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Here because you want to spend less at the grocery store? You’ve come to the right place!  See previous posts in the building blocks to a better grocery budget series:

Building Block 2: Plan a smart menu!

So, now that you want to plan your menu, what kind of things do you want to put on your menu?  Answer: Whatever you want!  It isn’t my money buying your food, so plan whatever you want!  But if you want to minimize your grocery budget, keep these things in mind:

Know thy pantry!

It’s true.  If you have some lettuce in your fridge, use that in your menu.  If you have an over-abundance of beef in your freezer, plan on hamburgers, spaghetti and tacos!  Got some random veggies in the fridge?  Make some soup!  Got some leftover cooked chicken?  Shred it up and make quesadillas!

I know of a gal whose husband is a hunter, so they always have venison in their freezer.  To make sure they eat it, she makes sure at least 1 meal each week is based on venison.  She used to not do that and then they’d get to the start of another hunting season and they’d be eating venison every night for a month just to reclaim the freezer space.

Do you have something in your cupboard, pantry, fridge or freezer that you can use?  Use it!

Plan on less expensive ingredients

Ground beef is almost always going to be cheaper than ribeye steaks.  So it only makes sense that if you’re trying to cut the most money from your budget, stay away from steaks.  Add beans to taco meat or in enchiladas…they’re inexpensive and provide a lot of satisfaction.

I heard a lady once who always bought extra sharp cheddar cheese.  Why?  She was able to use less cheese and still have the cheese taste that she wanted because the cheese flavor was so strong.  Awesome!

Some people prefer to buy whole roasting chickens versus chicken breasts since the price is lower.  They get less meat, but they use the chicken for making broth.  That makes it worth it to them.  Whatever works for your kitchen!

Buy what’s on sale

We’ll cover this later, but if you build some meals off ingredients that are at their lowest price that week, it can really save you money.  Example: if you know that chicken is on sale for $1.00/pound, then there just might be a lot of chicken meals on your menu this week!  (Unless you have a freezer and freeze the rest.)

What are some of your favorite recipes?

Jayme is a wife to 1 and, so far, a mother to two little boys. She coupons, but isn’t super extreme about it. She price matches and loves it! While she likes to cook, she’s in the stage of life where simple is usually better! She never knows how many hands she’ll have free at dinner time! You can find her at No Regrets Living.

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