This is how we do it… Smarter Grocery Shopping on a Budget

“It’s Friday Night and we feel alright” you know the song!  Anyhow, each post we hint at ways that we save and what to make seasonally to save money as well.  The other day I shared with a friend that we are budgeting $50 a week for groceries, which then led to this question ” how do you do that- share please!”  This week we will share some tried and true ways that we save money and eat meals that are better than you can get at a restaurant.  This post will go into our entire process of navigating a weekly meal plan, creating a list and how to shop the best deal at the store.

20121029-163017.jpgStep 1.  Look at your week ahead, how many meals will you be making at home, when will you be out-of-town, is there a special holiday or friend’s get together the plan around or plan for?  Determine how many meals you need to get you through your week.  We make a dinner each night that always has 1 set of leftovers that each of us can enjoy for lunch.  If a recipe makes more than 4 servings, we plan on a leftover night at dinnertime.  This week, we will need to make 4 dinners, one of which has 6 servings, so we have all weekday  lunches and one night from leftovers.  We are also making two make ahead breakfasts and 2 desserts that will go 4 nights with leftovers.

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Make a list, go through your pantry- what do you already have on hand that you can use this week for your meals?

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 Gather your favorite cookbooks, and use the index to navigate what recipes include items you already have on hand. This recipe includes acorn squash, which we already have, and requires us to get apple cider, so we picked a dessert that also uses that apple cider since we will have some leftover!  Write down ingredients from each recipe on your list ( see below) and pick recipes that sound great to you and that includes the bext the season has to offer: Fall is apples, squash, fennel, pears think cinnamon and spice and warm hearty meals

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Flag your chosen recipes, and make your list in groups based on your store and shopping flow : Produce, Dairy, Pantry, Meats, Frozen

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Shop Smarter: read labels, not just on your food but on the price tags!

The store tells you what the best deal is, look at the price per oz/ gallon etc. below the actual price; see where is says ” $.100 per fl oz” and above “$.179 per oz”?  The better deal is obvious, and those incremental deals make a difference!

Ok, so that’s a grocery shopping day from start to finish!  It’s all about planning, using what you have, and enjoying the leftovers.

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