Instead of meal planning and buying what you will need to prepare your meals and perhaps missing something, you buy basics and meal plan from your basics.
Everyone has a set number of recipes that they make for dinner, Most families I know eat Italian and a form of Mexican -- kid friendly dishes.
First : write a list of kthe items that you purchase on a regular basis to make dinners. Everyone has a group of 12-15 items that are shelf ready or frozen that they use in a regular basis to make meals.
For instance : ours are :
- Hamburger - preferably 7 percent fat
- Pork loin to be cut up at home,
- Chicken breasts with ribs.
- Cheese , can be frozen in grated form.
- Sausage , cooked and frozen
- Diced tomatoes
- Mild green chillis
- Dry beans
- Green beans
Having a master list with the RBP ( rock bottom prices for those items makes it easy to rotate your purchases and only buy what's truly on sale. Rotate your proteins on a monthly to six week basis. When something is on a really good sale oroce, buy enough to last you for the number of times you will eat that protein source. I.e.: if you cook chicken twice a week, you will need enough for 8 meals for the month. Buy that protein in bulk - like a whole pork loin or a mega pack of chicken, and portion control it for the freezer. This saves time and money.
Know your prices and stock a determined amount when that particular oriduct goes on a good sale, I I want to pay .50 for canned tomatoes, beans, and vegetables. I mostly,buy fresh or frozen veggies and dry beans, but keep some for emergencies. We use a lot ofmdoced tomatoes because I don't buy much tomato sauce or paste. It keeps things simple. When tomatoes go on sale form.50, I buy as much as they will let you buy or as much as I need to fill our shelf out to my limit.
It's a way to always avoid that nasty F word ..... FULL PRICE. Avoid it like the plague. If you lay 1/2 price, you can maintain a stick and never get stuck without food on the house. Having some basics means even if it snows or you are sick or any other disaster happens, you can still pull together a meal or more.
Learning how to scratch cook efficientky is another key. Unless it's efficient , many people with grow tired of scratch cooking, It needs to be fast and easy. This comes with time.
Dissecting the ads and going to the two best stores is your best bet for getting the Best possible prices in your cart. Also, you get the best produce of two stores . Certain stores have things that they are notorious for having the lowest prices on. .
The average cart is 50 percent drinks and junk. Avoid drinks and junk. Stick to milk and coffee/tea and no junk food.