by Rayne DeVivo
This week is a tough week to get started doing the meal planning for you. There aren’t many super deals on food that I found. There are many excellent deals on cleaning products and beauty items this week though. The great thing about knowing a good price when you see it and stocking up is that if you don’t see any deals in a particular week, you don’t HAVE to buy much. Since the only great deal I found on meat this week was split chicken breasts, that’s the only meat I bought. After a month of couponing my freezer is stocked with drumsticks, ground beef, boneless skinless chicken breasts, pork loin and veggies galore. I’ve spent $100 less on groceries in January than I did in December, November, or October and got more food.
Tips for getting started:
- Buy multiple copies of the newspaper and print multiple copies of online coupons. When you find a great price on food your family eats regularly, you don’t want to be standing there with one coupon. We are a family of four and I buy three Sunday papers.
- Never photocopy coupons.
- You are going to accumulate a lot of paper, so only clip the coupons for things you really buy. Have some way to organize the coupons that works for you. I put mine in envelopes labeled by grocery store section (freezer, meat, produce, paper goods) and then put the envelopes in a small accordion folder.
- Rarely use your coupons the week you clip them. Items are unlikely to be discounted that same week.
Without further ado, this week’s meal plan is based on Schnuck’s weekly ad sales prices (which expire Tuesday). Stock up on split chicken breasts and whole pork butt for $0.99/lb. I prefer Schnuck’s generic pasta sauce over other store brands (No high fructose corn sugar). I stock up on it when I’m there. When I priced this plan out on Express Connection online, I arrived at a total of $55.00 before coupons and without taking into account what’s already in my pantry. I planned for plenty of leftovers.
- Day 1: Bulk cooking + baked chicken breasts, roasted carrots and potatoes
- Day 2: Mexican lentils
- Day 3: Crockpot cranberry apple pork, spinach & romaine salad, brown rice
- Day 4: Spaghetti
- Day 5: Pork tacos & pinto beans
- Day 6: Roasted winter veggies & beans, brown rice, spinach & romaine salad
Be sure to download Rayne’s recipes, shopping list, and other tips now: Chambanamoms.com Shopping List and Recipe Jan. 31 (opens/saves as PDF).
Rayne DeVivo is an attorney and a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law. A Hoosier by birth, Rayne has lived in central Illinois for 15 years. She currently stays home with her two sons, Henry and Quinn. Rayne’s hysterical tale of taking her sons grocery shopping is one of the most popular chambanamoms.com articles of 2011.