Tip #3: Menu Plan off of the Weekly Store Sales Flyers
So we all have basic menu planning  down now, right? 😉
There’s a step 2 to this menu-planning process that I’m going to talk about today… menu planning off of the SALES FLYERS.
Yes, you can save a significant amount of money just by menu planning in general and not giving in to the marketing ploys in the store.
But the next step in the process is learning how to plan your menu around what’s on sale!
Before you do your menu plan for the week, look at the weekly sales flyers for your local stores to see what’s on sale.
Instead of just making your menu around what you want to fix, make the menu for the week based off of the items that are good deals (and off of what you have already in your pantry, freezer, or refrigerator).
Eventually, once you build up what’s in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator (this is called stockpiling, which we’ll get to later), you won’t need to plan your menu around what’s on sale. You’ll be planning it around what you already have!! But until then you have to eat… and you still want to save money doing it. So until we get to that place in a few months where we have the store in our house, we need to plan off of the weekly sales flyers.
Is roast on sale this week? One of your dinners could be crockpot roast and then you can use the leftovers to make roast beef sandwiches for lunch. Is there a great deal on eggs? Omlettes for breakfast and a quiche for lunch or dinner!
I would recommend making your menu plan on whatever day your local store sales flyers come out. For example, here in Texas most of our weekly sales flyers come out on Wednesdays. So if your sale flyers come out on Wednesdays, then I would recommend making your menu plan on Wednesday or Thursday.
Easy enough, right?
Well, there’s a little more to it than that unfortunately. You see, these weekly sales ads are designed by marketers.
So let me ask you a question… if you were a marketer designing sales flyers, would you ONLY put amazing deals in the sales flyer? Or would you also put some prices that are just so-so, or not even good at all, to make people think that they were getting a deal on something when they really were not?
Yep, this is how marketers work. There’s deception in the sales flyers, there’s deception IN the store. Sadly, you can’t trust the sales flyer 100%. Or sometimes even 50%. That’s where having a grocery price book and stock-up price lists are KEY!
Here it is in step-by-step form (incorporating what we learned in the previous menu planning lesson  too):
1st – Check the store sale flyers for the week and write down the items that are really great deals (usually the good meat and produce deals are on the front and back pages).
2nd – Look in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to see what you already have on hand that could go with the sales at the store that week.
3rd – Find recipes for the items! I recommend using a site like SuperCook.com  where you can type in the ingredients you have (or will get) and it will show you a ton of recipes that you can make with those ingredients!
4th – Write down the items you need to get from the store for the recipes you find.
5th – Go to the store and get ONLY what you have on your list!
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