Smart Couponing Tip: Plan Your Meals Around Sales & Stockpile
Before becoming a couponer, many of us planned our meals around what sounded good and we would write up a weekly meal plan based on wants rather than needs. However once you become a coupon shopper meal planning should shift and you should plan your meals based on what is on sale and what items you have in your stockpile.
Once you have a stockpile going and ever growing, items purchased at the lowest price point it is easier to plan meals based on what you have on hand rather than running to the grocery store for items needed to make a meal. Take a look at your pantry, stockpile and freezer to plan out your weekly menu plan. Fill in the missing ingredients only as needed and eat around what items are on sale and seasonal.
There are many online resources to help you find recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand. One of my favorites is the recipe finder at AllRecipes.com where you can type the ingredients you have on hand to find recipes.
For example I have chicken breasts, green beans and rice in the stockpile…let’s see what recipes I can find?
Upon clicking search after typing in the ingredients I have on hand I am presented with several recipe options to choose from that use those three ingredients.
I end up choosing this yummy Oriental Chicken Skillet recipe because I have almost all the ingredients already in my stockpile and the only thing I need to buy is some green onions (which are on sale this week at one of my local grocery stores!).
We try to use this method for each meal we cook so that we are using the items we are stockpiling (not just letting them go to waste!) and our weekly grocery shopping trips are based almost 100% on what is on sale, what we have coupons for and what is in season and a great price.
Oh sure…there are going to be times where you just are CRAVING a special dish that you don’t have the ingredients for. If you can afford it, go ahead and splurge and just buy it. As long as it is a once in a while thing it’s not going to ruin your grocery budget. And after-all, what is the point in saving money if you cannot spend it once in a while?