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How to Save through Menu Planning and Shopping Lists

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A few weeks ago, I posted these handy tips on saving on grocery bills. Commenters, mamaloo and Isabel have both brought up one of the most important things when grocery shopping – the list.

While it’s probably one of the more boring aspects of shopping (sometimes, it’s more exciting to just grab stuff off the shelf), making a shopping list is essential for your grocery trip efficiency. It really saves you too by helping you avoid impulse buying. Another point to bring up is menu planning. Since most of the items you get from the grocery are food items, planning your meals way ahead helps you sort out items for the list too. Here are some tips on how to prepare menus and lists.

  • If you’re more of the conventional type, index cards are indispensable tools of the trade. It helps too if you have recipe cards handy. Just create a schedule of the meals that you’ll have for a month. Shopping will just be a matter of checking the ingredients list to make sure you get those items.
  • For hi-tech people, you may want to consider using your computer and/or cellphones while shopping. A while back, I featured this neat freeware application (Dannon Recipe Box) that collects and collates recipes for you. So it’ll just be a matter of printing out ingredients.
  • Try looking into sales too. Some groceries have flyers on items on sale. You may want to synchronize your meal plan with upcoming or ongoing sales so that you can save up just a bit more.
  • Plan ahead so that you can anticipate which products you can buy in bulk.
  • Finally, simply put, make a list and stick to it.
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