Family DinnerI kill two birds with one stone in my house by making a weekly meal plan. First, I avoid the extremely annoying question “What’s for dinner, Mom?” followed by the inevitable, “Ugh! Again?!” Second, I avoid last-minute rushes to the store for full-priced items I forgot to pick up.

Build your weekly menu based on what’s on sale. If the store flyer shows a special on pasta sauce and fresh baguette, plan a spaghetti night (bonus: leftovers for lunch).

Plan casseroles, soup, salad bar, lasagna, stir fry and other popular meals based on store sales, coupons, and seasonal sales cycles.

Maximize savings by coupling items from the stockpile with fresh ingredients on special at the grocery store. Of course, this technique only works if the old stockpile actually has stock in it.

Use these guidelines:

  • 2 week supply of milk, eggs, and bread
  • 1-2 month supply of perishables that can be frozen, such as meat, cheese, berries, grapes, etc.
  • 6+ months of edible non-perishables, such as canned goods, drinks, packaged food like applesauce, crackers, cereal, etc.
  • 1-2 years of non-perishables, such as laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.