I don't exactly consider myself an expert in this field. I still have plenty to learn but I do know quite a bit about couponing and I will try to explain as best as I can how to begin saving money and using coupons. This is the first of several future posts in my Road to Savings series.
Step 1 to start your savings:
Make a menu.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. I plan my menu out monthly but you can certainly do it on a weekly basis as well.
Start by looking in your pantry and freezer to know what you have on hand. Plan your meals based on this information and whatever you need but don't have add it to your shopping list. This allows me to look in the weekly sales flyers for the best deals on the items I use most or will need for future meals. This also saves me money because I don't have to make pit stops at the grocery store to get any items I ran out of. Remember, the more often you go to the store the more likely you are to make impulse purchases. Not to mention you are wasting time and gas just to go there.
Even though I plan my menu I am still very flexible. Just because I planned spaghetti for dinner on Friday and Quesadillas for dinner on Tuesday doesn't mean I won't switch and make spaghetti on Tuesday and Quesadillas on Friday depending on what's easier or what I'm in the mood for. Since I already knew and purchased ahead of time the items I needed, I will have everything I need to make either meal. A menu is a very useful guide to help ease up the problem of deciding what to make for dinner every night.
So, tonight's homework: make a menu. Whether it's a weekly or monthly menu is up to you. Find out which works best for you.