Coupon Shopping and Meal Planning

January 25, 2012 | Posted By: Shannen Bayless | Categorized in: Shopping, Couponing
Not only do I love coupon shopping because it saves my family money, I also love that its helped me plan ahead for meals (even when I didnít realize it).

Even though my kids are young, we have crazy weeks here when I donít know if weíre coming or going. Between preschool schedules, high school basketball games, volleyball leagues, and training for a half marathon, our days get pretty full. Some nights itís 5:30, and Iíve just started thinking about what to have for dinner. Luckily, I have my full stockpile of groceries in my basement and in my freezer!

Saving money with coupon shopping

Weekly grocery lists of items ďneededĒ are not as long
Thanks to coupon shopping, when I make out my weekly list, I usually donít need a lot of extras to make meals. I really try each week, when making out my menus, to base our meals on the items on sale, items I have on hand, and of course meals that my boys are asking for.

For example, if my kids want spaghetti that week, I already have spaghetti noodles, pasta sauce, and hamburger because I bought these items when they were at their 12 week lowest price. All I need to pick up for dinner that night is probably some lettuce to make a salad or maybe some garlic bread. Last week, I made chicken and noodles for dinner, which didnít require any additional items. Everything I needed was either in my pantry or freezer thanks to shopping ahead.

Saving time with coupon shopping

By planning weeks or even months ahead with coupon shopping, Iím also saving myself some time. I donít make as many last minute trips to the store to get items for my family because I have my stockpile to shop from. We all know that often those ďlast minute tripsĒ cost you a lot more than the items you really needed at the store. I try each week or to make one trip to the store with my list of things that are on sale, so I can stock up. I also buy the items that I need to finish out my menus as well as my produce items, milk, and bread.

Bargain Buys

This week you can find a lot of bargains on medicine at Walgreens. I got Advil for $4.00 a bottle after my coupons and then I got $5 back in Register Rewards (so after my rewards, I only paid $1.50 each for 2 bottles of Advil). There are also bargains on Triaminic and Tylenol. You may also find bargains on Colgate products, Blistex, batteries, Enfamil, Neutrogena, and Pepsi 12 packs.

At Target, there are gift card promotions on Tide, Pampers, and Keurig K cups. Also, watch for bargains on Frenchís mustard, Franks Red hot sauce, Tazo tea, Spaghettios, and Gerber baby food. I also got ďfreeĒ Activia yogurt by stacking my coupons at Target.

I also shopped at my local Aldi store over the weekend and found some great bargains on milk ($1.99!), eggs (79 cents!), pears ($1.99), carrots (79 cents), and apples ($2.99). This may have just been my Aldi store that had some of these bargains!

I got an email this morning that Schnucks, Logli, and Hilander stores in the Rockford area are tripling coupons beginning today through January 31st. Their ad says they'll triple coupons with a face value of 55 cents, and they'll triple up to 20 coupons per day.


FatWallet tip: This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for the couponers and those who wanna be couponers! You may access all the posts on Shannen's author page. Please be sure to check out the grocery coupons and deals forum here on FatWallet to get great deals and connect with other couponers!
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