We are a one income family with 2 small children and one BIG appetite. I first sit down and plan every meal for a 2 week period (that is our pay period) and I only shop twice a month.
First comes the meal plan.
I start by listing day of the week and the date for that day. I am also sure to note any special ocassions like going out of town, hosting someone for dinner or eating over at someones house. Then I go through my pantry and see what I have that I can make into a meal for those 2 weeks. Usually I can scrounge up 3-4 meals this way...leaving me with 10 dinners instead of 14. I plan for leftover lunches and cheap lunches for me and the girls. Then I go through the HEB ad.
I look at the...
sale items etc.
[ps. I usually get my sodas at Brookshires because they more than usually run the 4 for $10 deal]
I can usually fill in a few meals from the ad and then comes the fun part--THE COUPON BOOK!
I have a 3 ring binder full of baseball card protectors. In those protectors I have pages upon glorious pages of manufacturer coupons. I get them from the Sunday paper, couponmom and coolsavings. [if anyone knows of any other good sites please let me know] I spend about 30 minutes a week keeping this book stocked and current (removing expired coupons and putting in my new ones by category for easier meal planning).
I usually get the rest of my meals with at least 1 coupon item--sometimes more.
Now this does take a fair amount of work and tons of planning, but I am a stay at home mom and think of it as my full time job to run the family business--ie. cooking, stocking, cleaning, shopping, planning etc.
If you still arent a believer I will share this weeks shopping episode with you in as much detail as i can bare to type out.
MY MEAL PLAN/MENU
Fri 26: breakfast--cereal, fruit and eggs dinner-stacked burrito pie
Sat 27: breakfast--cereal fruit and eggs hotdog neighborhood lunch and bratwurts and left overs for dinner
Sun 28: breakfast--cereal fruit and eggs lunch with granma and chopped brisket dinner
Mon 29: breakfast--cereal and eggs lunchables for lunch sloppy joes and green beans for dinner
Tues 30: cereal and eggs lunchables for lunch Burritos with chips and salsa for dinner
wed 1: cereal and waffles lunchables for lunch pepperoni crock pot chicken for dinner
Thurs 2: cereal and waffles lunchables for lunch salmon with peas and suddenly salad for dinner
Fri 3: out of town
Sat4 : out of town
Sun 5 : out of town
Mon 6: cereal and or jelly toast lunchables for lunch Chicken and rice with cream of mushroom for dinner
Tues 7: cereal and eggs for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch spaghetti and rolls for dinner
Wed8: left overs for dinner and breakfast of usual
Ok...just a brief list of what my family manages to intake. My 3 year old alone eats about 3 snacks a day plus juice and then my 1 year old gets 3 snacks + formula (which isnt cheap) AND juice as well...but I just left HEB with 2 weeks worth of food, formula, cleaning supplies, paper towels, TP, laundry detergent, shampoo, a take home deli dinner --I mean EVERYTHING (96 total items) and only a $201 bill--in this economy I MUST be on to something.
I also got 5X point with a special coupon via email! WHOHOO!
I redeemed a total of 29 coupons and saved a whopping total of $41 in just coupons. That doesnt count the sale items. Some of the coupons were like $1 off 3 boxes of general mills cereal. Once I got to HEB I also found $1 off lucky charms (which is general mills) as an instore coupon--neither had restictions so I was actually able to combine the offers. I find deals like that alot of times,
HEB does not always advertise all of those yellow in store coupons so you have to be sure to pay attention to them once you are in the store.
I will post pics of coupon book soon...it is a true inspiration. I, however, cannot take full credit for the amazing idea.
I once saw a woman with 3 children and a hubby at walmart (not the best store to coupon shop at) with such a book and it was all I could do to stop from tripping over my bottom lip cause my jaw was dragging the floor. I was so impressed that I actually approached her and asked her to show me...and the rest my dears