Meal Planning 101

October 24, 2011

Hi Blissers!

We hope your week is off to a great start!  Seeing as the holidays are just around the corner and that means Christmas shopping, we all watch our pennies a little closer.  While Shan and I enjoy eating healthy, fresh food, it can be expensive!  We wanted to share our tips for how we save money on food.  We hope this can help you in the future, especially over the next few months! 

 Meal Planning

  •  We signed up to receive the weekly ads via email from Sprouts, Target and local grocery stores.  We then look through the ads to see what specials there are on meats, seafood, poultry, dairy, etc and make note of it.  We also try to only buy vegetables and fruits that are on special that week and it’s typically fruits/veggies that are in season and they have a plethora of.
  • We make a meal plan for the week.  This involves picking out recipes that use the ingredients that are on sale.  For example, this week beef briskets were on sale at our local Sprouts so we decided to make this crock pot dish that uses a beef brisket and marinates in coffee that we found on a blog.  We find recipes in magazines (Cooking Light, Fitness, Self, etc.), healthy cookbooks, our favorite blogs,, and the Food Network.  We try to plan for 5 dinners per week and then 2 nights will be leftovers or on your own night which usually translates to brinner (eggs or cereal).  We also try to pick out recipes that use the same ingredients.  For example, one recipe called for bleu cheese but would not require the whole container, so we incorporated a recipe for another night that used bleu cheese.
  • We buy all of our vegetables and fruits at Sprouts (farmers market) because they have the best prices on produce especially if it’s on sale.  A weekly trip is made to Sprouts to ensure fresh fruit and vegetables (any longer and things will spoil).
  • We go to certain stores for certain items.  We stock up on cereal at Trader Joes, Wal-Mart or Target.  They have the best prices for the cereals we like (Cascade Farms, Kashi, etc.).  Target or Wal-Mart is also good for purchasing bread (sandwich thins, english muffins, bagels), canned soups, baking supplies, and kitchen supplies. 
  • Shannon and I both agree that lunch is our least favorite meal.  We are not fussy about what we eat for lunch so it usually includes salad, soup or sandwich.  We buy tuna packets at Trader Joes or Target and make tuna salad with hummus.  This is very inexpensive.  Another option is salads topped with whatever veggies you have on hand. 
  • Stock up on items in the bulk bins at Sprouts, Henrys or Whole Foods.  We always have oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa, barley, polenta, nuts, and dried fruits.  Most recipes will call for one or two of those items and if you have them on hand that is less you have to buy each trip to the store.

 Do you have any unique ways to save money when planning meals and grocery shopping?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: