March 23, 2009

Money Smarts: Guest Post by Jill @

Money Smarts is a new weekly feature here at The New Frugal Mom, one that will focus on how to monetize your blog, wahm opportunities, budgeting, and just generally saving more money while earning (legitimately) a few bucks as well.

For more details about the origins of Money Smarts, click

This week, I'm pleased to share with you this guest post from Jill at Fabulous Savings. A bit about her site: has been in the business of saving online shoppers money since 1999. We work with over 2,000 local businesses and multi-national corporations to provide free online coupons and printable coupons for everything you need (and want)!

Fabulous Savings is a great resource and offers coupons for Canada and the UK as well as the USA.

Today, Jill shares with us some ideas about a topic that can help save you money, time, and stress - menu planning!

Spend Less by Planning Ahead: Shopping with a Menu

If you are like me any tips and tricks to save money at the grocery store is paramount. I have developed my own system that has saved me money each and every week and am excited at the chance to share them with you. By planning a menu it can help you stop impulse grocery shopping.

Some people go about their grocery shopping blindly, on an empty stomach and with the intention of planning when they get there. I simply couldn’t function this way. The options are way too endless to plan there, and with food all around me I’ll grab anything because I’m STARVING! (Most of the time) This leads to impulse buying and poor food choices for you and your family.

To help counteract this frivolous spending my advice is to plan ahead through a weekly menu. In my experience a weekly shop is easier as you can have fresh foods and work off of just what you need. Gather all the weekly ads, coupons and savings you can find for starters. (This can help save money on your menu choices) By knowing what you have in your pantry, fridge or freezer and knowing what’s on sale you can plan your menu. Grab anyone and everyone with a say and don’t forget to include lunches and breakfast as necessary.

Now, it’s not a big deal how you write your grocery list, you can choose any piece of paper or a fancy grocery list organizer. (I have one of these and it was the best $5 I’ve spent- so organized now!) The only tip for your actual list is make sure that it is divided into sections so that you can knock everything out at once. This also eliminates the chance that you’ll stroll down an aisle that you don’t want to be down {like the cookie aisle ;-)}. Also, while shopping make a little mark next to the items you have coupons or ad matches to so that you have the right product for sure and can maximize your savings.

While this isn’t the end all and be all to grocery savings, it is a great start and can help you stop impulse grocery shopping.

To recap:
1. Grab the weekly ads, coupons and any other savings you have set for the week.
2. Have any decision makers sit down, go through the pantry and savings, and put together the menu for the week.
3. Write out your grocery list based on what you need for your weekly menu only, organize it for maximum help.

I hope that these tips and tricks help you save even more at the grocery store and happy shopping!

Jill Pursell “The Saving Money Resource”


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