Extreme Couponing Tip: Meal Planning

  • Having a planned menu for your week’s meals helps avoid last minute runs to the store (of which most purchases are full priced) and helps alleviate the ominous “What’s for dinner?” question.
  • Base meals around what will be on sale. If your local store has pasta sauce and fresh French bread on sale this week, plan a spaghetti dinner (with one those boxes of pasta you got for free last month!)
  • If you know you’ll be busy on a day next week, make a double batch of tonight’s meal and freeze half. This way you’ll only have to thaw and reheat!
    • Favorites include casseroles, stews/ soups, pizza dough, rotisserie chicken (if you never eat a whole one, de-bone the leftovers and put them in a freezer bag– perfect for adding to soups & casseroles later!), lasagna, and many others.
  • Pair items in your stockpile with fresh ingredients that are on sale and in season.
  • Keep your stockpile stocked! For guidelines of how much of a category to stockpile, check out this post. Having a good selection in your stockpile enables you to make a wider variety of foods.
  • Try theme nights– taco Tuesdays, homemade pizza Fridays, salad Saturdays, meatless Mondays, etc. Then switch up ingredients and try new recipes! Remember that children are more likely to eat meals & veggies if they help pick & prepare the food.
    • If you do different cuisines on different days of the week, this can be a great learning opportunity. Find out a few facts about the country of origin and teach them to your family. If they eat sitting on cushions or on the ground, why not try it out? Eat with chopsticks for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean meals, or eat with your hands if you’re eating Indian or Filipino!
    • Here are a few meal ideas to get you started:
      • Nachos and a fresh fruit tray for family movie or game night
      • Pitch a tent in the backyard and eat Dutch Oven then s’mores or cobbler for dessert
      • Picnic at a nearby park with sub sandwiches, juice & fresh cut veggies
      • Try breakfast for dinner! Make pancakes with fresh fruit on top, eggs, toast, orange juice, and turkey bacon. You can even eat in your PJs :)

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12 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Meal Planning”

  1. Mariposita says:

    I love that last tip: Brinner! Breakfast-for-Dinner! That’s what we’re doing tonight. I do most of the cooking for my family, and we’ve had red meat several times lately (for some reason I can barely stand to eat red meat anymore), so I decided we were doing eggs and bacon tonight. YUM!!

    If you do a taco night, you could try using masa (corn) tortillas instead of flour or the fried hard shell tacos. I’ve spent a lot of time in Guatemala, and typically Latinos eat masa tortillas instead of flour ones. And the plus side? They’re healthier! :)

  2. Mariposita says:

    I love that last tip: Brinner! Breakfast-for-Dinner! That’s what we’re doing tonight. I do most of the cooking for my family, and we’ve had red meat several times lately (for some reason I can barely stand to eat red meat anymore), so I decided we were doing eggs and bacon tonight. YUM!!

    If you do a taco night, you could try using masa (corn) tortillas instead of flour or the fried hard shell tacos. I’ve spent a lot of time in Guatemala, and typically Latinos eat masa tortillas instead of flour ones. And the plus side? They’re healthier! :)

  3. Becca says:

    I believe that meal planning is the key to saving money with coupons! Once you have established a stockpile of items in your pantry and freezer (and continue to replenish), you have no further to look for meal ideas and inspiration. Each week I plan our family meals based upon what is in my stockpile and the fresh foods on sale at the grocery store. I have written the expiration dates on my stockpiled foods with a sharpie marker and use the ones expiring soonest. If I don’t know what to do with various ingredients, I’ll do a search on the internet for recipes with those ingredients. I take about twenty minutes every Sunday to make out my weekly meal plan and short shopping lists. This is a great time investment and wonderful for everyone to know what we’re having for dinner. I highly recommend meal planning for anyone who uses coupons and stockpiles food!

  4. I just paid $22.85 for an iPhone 4-32GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $674 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CentHub.com

  5. Girlgirl760 says:

    I am half Thai and half Filipino I am not a picky eater at all. My husband is very picky and will only eat southern type food. I am trying to teach my two son to eat all type of food but my husband doesn’t think they should eat asian food lol. He doesn’t know what he is missing chicken adobo, pad thai, basil chicken, curry all very good. I think it’s a great idea to have theme nights I am going to try and see how this works out.

  6. Girlgirl760 says:

    I am half Thai and half Filipino I am not a picky eater at all. My husband is very picky and will only eat southern type food. I am trying to teach my two son to eat all type of food but my husband doesn’t think they should eat asian food lol. He doesn’t know what he is missing chicken adobo, pad thai, basil chicken, curry all very good. I think it’s a great idea to have theme nights I am going to try and see how this works out.

    • Jazmin says:

      youre of asian decent and your husband doesnt want your children to eat asian foods???? (really?!) I married an African and i try to cook meals that hes fond of. I would never think of cutting out his culture at our dinner table. We do themed nights every week. I have it on the fridge posted with 3 options per night per week and we rotate them. Mon-sauce over rice (african can be meat or veg based), tue-beef (tacos, fajitas, steak-n-potatoes), wed-vegitarian (usually asian or indian dishes), thurs-Italian/pasta night (pizza, calzone, lasanga), fri-seafood night (fried fish n chips (plaintains)), sat-bbq (chicken, burgers,), Sun- family style or new recipe night (casseroles, rosted chicken, crock pot meals)

      • Mariposita says:

        I love this! I was engaged to a Latino and I always loved eating his family’s cooking (albeit there were a FEW times when I couldn’t stomach something…ha ha). I still dream of his mother’s chicken in cream sauce and shredded beef. YUM. And conversely, he loved my family’s cooking (typical southern food). I think it is awesome when multicultural families highlight all of the cultures involved!

    • Terri says:

      Im half filipino and I make adobo, pandit and lumpia and my BF thinks its the best. And he is a white boy! haha..I’d love for youth share some of your thai recipes? email me at ohsweetness2003@yahoo.com..maybe sneak in some dry adobo..once he eats it he may be hooked! Oh my BF even eats Sinigang!!!

      • Terri says:

        sorry spellcheck is weird on my computer

      • Anonymous says:

        Chicken adobo was the first dish I ever ate with my hands (it was on a date night and the cook had lived in the Philippines). I was a bit nervous at to eat without any utensils at first, but it was great fun! :)

  7. Smbridges says:

    Thank you so much…this has been one of the harder things I have struggled with since I started couponing!!! How do I make it all work…but this makes so much sense thanks so much KCL!!!