add any other items you’ll need to complete the meals on your meal plan.
  • Now you have a full meal plan, a grocery list, and big money your pocket!

If you have the online match-ups up on your computer (and you’re becoming coupon crazy!):

  • Highlight the match-up and copy into a document.
  • Delete the coupons you don’t have.
  • Delete the items you don’t like/want. Unless they’re free – then get them and give them away!
  • To plan my meals, I next look at the meats and produce. They are my biggest expenses, so I want the best deals.
  • Try to think of, use a recipe book, or look online for a recipe that incorporates the sale items.
  • Pick your favorites and plug them into your meal plan.
  • Add any other items you’ll need to complete the meals on your meal plan.
  • Print the document, collect the coupons, and away to the store you go!

This was my starting point for couponing and a practice I continue. When 75% of the items in your cart are on sale, you’ll save a lot more than you think! You’re keeping money in your pocket – where it belongs.

Make sense? Got questions? Leave a comment.

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