• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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Menu Plan Monday

I’ve seen some others doing a menu plan on Monday and thought I’d give it a whirl. This week is pretty busy so there are a few nights off. For more menus, head over to Meal Plan Monday. I have classes on Monday and Wednesday at 6:30.

Monday: Sweet Potato and Kidney Bean Burrito (Froze 99% of them when I cooked them. Not sure how they’ll do from the freezer but we’ll see!)
Tuesday: Out to eat
Wednesday: Taco Soup but leaving out the meat, Bread
Thursday: Lasagna Spirals, Salad, Bread
Friday: C.O.R.N. (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)
Saturday: Out to eat
Sunday: Spaghetti Pie, Green Beans

Saving by menu planning


Image: Daniel Y. Go

I tried The Grocery Game for a $1 trial. Pretty neat idea. If I actually visited the site and did what she said to do, I can definitely see how I’d save in the long run. But I tend to shop at one store, with maybe a quick stop at a couple on the way home if they have a really good deal on meat or produce.

I have a subscription to E-mealz but haven’t really been keeping up with that either. The Walmart menu has prices on it and they say they make up menus based on sales. I get a generic points one.

Finding the circulars online
I usually visit the stores’ sites directly. Also, there’s: Sunday Saver. Unfortunately, some stores don’t list grocery sales in their online ads. For example, Walmart.

Update the price sheet
I have a price sheet in Google docs’ spreadsheet. I input prices that look low to me and keep them categorically.

Date Store Category Item Total weight Units Price Price per Weight unit Price a pound Notes
4/22/2008 Food Lion Meat Chicken breast, frozen 2.5 pound 6.99 2.80 pound

I also have a notes column and an extra column for pound. Like when cans of green beans are on sale, they are X per ounce. I then take the X and multiply it by 16 so I can see price per pound. I do this on frozen meals and canned vegetables mostly.

Before I started this, I thought that those big bags of flash frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts were always a better deal. Nope. Especially now that I’ve learned how to freeze stuff better.

Highlight the good deals
If there’s a great meat deal based on the previous prices, then I stock up a bit. Not too much since I am cooking for one or two max. If there’s a great produce deal, I use that as inspiration.

Farmers’ Markets
I had previous plans Saturday so missed out on the local market but hopefully I can hit it up next weekend. I bought less veggies this last grocery shopping trip because I knew we’ve got lots of local seasonal produce to purchase and use!

Coupons
This is a major weakness of mine that I hope to improve upon. I clip coupons from the paper when I get it, file them and forget them. I haven’t utilized the plethora of online coupon sites but should. It’s a really kick in the pants when I get home to find that there was a $1 (or more!) coupon for something I just bought. Here’s some great tips on coupons (that I hope to do m’self!): So where can you find the coupons?

Currently cheap eats at the local supermarkets

I started a price sheet a few weeks ago and have been taking note of sales at the local markets. On the way home from work, I can hit many supermarkets: Food Lion, Farm Fresh, Kroger, Games Market, Walmart, Super Kmart. I don’t usually shop at Walmart or SuperKmart but am rethinking the Walmart thing. Price matching for the win.

The cheap eats that I noticed this week* according to my handy dandy price sheet:

  • Avocado at Food Lion for $.99 each. (Average: $1.99)
  • Cantaloupe at Farm Fresh for $.88 each. (Average: $1.99)
  • Chicken Breast, split, at Food Lion for $.88/pound. (Average: $2/pound)**

Footnote: Average is of the various local stores I check.
* Ends April 22, 2008 probably.
** Food Lion brand chicken is advertised as hormone and antibiotic free.