Use Coupons on Planned Meals to Save Money
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Use Coupons on Planned Meals to Save Money

Posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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Want to make the most efficient use of your coupons? Plan your meals. Search for coupons for exactly what you need each week.Most people know that using coupons is a good way to save some money on groceries. You can save even more money if you get organized and plan ahead before you shop. Put together a meal plan for an entire week. Find coupons for the foods that you need to purchase. Make one trip to the grocery store and save money!

How to Use Coupons to Save on your Meal Plans

Many people use coupons in a casual way. We glance over our favorite coupon site, pick out a few interesting coupons, and take them to the grocery store. There is a more efficient way to use coupons. Follow these steps to better savings.

Plan your meals
Get out your whiteboard and dry erase markers. Or, if you prefer, start a spreadsheet. Figure out what you and your family will be having for every meal this week. Plan out some snacks as well. Write down all the ingredients that each meal requires. It may sound like a lot of work, but it gets easier the more you do it.

What do you already have?
Before you buy more food, check to see what is still in your kitchen. For example, let’s say you are going to have tuna fish sandwiches for lunch this week. Is there a can of tuna sitting in your pantry? If so, you won’t need to buy a duplicate one. This can help you save some money.

Collect coupons
Now that you know what you need, it is time to look for coupons. Be open to using a different brand than your family is used to. Will you be having spaghetti for dinner this week? Check for a coupon on spaghetti sauce. Pick the coupon that offers you the best savings – no matter what the brand is.

Compare store offers
A lot of people shop at the grocery store where they have a loyalty card. Doing so is a good way to get some extra savings. Load up the loyalty card with digital coupons. Find out what special sales that store will be having. The deal of the day could help you save more money than a coupon will. Or, you might be able to combine the savings from both offers.

Repeat the process
The easiest way to repeat the process is to keep the menu the same for more than one week. Change out one meal at a time when you want some variety. Planning ahead helps you to know what kinds of coupons to look for. Being organized is a great way to make your use of coupons even more efficient.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.