Meal Planning from the Sales

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Organizational system?

Shopping list of sales matched with coupons?

Now it’s time to figure out how to take these deals and make them work to feed your family. See those beef tacos? Bargain meal. ‘Tis true.

Remember this worksheet? I explained a few weeks ago how I go about planning my shopping trip. I sift through the ads, jot down the great deals or the items that we absolutely need, and then match them up with the coupons I have on hand. I don’t always go to all the stores in my area, but we live within four miles of each one, so it isn’t a problem to do it if the deals are really good.

Today I’m going to show how I would plan my meals based on the above worksheet. You can see that there were a number of “proteins” on sale that week: chicken, pork strips, London broil, and Italian sausage. Other items to work into meal planning from those sales include: corn tortillas, cheese, peaches, nectarines, yogurt, and pasta sauce.

I normally stock certain basic ingredients, such as flour, eggs, pasta, pinto and black beans, and rice. I try to get them on sale, but you have to spend some money to eat. I buy fresh produce at great prices from a small local market, purchasing a lot of whatever’s on sale each week. I work these ingredients into meals with the items like those listed on this worksheet.

So, here’s what a menu plan based on these sales would look like. (The items in parenthesis represent sale items.)

Breakfasts: cereal, yogurt, peaches, and nectarines. I would add a few other meals to our plan, like eggs and toast and other homebaked goods to have some variety.

Lunches and Dinners:
Queso Fundido, beans and rice (using sausage, cheese, corn tortillas)
Pasta with Italian Sausage, bread, and salad (pasta sauce, Italian Sausage)
Carnitas Soft Tacos, beans and rice (pork strips and corn tortillas)
Bean Tostadas (tortillas)
Lasagna, garlic bread, and salad (pasta sauce, cheese)
Sauerkraut and Spare Ribs, boiled potatoes (pork strips)
Grilled Chicken, Salad and Rice Pilaf (chicken)
Grilled Steak tacos, rice, and beans (London broil, tortillas)
snacky lunch (cheese, fruit)
other meals built from our stockpile

If we didn’t want to have Mexican food so often in one week, I could just store those sale items in the freezer to eat later, but I’d know that I had the fixin’s. That would be growing a stockpile to choose meals from in later weeks.

Obviously, I would need to purchase other items to fill out these menus if I didn’t already have them on hand. But, hopefully, I could draw from my stockpile. If not, I’d add the needed items to my shopping list.

Maximizing my savings through coupons, sales, and menu planning – this definitely works for me.

Do you shop from the sales? Got a trick? Please let us know.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. I shop from sales & use coupons too! Great way to shop & now it's my normal way to shop.

    I don't often think about what I'm going to prepare for the week.. I'm not a big planner, but I do know what I have in my freezer and stockpile and I stock up on whatever I can whenever I can if I know we'll use it. I can almost always pull out a recipe and make it with what I have on hand. I might have to make a few adjustments, but sometimes changing a recipe a bit makes it better!

  2. Andrea says

    This is exactly how I grocery shop. As a matter of fact, our menus are similar too. 🙂 I've shopped this way for a few years, and I'm actually at a point where I enjoy grocery shopping. I think its the challenge to save money and be resourceful! LOL!

  3. That's how I do my shopping since we have the stores so close to each other. You're brave for sharing your worksheet–mine usually ends up as 4-5 postits or scraps of paper!

    Found you through WFMW–thanks for sharing!

  4. Ann says

    I absolutely shop the sales and use my stockpile to cook. As a matter of fact, by reader request, I started posting "Stockpile Recipes" over a month ago. The recipes are from stockpile staples that are usually free/cheap.

    My stockpile recipes are aren't main dishes either. This week I posted recipes using cool whip.

  5. Ann says

    My stockpile recipes are aren't main dishes either.

    In English this should say:

    My stockpile recipes are not always main dishes either.

  6. Shari says

    Thanks for posting this–helps me a lot.

    BTW, do your kids eat sauerkraut? Your recipe looks soooo good, that I want to make it, but I'm wondering if they'd go for it.

  7. Tracey says

    Thanks for the details on how you menu plan. I do it in a similar fashion but love picking up little tips from others!

  8. That is what I do. I check out all our local sales. I only go on a big grocery shopping spree once a month. Most of our stores are about 20 minutes away. I also have a local store which is 5 minutes away for anything that I forgot to get. LOL. So I make one run and check out every sale and go through all the coupons and make a huge list. We also have a discount store where you can get your essentials (flour, sugar, canned goods, etc) for rather cheap or fair prices. But doing all this planning saves lots of money, especially if you are planning a dinner or an event. We also have a store that has great produce prices every week. So I always try to go in that direction to shop instead of the other. LOL.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

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