I like to think I am really good at saving money on grocery so here it goes.
I make a monthly menu and create a shopping list from it. I buy only from that list this way everything gets used and there is nothing thrown away (particularly produce because people tend to buy and think they will use) and no buying things that never get used. I always take inventory based on my menu and I always leave a day or two open this way I can shift things around for the unexpected.
The only thing with that is that I have a hard time trying to make a monthly menu, however I do use the coupons and special cards and shop at different stores that are in my driving distant. I am not running here and their all the time. I have a lot of recipes that I use a lot and sometimes I just create something.
Most grocery stores will have a "guide" to the store at the entrance or near the customer service counter. This will give you a map of the store and where things are. Create a spreadsheet based on the layout of the store for your grocery list to help curb impulse buys. I have been a member of allrecipes.com for many many years. It allows you to create a menu list and shopping list on line with their recipes. you can resize the recipes for as many people as you need to accommodate.
Many grocery store chains now have emails to let you know their weekly specials if you don't pick them up in the newspaper, they also offer quick meal ideas and seasonal recipes based on what is on sale that week. By having a list created according to the layout of the store, you can read a recipe and write down what you need in the correct "aisle" on your list, thus curbing impulse buying.
Take advantage of meats and seasonal vegetables on sale, and buy a few freezer bags. It's only me and my husband now, but I have bought meats on sale and packaged them according to how many mouths I might have to feed.(2 chicken breasts in a package or cut a 5 pound roast in half for 2 meals for 2 of us) If we had company, I could take out enough frozen to cover the hungry hoards, and leftovers were my lunch at work the next day. I have worked from a menu every week based on the weeks sales and what what still in the freezer. 25 years ago,
I was spending $65-$75 a week for 3 people for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner, 7 days a week. Today, I am spending $90 - $100 for the same and there are only 2 of us at home. I preserve a great deal of fresh produce seasonally, and we adapt our diet seasonally (less meat in the summer, more meat & potatoes in the winter) One of my most favorite things is to look upon the leftovers and figure out how to use them.
Tonight, we are having a salad bar. I made potato salad from the leftover boiled potatoes, the pesto and tortellini have become a salad too with a bit of vinaigrette and tomatoes. I had one steak in the freezer - too much for one, not enough for two, but with a variety of salads, more than enough.
I work to a weekly menu and make sure that I've got all the ingredients in the store cupboard or freezer BUT I shop at the local supermarket on my way home from work every day as I most often arrive there as the "today's date" produce is being reduced. Some of it isn't freezable so - the menu changes as needed.
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