Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Coupon Institute Week 2 Lesson 1+Giveaway

{edited--Giveaway is now closed}
Using the grocery sales trends to predict your meals
Every grocery store has a 12 week sales trend, which means this: if paper towels are on sale this week, they may not go on sale again for 12 more weeks.  This is the reason for stockpiling--to get your through those 12 weeks!
For meal planning, sales trends can predict your meals.  If Hamburger Helper is on sale this week, and your family eats alot of it, stockpile it so that you can make it through the 12 week cycle until it goes on sale again.  For us, that just might mean our stockpile of HH is 3 boxes.  You have to determine what is right for your family.

Another way sales trends can predict your meals is to see what meats and produce are on sale. If lettuce and tomatoes are on sale this week, maybe we have tacos on Tuesday and fajitas with salad on Friday.
Before I would start couponing I would make my meal plan, then go through the coupons I had and pull the ones I would need for my ingredients.  Little did I know, I was going about this ENTIRELY WRONG.  Now I sit down, see what is on sale and what areas of my pantry/freezer is empty THEN make my menu for the week.

This is my Menu for this week:
Monday: Steak and potatoes left over from the weekend
Tuesday: Creamy chicken Divan
Wednesday: Pantry meal (maybe Hamburger Helper!)
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza (always pizza on Fridays!)
Saturday: Chicken a la King
The two chicken meals come from my freezer that I made during my last Once a Month Cooking session.

I actually do not need very much from the grocery store, so I used this week to stock up on Gatorades for my hubby, Toaster Strudel for my daughter and wipes and diapers for the babies.  There was more food at another grocery store that was on a pretty good sale, but I am taking my own advice and letting some deals go!  Some weeks it is easier than others to make it to all my stores.  This week's grocery bill was only $50 INCLUDING two packs of diapers a 720 ct. box of wipes and stocking up on the drinks and breakfast pastries.

So now you have a homework assignment: Look at your grocery's weekly circular and do two things:
1. Find out when the circulars come out and when sales are valid (this will help you in weeks 3-5 too).  For me the new grocery sales ad comes out on Tuesdays and are valid Wednesday-the next Tuesday.  CVS, Target, Walgreens and Walmart ads typically run Sunday-Saturday.
2. Looking at your grocery circular, make a meal plan.  It can be for this week or next week, but make it based ONLY ON what you see in the ad+what you have on hand.
When we combine this skill with using coupons, you will be AMAZED at what you will save.


ap_msu03 said...

I currently do what you used to do. I menu plan then go through my coupons. Interesting to see how this new style works out! I am a big believer in menu planning though.

Melissa said...

Why did I never think of LOOKING AT THE AD when planning my meals? Oh my, I have been doing this wrong...so wrong!

Melissa said...

I like to see what meats are on sale and go from there. I want to start the cook and freeze option I am a busy single mom so I am always looking for ways to save money and save time.

Elvira said...

Ok !! So this is what I have come up for meals next week!
Mon- Fry chicken with Mash potatoes Tues- Lasagna and Garlic Bread
Wed- Left overs Thurs- Crockpot chicken Friday- Pizza, I still have a frozen that I bought a few weeks ago. If I'm feeling up to cooking on Saturday and we are not going anywhere, Then I might do Enchiladas. ok, this is my post!! I hope it works out for me!!

leigh said...

I always check the exp date when stockpiling. When I first started some of my stuff would go to waste.