Saving Money in the Grocery Store: Meal Planning (And a $50 Giveaway!)

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I resolve to plan my meals in 2014

It’s week two in my not-eating-in-restaurants month, and already I’ve had to fudge a little.

Blogger happy hour? I just had a (gluten free!) beer — I didn’t eat anything!

Met up with someone for coffee? It was late, actually, and I sat and chatted without consuming anything (sorry, coffee shop).

Also, tonight I’m meeting up with my friend Thursday, because meeting Thursday on Monday sounds fun. I’ll skip food, but probably I will drink something.

Look, I’m not perfect. I know this. But I’m determined to get through January without eating out. So I am going to start planning meals for the week.

This reduces trips to the grocery store. Somehow this saves a ton of money, though I can’t quite figure out how. I feel like going to the store once a week or three times a week should end up with the same result at the end of the week, but that’s never the case. Must be the incidentals. A bottle of wine here and there really adds up fast!

I’m not much of a couponer, though I’m sure there’s value in them. But I found out about Favado at FinCon13, and I love it. You pick your favorite stores, and it tells you about the deals in each store. You use the little heart thing to mark your favorites, so you only get informed about specials on things you actually buy (which is why I’m not a fan of traditional coupons in the first place — I don’t eat processed food, which is what the coupons are generally for).

Instead, I tell the app my favorite stores and my favorite things to buy, and it lets me know who has the best deal.

This helps with meal planning. What’s on sale, Favado? Okay, then, I’ll make meals around ground beef and organic chicken.

Meal planning is a little restrictive to me, so I’m going light on it. I’ll make a plan to make three things this week:

  • Stuffed bell peppers
  • Stir fry
  • A hearty soup

The rest will depend on what Brent wants to do, when my friends are coming over (or are we going there?) and what Favado says.

Favado is a free app, and it’s available for both Apple and Android. In an attempt to get the word out, they’re giving away a $50 Visa gift card to a lucky Frugal Portland reader. How excited are you?

Enter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. says

    Yeah, those secondary grocery shopping trips will get you….it's because when you go to the store more than once, this question pops up every time: "While I'm here, I might as well get……" :)

  2. deardebt says

    I love all the things you are making! I am going to be better about eating and drinking out in January too! December was a bit nutty and I'm ready to stop for a while. Good luck this week! Just keep making good food and it will get easier!

  3. says

    Are you only meal planning dinner? Dinner and breakfast are easy for me. It's lunch that I struggle with. There aren't too many foods that I can bring to work with me. I don't always make enough for leftovers. Sometimes I really just want a sandwich. In the summer, I can bring salads but in the wintertime I just want the heaviest food possible from the near-by deli.

  4. therandompath says

    I've fallen off the meal planning bandwagon, but I need to get back on it because our grocery bill has been scary!

  5. Libby says

    this is a great option! I similarly have stopped using coupons because I am not eating many processed foods, but having easy access to what good/real food is on sale will be awesome.

  6. passionatelysimple79 says

    The bf and I have not been meal planning as much lately, but have been making sure we have lots of basic ingredients in the house always. At least we can always whip up something quick any night.

  7. says

    I've never heard of FAVADO. I'm excited to give it a try. I'm also cutting expenses in January, I'm trying to start the year the way I way I want to end it-with money in the bank (for once).

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