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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Building a Weekly Menu from a Grocery Ad

I have different methods for building my weekly menu.

Sometimes I have Aldi-only weeks where I only cook things based on ingredients I can purchase at Aldi. Sometimes I ask each member of the family what they want for dinner that week and build the menu that way. Sometimes I do "cheap week" when I cook those tried-n-true things that I know cost next to nothing. Sometimes I totally copy someone else's menu that sounds yummy. And occasionally I build my menu by looking at a grocery store circular.

I have been feeling a little uninspired in my menu planning. So yesterday when I got my local Reasor's grocery store ad and saw some specials that peaked my interest, I decided to plan my menu for the next week from the ad, and so I'm shopping there this week. I typically do not shop at Reasor's because the groceries cost more than Walmart or Aldi. But there are some good deals this week and if I just stick to the ad sales, and supplement with the pastas and veggies and such that I need by shopping at Aldi, then this week will not only be inspired but frugal as well.

Here is what I found on sale:

Boneless Arm Roast (choice certified angus beef) for $1.68 a pound, average 7-10 pounds. I have 3 meals planned out of this, and I'll try to stick to the 7 pounder.

Hamburger Helper for $1 a box. I'll pick up a couple of these. One for dinner on a busy night and one to keep for another week.

24 oz. cottage cheese for $1.50.

12" Tony's pizzas, 6 for $10.

Best Choice Jumbo biscuits for $1.00.

Turkey franks for $1.00.

34 oz. Maxwell House coffee for $5.99. (Not for dinner, but a good deal anyway and I'm out of coffee).

These things inspired me to make the following next week:
Roast and potatoes
Chili dogs and cottage cheese
Beef and veggie kabobs and rice
Crock pot french dip sandwiches
Bacon, egg and cheese biscuits
Hamburger helper, cheeseburger macaroni
Frozen pizza

I've supplemented the other days (through the end of the month) with things we mostly have on hand and easy, cheap, convenience meals for the busy nights around the holidays. Mom and dad will be feeding us for a few nights, so I don't have to do quite so much planning.

So if you're in a slump, pick up your weekly grocery ad and see if you can get some inspiration.

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