Creating a menu and then making up your shopping list is much better than just going to the store and picking up whatever “looks good” while you’re there. A list period is always a good thing. It keeps us focused on what we came to the store for in the first place and helps us budget (if we know approximate prices) and at least slows down impulse buying.
However, there is an even better way to save even more money! Look at your grocery store flyer before thinking about what you want to eat in the following week! Base your menu on whats on sale. Don’t make a menu and then look all over town for that particular item to be on sale. Wait until the sale comes to you, to make that special item!!!
Here’s what I like to do. I receive the store flyer on Tuesday’s. I like to glance through it as soon as I get it and then sit down with a pencil and paper later that same day or the next. I know what my family likes to eat. I know what sales are actually on sale and not some scheme from the store to rob me. (Some stores will put things in their sale flyer at regular or inflated prices and tell you they are on sale! You have to educate yourself on pricing by studying your receipts now and again.) I know what we use up on a regular basis. As I look through the flyer, I write down items that we would eat/use that are on sale. I look at my dry erase board (things are written there as we run out of them) and compare it with the items on my list. Items on the shopping list that are not on sale, I decide whether or not they can wait another week or not. If they can’t, I write them down too. Then I look at my list and see what all can be made with what I have on hand plus what is on the list. If I need some other things to finish off the menu, I add them as well. Then I go shopping. I will talk about couponing at another time!