A comment on a previous post, which I cannot at the moment find (edit: Mandi emailed me to let me know it was her on this post) mentioned how they follow the idea of meal planning out of their pantry vs out of circulars, because they shop in a way that they know they’ve spent the least amount possible for everything in their pantry. They buy items when they are the least expensive, and then look to their pantry and what they have stocked to decide what to make that week for meals.
This is exactly what my goal is with the unit price comparison shopping I discussed yesterday. I stock up on items when they are on sale so that I never “have” to buy those items when they are at full price. A simple concept but one it has taken me a long while to catch onto and effectively put into practice.
Our grocery list used to have 25-30 items on it every week. Last week, before I added the sale/stock up items, the number of items on the list we needed to buy was 7. Milk, grapes, apples, cheese, yogurt, potatoes, and wheat pitas. I bought more things than that, because I bought a number of items on sale paired with coupons (I always enjoy Mini-Wheats cereal for $0.50 per box). But the list of things we were out of and needed was only 7. This is my goal. Buy what’s on sale, and what is perishable and needs to be replaced weekly, and plan my meals based on what I have stocked. And I stocked up on potatoes this week.
And then maybe once everything is stocked up – buy some chocolate.